President's Message: June 2021

liuchen chang

Charting a Course to Reach Strategic Goals

by Liuchen Chang

With the rolling out of vaccination and our adaption to the new working environment, there is a sense of hope for returning to normality. Despite restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Society continues its success. I am pleased to report the following highlights of the Power Electronics Society (PELS) to our members.

The PELS Spring Series meetings were held during 1 March, 2021 and 1 April, 2021. Our technical committees and standing committees met to review the current status and to lay out their action plans for 2021 and 2022. The Administrative Committee (AdCom), in addition to overseeing the Society’s operation plan, embarked on the development of the initiatives and projects for 2022, led by PELS senior past president Alan Mantooth. It will chart a course to reach the strategic goals of our five-year Strategic Plan (go to https://www.ieee-pels.org/about/governing-documents).

The inaugural IEEE PELS Students’ and Young Professionals’ Symposium (SYPS 2021) was held virtually on 27-29 March, 2021, organized by over fifty volunteers of the student sub-committee chaired by Renan Pillon Barcelos of the PELS Students’ and Young Professionals’ Committee. The volunteers of the Students’ and Young Professionals’ Committee were working round the clock across the world. SYPS 2021 featured technical and non-technical presentations spread over multiple time-zones, including the first PELS Job Fair where more than 110 attendees shared their CVs with the sponsor companies, and networking events. There were over 420 registrants and the virtual events on the underline platform received a peak viewership of 300 plus attendees.

“From Bachelors to Fellows to Board of Directors: Fireside Chat with Electrical Engineer Duy-Loan Le”, a live stream event on the IEEE.tv platform, was organized by PELS Women in Engineering (WiE) Committee and hosted by the WiE Committee chair Lauren Kegley on 9 April, 2021. In her inspiring talk, Duy-Loan Le (Board of Directors’ member of numerous corporations, former senior technical Fellow of Texas Instruments and active philanthropist) discussed with the enthusiastic audience on many topics including career, leadership, volunteering, and family and more.

IEEE Empower a Billion Lives (EBL), the largest initiative in the PELS history, has started its second round of the global competition for providing integrated and holistic solutions to energy poverty facing billions of people. Spearheaded by Deepak Divan, the public announcement is scheduled in June 2021 through a virtual workshop on Energy Access and EBL-II, followed by rolling out a series of events leading to the final global competition in October 2022. Please stay tuned for this exciting and impactful initiative.

The annual PELS Day (20 June) celebrations will be scheduled in June, in commemorating the formation of the IEEE PELS on 20 June, 1987. The PELS chapters, student branch chapters (SBCs) and other groups are encouraged to organize their own events (in a safe manner) around 20 June. This is also a great opportunity for our local chapters and SBCs to co-organize events (please visit https://www.ieee-pels.org/membership/pels-day).

Our membership has resumed its year-over-year growth. PELS has over 200 chapters, joint chapters and SBCs in all ten IEEE regions. Along with the discount for IEEE student membership fees (promotional code: FUTURE50), our Society also has a 50% discount for PELS student membership fees (promotional code: PELS50FUTURE). Our partnerships with national and international professional organizations and industry associations are strengthening. PELS is working with the IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS) on implementing a discount for combined membership dues. More Ph.D. schools will be organized in various regions in 2021 and 2022.

PELS publications including IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, IEEE Power Electronics Letters, IEEE Open Journal of Power Electronics, IEEE Power Electronics Magazine, IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics (JESTPE), IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification have continuously maintained their top quality and rapid growth. JESTPE will increase its page count by 50% next year to meet the demand for growing papers.

Likewise, the conference organizers have made tremendous efforts in organizing conferences and events in 2021 and beyond, in meeting the challenges caused by the pandemic. While most of our conferences in 2021 will be held virtually, some are planning for hybrid events toward the last quarter of the year. PELS has strengthened its services to conference organizers through the increased staff support and Conference Organizers’ Forums to share the best practices and expertise.

Furthermore, the 12 Technical Committees (TC) are in full operation. All TCs had their policy and procedures approved by AdCom (for details go to https://www.ieee-pels.org/about/governing-documents). Any professional, PELS member or not, can join one or more TCs free of charge by simply signing on via the link at https://www.ieee-pels.org/technical-activities. To better serve the power electronics industry and engage with our industry members, it was proposed that the VP Standards will be responsible for developing comprehensive programs to meet the needs of industry.

Last year, Rik W. De Doncker won the 2020 IEEE Medal in Power Engineering “For contributions to high-power and energy-conversion technologies”, and Frede Blaabjerg received the 2020 IEEE Edison Medal “For contributions to and leadership in power electronics, developing a sustainable society”. This year, Praveen Jain received the 2021 IEEE Medal in Power Engineering “For contributions to the theory and practice of high-frequency power-conversion systems”. Congratulations to Praveen, Rik and Frede for their outstanding contributions to power electronics, and the recognitions via the top IEEE awards!

It seems that we will miss the opportunity to meet in person in most of our conferences and meetings in 2021. Please stay safe and healthy in this late stage of the pandemic, and stay connected with your families, friends and colleagues via alternative means. If you have any suggestions, concerns, comments or questions, please simply drop me an email at LChang@unb.ca.

 


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