President's Message: September 2021

liuchen chang

IEEE PELS Continues on a Path Envisioned by Our Late Past President Braham Ferreira

by Liuchen Chang

Early in the summer, our power electronics community was deeply saddened by the sudden passing on 16 May, 2021 of Prof. Jan Abraham (Braham) Ferreira, past president of IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) (2015-16), after his courageous and brief battle with cancer. A leader, educator, mentor, and friend to so many in our community, Braham was a true gentleman of great accomplishments, and inspired us all through his boundless energy, curiosity and life-long commitment to engineering. Braham made tremendous contributions through his three decades of volunteering services and leadership to our Society, including PELS Strategic Plans, Empower a Billion Lives (EBL), and IEEE Southern Power Electronics Conference (SPEC), to name a few. Braham received the IEEE PELS Harry A. Owen Jr. Distinguished Service Award 2021 at a virtual award ceremony in early May when many PELS colleagues and his family congratulated Braham for his achievements. (photo, Braham Ferreira at IEEE ECCE 2016 Conference.)

Braham ECCESeveral PELS members and chapters have been recognized for their contributions in technical excellence, volunteering service and leadership, and received PELS 2021 awards. Congratulations! Your continuing efforts and accomplishments have propelled the innovations of the power electronic field and the growth of our Society. For a complete list of awardees, please visit

To commemorate the formation of our Society on 20 June, 1987, the annual PELS Day (20 June) celebrations occurred in the month of June 2021. Over 60 PELS chapters and committees organized more than 120 events in June all over the world (Figure 2), setting a new activity record for PELS Day Celebrations! Concurrently, PELS Day Organizing Committee hosted a seminar on 20 June, when Dr. Fred Lee, founder and director emeritus of CPES, Virginia Tech, talked about the history of PELS as well as the evolution of power electronics, and Dr. Noriko Kawakami, senior Fellow at Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, presented the advances of power electronic technologies for a carbon neutral society. The celebrations also included the PELS Day Photo Contest and a PELS Day Diversity Photo Contest (please visit By the time this article is published, the winners of both the contests will have been announced.

Xian Jiaotong UnivPEL35 IEEE PELS DAY celebrationThe virtual workshop on Energy Access and Empower a Billion Lives II (EBL-II) on 30 June, 2021 marked the announcement of EBL-II, the global competition for providing integrated and scalable solutions to energy access facing billions of people in the world . The virtual workshop had 42 studio audience participants, plus over 200 viewers from 56 countries via IEEE TV. PELS has established strong partnerships with IEEE sister societies and operation units in EBL-II, including IEEE Control Systems Society, Power & Energy Society, Industrial Electronics Society, IEEE Foundation, and IEEE Smart Village in the growing list of partners (for details please vist

The membership growth of our Society has resumed its strong upward trend this year. It is expected that the PELS membership in 2021 will match or exceed the record level set in 2019, thanks to the expanding applications of power electronic technologies, thriving power electronics community, and strong PELS products, services and conferences. Our Society continues offering a 50% discount for PELS student membership fees (promotional code: PELS50FUTURE), in addition to the discount for IEEE student membership fees (promotional code: FUTURE50). Furthermore, PELS offers a complimentary PELS Membership to those who are IEEE members and have attended a PELS webinar or event.

Again, almost all PELS conferences and events in 2021 were held or planned to hold virtually. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the conference organizers, partners, reviewers, exhibitors, authors, and attendees, our conferences are on the way to recovery from the impact of the pandemic. I am looking forward to seeing you in-person in the near future.