President's Message: December 2021

liuchen chang

Another Year of Growth and Excellence Amidst Virtual Events

by Liuchen Chang

By the time you read this article, it would be almost the year end. I wish all members of our Power Electronics Society (PELS) and their loved ones a joyful holiday season, gathering with families and friends in celebrating a healthy and prosperous New Year.

The PELS Administrative Committee (AdCom) held its on-line meeting in October 2021, right after a successful virtual ECCE 2021. The AdCom members will guide the development of new initiatives for achieving the strategic goals of our society, as we are taking actions in our ongoing operations. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion AdHoc Committee was formed to develop guidelines of our society, and is chaired by Lauren Kegley and Frede Blaabjerg. Our society is developing a scholarship program of graduate studies to support international exchanges and visits, led by Mario Pacas and Andreas Lindemann.

Starting from this issue, I will invite two-three vice presidents on a rotating basis to present the highlights of their portfolios. Thus, PELS members will have an overview about what has been going on within our society.

PELS Membership Recovers

The PELS Distinguished Lecturer (DL) and Regional DL (RDL) programs have been running very well this year, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.  There were 46 DL lectures and 11 RDL lectures from January to September 2021, with most of them delivered virtually. PELS also continued the support to the global Ph.D. schools on power electronics in 2021 through its Ph.D. School Supporting Program. The 2021 Asian Ph.D. School on Advanced Power Electronics was hosted by Tsinghua University and successfully attracted more than 200 registered young professional attendees from around the world. Thanks to the efforts of Mario Pacas and the Mexican colleagues, the first Mexican Ph.D. School was held on 26-27 October, hosted by Tecnologico de Monterrey and dedicated to Prof. Bob Lorenz who inspired many power electronics professionals worldwide. The European Ph.D. School continued its success and attracted 180 attendees. These member-service programs, together with a series of promoting actions PELS has taken in the past months, have helped the PELS membership recover almost back to what it was at the end of 2019 when PELS membership reached a record high of nearly 11K. These numbers were reported by Jinjun Liu, PELS VP of Membership. Meanwhile, the   PELS membership team has been continuously looking into possibility and feasibility of introducing new services and programs to our members. New benefit programs are under extensive discussions for implementation in the near future. 

Building Stronger, more Resilient Conference Portfolio

The conference organizing committees have been working diligently in organizing virtual conferences, reported Jian Sun, PELS VP of Conferences. COVID-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge for our conference activities. The pandemic forced almost all PELS conferences, including our flagship ECCE series and APEC, to go online. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and support of PELS staff, most conferences made the transition successfully on short notice. While the total number of paper submission has been lower compared to 2019, most conferences maintained a healthy financial balance at the end. More importantly, they helped to sustain the research activity and productivity of our community during this difficult time. A few large conferences posted financial losses due to inflexibility in contracts with venue and service providers. The affected conference committees worked diligently to minimize the financial impact by utilizing all means available. As we prepare for a post-pandemic world, there are a number of lessons we have learned from these experiences that would help PELS to build a stronger and more resilient conference portfolio in the future.

Excellence in PELS Products

The PELS products consist of both publications and educational/digital offerings, all of which have seen huge expansion and usage during the Covid-19 pandemic, reported Brad Lehman, PELS VP of Products. Maybe it is because more PELS members have freedom to download papers or watch webinars while at home?  

The publication portfolio includes the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, which is the most downloaded transactions in IEEE. Despite its huge size of publishing more than 1200 papers a year, it has among the shortest review times in all IEEE journals, especially its Letters which might get the first review in less than three or four weeks. Of course, this is the same rapid review time for our recent Open Journal of Power Electronics, established in 2020. This new journal also encourages contents in applied research and innovations, relevant to industry. PELS also has large share of ownership in two other extremely popular publications: IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics (JESTPE), and IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification (TTE).  Both JESTPE and TTE have seen huge increases in page counts this and next year. In fact, our products portfolio more than doubled its page counts over the last 5 years. It is just a reflection of the growing interests in power electronics, energy efficiency and renewables worldwide. For trendy topics and overview articles, readers might be interested in looking at our new IEEE Power Electronics Magazine website at pelsmagazine.ieee.org, which now allows the reader interaction and comments with the Editor.  Do any of the readers remember the olden days when comments from reviewers or readers were published along with the paper being discussed?

Finally, IEEE PELS jumped on the bandwagon of adding more and more webinars, educational offerings, and videos during the Covid-19.  We made them free to everyone at the beginning of the pandemic, but they are always free to PELS members. There are some incredible seminars, tutorials, and even our P3 Talks (new Ph.D. graduates shorter talks) available that bring even more excitement to power electronics than thought possible. 

All the resources can be found by visiting our home page https://www.ieee-pels.org/.


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