President's Message: March 2022

liuchen chang

A Vital 35-Year-Young Society

by Liuchen Chang

At the Townhall meeting of the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) held virtually on 15 December 2021, Prof. John Kassakian, the first president of our society, reflected on the historical era when the pioneers drove the innovation in power electronics, initiated INTELEC, PESC (the predecessor of ECCE), and APEC conferences, created IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics (TPEL), and established the IEEE PELS on 20 June 1987. Now our vibrant society is 35 years young, reaching another milestone in its short history with a record level of membership as shown in Figure 1. The record of the Townhall Meeting can be viewed at IEEEtv (https://ieeetv.ieee.org/channels/pels/pels-2021-town-hall).

Divyam Nagpal, Programme Officer of International Renewable Energy Agency presented another featured speech on energy access at our Townhall meeting. His insightful presentation covered a broad spectrum. The ambitious goal of providing electricity to billions of people who have no or little access to electricity supplies resonates well with that of the IEEE Empower a Billion Lives (EBL-II), a global competition led by our society in partnership with many partners, including IEEE Control Systems Society, IEEE Power and Energy Society, IEEE Industrials Electronics Society, Georgia Research Alliance et al.

With the elections completed in late 2021, our new AdCom members, Vice-Presidents and President-Elect took their office in 2022 (please see details at www.ieee-pels.org). I would like to express my wholehearted gratitude for all who completed their services in 2021 and welcome all who took new positions in 2022.

PELS is developing strategies on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) led by Frede Blaabjerg (Past President) and Lauren Kegley (Women-in-Engineering Committee Chair). Please see Lauren’s article [See details in the “Women in Engineering” column (WiE) “The Roaring 20s: A Decade Helping Reshape the Face of IEEE PELS” by Lauren E. Kegley, p.46] in this issue for more details.

We are in process of launching our scholarship program during 2022 for graduate students engaging in international research exchange, reported by Mario Pacas, VP Global Relations. Indeed PELS has significantly beefed up its education programs. Our Ph.D. Schools have expanded from Europe and Asia to Mexico (North America), thanks to the enthusiastic Mexican power electronics colleagues. The PELS Ph.D. Thesis Presentation Program (P3 Talks) attracted dozens of entries and awarded five winners in 2021. The ambitious short video lectures program in power electronics called “PELS Tube” is under development and will be released in phases.

The PELS Standards portfolio is currently undergoing comprehensive program changes to enhance services to our industry members, to develop more industry related contents, and to accelerate innovation through the development cycle of power electronics in all the different areas, as noted from Johan Enslin, VP Standards. PELS Industry Initiatives, Standards and Roadmaps are proposed for integration under a unified portfolio which has the representations from all technical committees. We provide web-based tutorials and training with the help of IEEE Standards Association to support our members in standards development. Several new initiatives together with IEEE SCC-21 were started including a white paper in grid forming converters and a study committee for a possible IEEE-1547 update. Several standard updates were published through our Electronic Transformers Technical Committee (ETTC) working group, including IEEE Standards 389 and P1573. New IEEE project authorization requests (PARs) were developed in virtual synchronous machines (P2988) and solid-state transformers (P3105). Both the ITRW and ITRD roadmaps are very active with working group activities. Our members are warmly welcome to join, engage in and contribute to the committees and activities related to industry, standards and roadmaps (via the website: https://www.ieee-pels.org/standards).

The Technical Operations Committee (TOC) members have been working hard to implement and consolidate the new Technical Committee (TC) structure adopted by PELS, as reported by Pat Wheeler, VP Technical Operations.  New flagship conferences, events, and workshops are emerging from the new TCs and there is excellent engagement with the PELS membership.  All 12 TCs are functioning well and have up-to-date governance documents. An online membership system is now in place for our TCs and over 3,100 members have already joined using this online, privacy law compliant system. PELS members who have not already indicated their interest in the TCs in their technical areas are encouraged to do so at: https://www.ieee-pels.org/technical-activities. Note that membership of our technical committees is free of charge, but please remember to complete the ‘check-out’ process when you sign-up!

During 2022, the TOC will be working with all TCs to make sure that we are ready to welcome everyone back to face-to-face events as well as continue an exciting line-up of online seminars and workshops.  We are also developing a policy for the allocation of our student travel grants to ensure that they are fit for purpose, inclusive, and allow access to our events across the broad spectrum of PELS membership.

Recently several members asked how to become an expert reviewer for our journals. Brad Lehman, President-Elect and VP Products provided the following details using IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics (TPEL) as an example:

Becoming a reviewer can help you gain valuable insight into the very latest technologies in your area of expertise. Review experience can be credited through Publons and is also acknowledged on our PELS website. To become a reviewer for TPEL, you may 1) Send an email to Mary Beth Schwartz, Editorial Administrator, marybeth.schwartz@ieee.org, along with a CV and a list of subjects you are able to review.  In the subject line, write “Volunteer Reviewer.” We will send the CV and list to appropriate subject area Associate Editors; and 2) Make sure you first have a user account for our author/reviewer database at Manuscript Central (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tpel-ieee) before submitting your resume. Also, in your manuscript central account, it is important to carefully specify your keywords of research expertise that you are comfortable reviewing.

I love to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please drop me an e-mail at LChang@unb.ca.


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