President's Message: June 2022

liuchen chang

Hope for Resuming Our In-Person Events

by Liuchen Chang

The hybrid format of IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC) 2022, held 20-24 March in Houston, Tx, USA, was a refreshing change from the virtual conferences of the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of hundreds of organizers and volunteers, APEC 2022 signals the return to our in-person events. It was a joyful reunion of IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) members, volunteers and exhibitors. The breakfast event of “WiE, YP, and You: How to become involved with PELS and PSMA too” was a huge success, the fruit of the tireless work of the PELS Women in Engineering (WiE) and Young Professionals (YP) Committees. You can find detailed materials including FAQs of many programs of the PELS, prepared by dozens of PELS volunteers on the WiE events website: https://www.ieee-pels.org/membership/wie/wie-events. The “YP Reception at APEC 2022” cosponsored by PELS and Industry Applications Society (IAS) attracted over 100 young professionals and students to a social gathering at The Grotto, Houston. Our hybrid Spring Administrative Committee (AdCom) Meeting and several PELS standing committee meetings held during APEC 2022 presented a venue for our volunteers and friends to catch up.

APEC 2022’s great success is representative of PELS conferences, as reported by Dr. Jian Sun, VP Conferences. Thanks to many dedicated volunteers, PELS has maintained an active conference program during the pandemic. The total number of conferences sponsored by PELS in 2021 has recovered from the dip in 2020, and is comparable to the peak number reached in 2019. As travel restrictions ease in more countries and regions, we hope more and more members will be able to attend our conferences in-person this year. To make PELS conferences more attractive to industry, a new award called “Value to Industry and Practitioners (VIP) Best Papers” has been initiated by the Conference Committee. The annual award, targeting papers presented at all PELS-sponsored conferences, is currently under review by IEEE TAB Awards and Recognition Committee (TABARC) and is expected to start in 2023.

As reported by Dr. Mark Dehong Xu, VP Membership, the PELS membership reached 11,187 in 111 countries as of February 2022, a record high after a full recovery from the drop in 2020 due to pandemic. Last year, 42 new chapters and student branch chapters were added to a total of 213. We are enhancing our membership ecosystem with a significantly increased funding program for our chapters and student branch chapters for grassroot activities, and close interactions among members, chapters, regions, and PELS leadership. In recent years PELS has developed Regional Distinguish Lecturer (RDL) programs, building on the success of our excellent Distinguish Lecturer (DL) programs. RDL programs are welcomed in many countries, for short travel distances, topics pertinent to local interests, and lectures in local languages. To elevate our service to members around the world, we will expand our collaborations with national and international associations and institutes around the world.

To achieve our goals set by our Strategic Plan (2021-2025), the society has developed numerous new programs, adding more values, benefits and services for the PELS members. Starting 2023, PELS members will have an option of selecting fully digital publications at substantially reduced membership fees, while enjoying the same full services as before. The Education and Digital Committee has been diligently working on the ambitious “PELS Tube” program, the educational videos on power electronics, recently released for your review and contribution at https://ieeepelstube.org.


Recently, two long-time PELS members received the prestigious IEEE medals. Prof. Ned Mohan received the IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal for leadership in power engineering education by developing courses, textbooks, labs, and a faculty network. Prof. Thomas M. Jahns (the 5th PELS president, 1995-1996) received the IEEE Medal in Power Engineering for contributions to the development of high-efficiency permanent magnet machines and drives. Congratulations!

Lots more are happening in our society. At the PELS AdCom meeting in March 2022, many initiatives were proposed and approved. Please stay tuned for the exciting programs and projects in the near future. To strengthen the industry services and engagements, our VP Standards was changed to VP Industry and Standards, along with the formation of a new standing committee - the Industry Committee. We have started the process of seeking our members’ input to the idea of elevating the educational programs within the PELS organization, and thereby expanding the professional education products and services for students and practitioners. I’d love to hear your thoughts (My e-mail is LChang@unb.ca). 


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