CURENT SLC Newsletter

For February 2017

News on the Center, Faculties, Students, Opportunities, and Events

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Feature Story

Dr. Joe Chow Dr. Joe Chow, power grid control expert and professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) on February 8, 2017. He was elected for his technical contributions to modeling, analysis, and control of large-scale power grids. Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Dr. Chow and the newly elected class will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8, 2017.


Recent Graduates Panel Discussion and Mixer

On the afternoon of April 7th, the SLC will be hosting a group of recent graduates from CURENT, to engage with students in a panel discussion about transitioning from graduate student life to their careers. The recent graduates will represent both power systems and power electronics disciplines, both Ph.D. and M.S. graduates, and a range of years since their graduation. The panel discussion will include some prepared questions and time for students to engage directly with the alumni. After the discussion, students and alumni are invited to participate in an informal lab tour with refreshments provided. Students who want to participate will get the opportunity to show the recent graduates their work and get feedback based on their years of experience at UTK and in industry. Later that evening, the SLC will host a social event at a local restaurant for further interaction between students and alumni, with appetizers provided. Keep an eye out for an email with more info including the recent graduates who will be attending.


South Node of NSF Innovation Corps includes University of Tennessee

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded five new grants to teach entrepreneurship and to support research and innovation at regional hubs across the United States under its Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program. The awarded grant is ranging between $3.4 million and $4.2 million. This year's awards will be used to establish one new node and further fund four existing nodes over a five-year period. University of Tennessee Knoxville is included with south node.

CURENT Seminars

Past Seminars

Dale Bradshaw, CEO of Electrivation, LLC, gave presentation on "Status and Value Proposition of Energy Storage Technologies" in the CURENT SLC Industry seminar on February 24. He presented the overview of the energy storage industry as a whole including the status of energy storage today and the prospects in the future. He also presented the key applications for energy storage, such as managing the intermittency of solar PV and shifting the solar PV output from the middle of the day to the late afternoon peaks in the load.

On February 17, Hantao Cui, Power Systems PhD Candidate, gave a presentation on "Control and Limit Enforcements for VSC Multi-Terminal HVDC in Newton Power Flow" and Yichen Zhang, Power Systems PhD Candidate, gave a presentation on "Hybrid Controller for Wind Turbine Generators to Ensure Adequate System Frequency Response" at CURENT SLC Seminar.

Mr. Ken Lowery, Sr. Partner, principal and founding member of Cadre5, gave presentation on " Startup - Building and Growing a Technology Company Focused on Value Delivery and Equity in Relationships" in the CURENT SLC seminar on February 10. He presented ways to be successful as entrepreneur and establishing a network of relationship among business partners.

On February 3, Dr. Rui Yao, Postdoctoral Research Associate, gave a presentation on " On multi-timescale simulation and efficient risk assessment of cascading outages" and Horacio Silva-Saravia, Power Systems PhD Candidate, gave a presentation on "Flywheel Energy Storage Model, Control and Location for Improving Stability: The Chilean Case " at CURENT SLC Seminar.

If you like to present in the CURENT Seminar, please submit your name, email address, topic, and preferred date in the following link:


CURENT LinkedIn Profile Pic Photoshoot

Jordan Sangid

The SLC organized a LinkedIn profile picture photoshoot from February 9 to February 11. Jordan Sangid, SLC Chief of Career Development and Industry relations, volunteered his time to make this event happen. About 55 students got their professional pictures captured.  The pictures can be used in your LinkedIn, google scholar, webpage, other social media accounts, and for future CURENT publications.  Shown below are some examples of the LinkedIn pictures.


 Jobs & Internships


EPRI’s Grid Operations and Planning group is offering an internship position at EPRI’s Palo Alto, CA office to support R&D projects related to grid integration of renewable resources, by conducting power system studies and modeling using electromagnetic transients simulation tools and electromechanical dynamics simulation tools.  

The position requires strong experience with electromagnetic transients simulation tools (preferably EMTP-RV and PSCAD) and electromechanical dynamics simulation tools (preferably PSS/E and PSLF).  The start date and the duration of the internship are flexible. Ph.D students are preferable. The link with the position description and for application is below:


Outreach Events

CURENT had an engineering night at Gresham Middle School on February 21 and Spring Hill Elementary School on February 23. About 100 kids and their parents attended for the both events. Different activities including solar car race, paper tower, give me a hand, catapult design, blast off, voice modulation, face recognition, electricity demonstration, and extracting DNA from strawberries are demonstrated. These activities helps kids to think like engineers by solving simple practical problems and motivate towards engineering studies in future.


NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket Challenge

SLC is going to organize a NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket Challenge. The single-elimination tournament starts March 14th with the 68 best men's college basketball teams in the country at that time and concludes April 3 with the Championship game. Selection Sunday is March 12th which means you have from March 12th until the first round begins on the morning of March 16th to fill out your bracket. There will be a Final 4 watch party organized by the SLC as the end of the tournament gets closer. If you have any questions see Jordan Sangid ( or Craig Timms ( 

CURENT is a National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Engineering Research Center headquartered at UT. Partner institutions are Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tuskegee University.