CURENT news letter No. 2

CURENT SLC Newsletter

For January 2016

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

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Team led by CURENT professors was awarded a $2.4 million grant by Advanced Research Prjects Agency-Energy (ARPAR-E) to develop a controller for microgrids and the controllers that govern them. The research team is led by Dr. Fred Wang, and includes Dr. Leon Tolbert, Dr. Yilu Liu. Industry partners, include high-profile power-related East-Tennessee companies TVA, Chattanooga Electric Power Board, and Electric Power Research Institute, as well as commercial vendors National Instruments and Green Energy Corporation.Read more.


UT Team, led by Dr. Costinett, is Finalist in Google Littlebox Challenge

When Google offered its “Little Box Challenge” to the scientific world about a year ago – asking inventors to make the smallest, most efficient two-kilowatt inverter possible – Daniel Costinett was intrigued. Dr. Costinett kicked the idea around with a team of graduate students. The Electric Power Research Institute, an independent nonprofit, would soon collaborate, and after thousands of hours building and testing their efficient tiny box, the UT team had its entry. It is one of 18 finalists worldwide. Find the details.

CURENT's Zhan Earns Top Student Honor from NASPI

College of Engineering graduate student Lingwei Zhan recently received national recognition as he was named the North American SynchroPhasor Initiative (NASPI) Outstanding Student of the Year 2015. Lingwei Zhan, who worked with the CURENT at UT before getting a job in Alstom (now GE-Alstom), was awarded the honor for his role in the development and deployment of frequency disturbance recorders and the Universal Grid Analyzer, and his efforts to improve phasor measurement unit (PMU) calibration and clock stability, according to the NASPI leadership team. Read more.

CURENT Held Engineering Night at Sequoyah Elementary School

CURENT graduate and undergraduate students partnered with the Sequoyah Elementary teachers to host a Family Engineering Night on Dec. 3rd at Sequoyah Elementary School.

CURENT Seminars

SLC Seminars of this Semester Begin

The SLC seminars seminars of Spring 2016 have begun. Wenchao Cao gave a presentation titled as "Stability Criterion and Controller Parameter Design of Radial-Line Renewable Systems with Multiple Inverters". On Jan. 22nd, Xiangyu Niu will give a seminar on cyber security.

Upcoming Industry Seminars

The industry seminars will begin on Jan. 29, during which Professor Antonio C. Navarro from Ohio State University will talk about power system optimization. In the future seminars, presenters will include faculty from Waseda University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and CURENT.

Call for Seminar Presenters

If you would like to volunteer to give a seminar, please contact Denis Osipov.

Jobs & Internships


EPC: Senior Applications Engineer and Applications Engineer

EPC is the leader in enhancement mode gallium nitride based power management devices. EPC is looking for highly motivated people with the ability to identify and develop technological advantages of GaN based semiconductors in various existing and new applications to join our team and help develop the technology of the future. Find details.

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NREL: Multiple positions

Download the details after you log in the Confluence.

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ORNL: Power and Energy Systems Researcher

The Power and Energy Systems Group, in the Electrical and Electronic Systems Research Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is seeking a power systems researcher with electricity system planning experience to conduct projects, expand research, and manage R&D in the development of projects to support the power systems research program in the areas of economic, environmental, and operational analyses on a variety of energy topics. Most topics will be connected with the electricity sector or its interaction with other sectors. Find details.

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TI: System Engineer - Power

Texas Instruments (TI) is seeking for a system engineer position who will develop new product definition for Power Roadmap including linear voltage regulators, peripheral load drivers and voltage reference. The engineer will also need to visit customer to understand the trend and solve customer problems with new innovative definitions. Find details.

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NEC: Research Assistant Internship

The Energy Management Department NEC Labs (Energy Management Dept.) invites applications for a summer internship in resilient power systems. The internship project includes design and implementation of Resilient Microgrid Energy Management systems (EMS). The microgrid consists of renewable and distributed generation resources, energy storage units, and electric loads with or without connection to power grid. The EMS is responsible for control, dispatch and coordination of devices in the microgrid. For details and formally application, please search here.

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ECORT: Summer Internship

The mission of the ERCOT Summer Internship Program is to partner with students pursuing academic excellence to create opportunities that stretch learning experiences into a work environment with intellectually challenging projects and assignments. These opportunities will promote utility industry awareness, growth, and identification of top talent for future employment. The position is open to undergraduates, but graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply. Find details.

More job openings and internships information


SLC Field Trips

SLC is going to organize a field trip. It will provide students opportunities to visit utility and vendor companies, and talk with engineers. This will help them to gain deeper awareness of the companies they may work in after graduate, and the real impression of the devices they learned from the textbook. This semester the potential destinations include Alstom in Chattanooga, EPB, and Silicon Ranch. The approximate date is Mar. 18th when there will be no classes. Faculties are also welcomed to join. Details will come soon.

Upcoming Outreach Events

As past semesters, CURENT will hold several education outreaches for K-12 schools. The most recent one will be the Vine Middle School Engineering Night on Feb. 4th. Erin Wills is recruiting volunteers. Please find details and sign up here if you are willing to help. Two other engineering nights will be held on Feb. 18th and 23rd. You are encouraged to join!

Internships Data Reporting

If you are in or are going to have an internship this semester of the coming summer semester, please report to Erin Wills.

Summer Program Mentors Needed

Summer mentors are needed to several programs, including:

  • REU Mentors (undergrads) – 8 weeks
  • YSP Mentors (high school) – 4 weeks
  • Girls Camp Councilors (middle school) – 1 week
  • 4-H Electricity Camp Activity – 2 days

If you are interested in contributing effort to the program and gaining mentor experience, please discuss with Erin Wills in February.


The Student Leadership Council (SLC) is a team of students who serve as a liaison between the center and the National Science Foundation (NSF). SLC is recruiting members. Please join us, serve for the CURENT students, and improve your abilities. Fill the form to join.

CURENT Engineering Research Center
555 Min H. Kao Building
The University of Tennessee

1520 Middle Drive | Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865.974.9401 | Fax: 865.974.9723
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CURENT is a National Science Foundation and Department of Energy Engineering Research Center headquartered at UTK. Partner institutions are Northeastern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tuskegee University.