SLC Newsletter

CURENT SLC Newsletter

For March 2017

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

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Feature Story

APEC Group Picture

The Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) is one of the flagship conferences in power electronics. APEC focuses on the practical and applied aspects of the power electronics business. This year, APEC was held from March 26-30, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. Many students from CURENT attended the conference and presented their research. Chongwen Zhao and Fei Yang won best presentation award in the APEC presentation session. Shuoting Zhang won the best poster award in the APEC poster session. Congratulations for your success at the conference.


SLC Monthly Meeting with Partner Schools Participation

For the first time this year, the SLC hosted a monthly meeting with the participation from partner universities using WebEx. Graduate and undergraduate students attended the SLC monthly meeting. Plans regarding the CURENT retreat, an annual meeting between CURENT students from each campus, were discussed.

Faculty, Students Participate in ARPA-E Summit

From February 26 through March 1, two faculty members and two graduate students from CURENT participated in and had a booth at the ARPA-E Summit held at National Harbor in Harbor, MD. The CURENT participants were Dr. Wang, Dr. Liu, Mike (Yu) Su, and Yiwei Ma.

The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts from different technical disciplines and professional communities to think about America’s energy challenges in new and innovative ways. Now in its eighth year, the Summit offers a unique, three-day program aimed at moving transformational energy technologies out of the lab and into the market.

ARPA-E Booth Photo

NSBE National Conference

Dr. Tomsovic, Stephen Fatokun, and Erin Wills attended NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) National Conference at the Kansas City Convention Center on March 30 and 31. About 100 students were introduced with CURENT, the opporturnity for 2018 summer undergrad research positions, and opportunity for 2017/2018 Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) positions.

Dr. Tomsovic talking with NSBE Conference Attendees


CURENT Seminars

Past Seminars

Dale Bradshaw, CEO of Electrivation, LLC, gave presentation on "Carbon Capture Utilization Technologies for Carbon Dioxide" at the CURENT SLC Industry seminar on March 31. He presented an overview of the latest Carbon Capture Utilization Technologies for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and economically using the CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR), conversion to liquid fuels, bio-fertilizers, etc.

On March 24, Dr. Syed Islam , Professor of the department of EECS , gave a presentation on "How to Make an Academic Research Poster" at the CURENT SLC Seminar. Academic Research Posters are often required to present research effectively to inductry partners, visitors, and at conferences.

Travis Greenlee, the consultant to the College of Engineering, gave presentation on "Career Skills (i.e Networking, Resumes, Job Seeking)" in the CURENT SLC seminar on March 10. In his role, Travis counsels students on career options, job and internship search strategies, graduate school planning, and transitioning to life after UTK.

On March 3, Jiecheng "Jeff" Zhao, Power Systems PhD Candidate, gave a presentation on "Modeling PMU Estimation Error " and Edward Jones, Power Electronics PhD Candidate, gave a presentation on "Analysis of the dv/dt Transient of Enhancement-Mode GaN FETs" 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:



Recent Graduates Panel Discussion and Mixer

On Friday, April 7th the SLC will be hosting a group of recent graduates from CURENT to talk with current students about transitioning from graduate school into their careers in industry.

The format will be a moderated panel discussion, in which 7 recently graduated grad students from UTK CURENT - Derek Kou (Dominion Virginia Power), Hesen Liu(Dominion Virginia Power), Lingwei Zhan (ORNL), Lakshmi Goppi Reddy (CNH Industrial), Cameron Riley (EPRI), Weimin Zhang (Tesla), and Jing Xue ( They engaged with current students based on a list of prepared questions. Students should fill out the form below with any questions they would like asked. At the end, the floor was opened for students to ask any additional questions that may have come up during the discussion.

Lab Tours
After the discussion, students at UTK and the recent graduates were invited to participate in an informal lab tour with light snacks and refreshments provided. Students wishing to share/discuss their research should plan on participating.

Post-Event Mixer
Finally, the SCL hosted a social event/mixer at Downtown Grill and Brewery for further interaction between students and alumni. Dinner was provided.

Jobs & Internships

Summer Internship at OSIsoft

One to two internships are available at OSIsoft (products related to data management; used widely in industry) for this summer in Johnson City, Tennessee. OSI would be interested in undergraduates or graduates students. The position would be applicable for those with programming skills (computer science, electrical engineering). The projects would involve working on FNET data visualization with ESRI ARCGIS. If interested send your resume to Lisa Beard, CURENT Industry Outreach Director and Industry Liason Officer, at


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 Vine Middle School  on March 7 and Whittle Springs Middle School on March 29. About 100 kids and their parents attended the engineering nights. Different activities including solar car race, paper tower, give me a hand, catapult design, blast off rockets, voice modulation, face recognition, Paper Planes, Bridge Building and UT Nissan Leaf Electric Car 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

On Monday, April 3rd the SLC hosted a watch party for the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game in Room 124, Min H. Kao on the big projector along with snacks. There was a total of 39 participants for the online bracket challenge. Jeremy Herwig, Peter Pham, and Kamal Sabi are the winners of the online bracket challenge.


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.


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

1520 Middle Drive | Knoxville, TN 37996
E-mail: Lisa Beard
Phone: 865.974.8655 | Fax: 865.974.9723
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The University of Tennessee: Big Orange. Big Ideas.