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Development of a Smart Grid Course in an Electrical Engineering Technology Program

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Murat Kuzlu Old Dominion University

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Murat Kuzlu (Senior Member – IEEE) joined the Department of Engineering Technology, Old Dominion University (ODU) in 2018 as an Assistant Professor. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Kocaeli University, Turkey, in 2001, 2004, and 2010, respectively. From 2005 to 2006, he worked as a Global Network Product Support Engineer at Nortel Networks, Turkey. In 2006, he joined the Energy Institute of TUBITAK-MAM (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey – The Marmara Research Center), where he worked as a senior researcher. Before joining ODU, he worked as a Research Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech’s Advanced Research Institute. His research interests include smart grid, demand response, smart metering systems (AMR, AMI, AMM), home and building energy management systems, co-simulation, wireless communication, and embedded systems.

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Otilia Popescu Old Dominion University

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Dr. Otilia Popescu received the Engineering Diploma and M.S. degree from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest, Romania, and the PhD degree from Rutgers University, all in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her research interests are in the general areas of communication systems, control theory, signal processing and engineering education. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and serves as the Program Director for the Electrical Engineering Technology Program. In the past she has worked for the University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at San Antonio, Rutgers University, and Politehnica University of Bucharest. She is a senior member of the IEEE, served as associate editor for IEEE Communication Letters, and has served in the technical program committee for the IEEE ICC, WCNC, RWW, VTC, GLOBECOM, and CAMAD conferences.

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Vukica M. Jovanovic Old Dominion University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Vukica Jovanovic is a Batten Endowed Fellow and an Associate Professor of Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering Technology Program. She holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Mechanical Engineering Technology, focuses on Digital Manufacturing, Magistar (Ph.D. candidate) degree in Industrial Engineering and Management, focused on Production Systems Design, and degree in Industrial Engineering focused on Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation. She went through engineering pathways herself, completing master electrician degree when completing Technical School in Uzice, Serbia, focusing on pre-engineering program on high power voltage systems and maintenance of electro-mechanical systems. Her research is focuses on engineering pathways, career and technical education, digital thread, cyber physical systems, mechatronics, digital manufacturing, broadening participation, and engineering education. She is a Director of Mechatronics and Digital Manufacturing Lab at ODU and a lead of Area of Specialization Mechatronics Systems Design. She worked as a Visiting Researcher at Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Disputanta, VA on projects focusing on digital thread and cyber security of manufacturing systems. She has funded research in broadening participation efforts of underrepresented students in STEM funded by U.S. Department of Education, focusing on computer science and cybersecurity pathways, and from Office of Naval Research, focusing on mechatronic pathways. She is part of the ONR projects related to the additive manufacturing training of active military. She is also part of the research team that has multiple projects funded from NSF focusing on veteran pathways and their success in engineering. She leads the team that delivers the summer program to nine graders that focus on broadening participation of underrepresented students into STEM (ODU BLAST), funded by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.

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Electric power systems courses have been traditionally offered by electrical engineering technology programs for a long time, with the main objective to introduce students to the fundamental concepts in the field of electric power systems and electrical to mechanical energy conversion. A typical electric power systems course covers a variety of topics, such as general aspects of electric power system design, electric generators, components of transmission and distribution systems, power flow analysis, system operation, and performance measures. In the last decades, electric power systems have significantly modernized alongside with requirement of improvement in system efficiency, reliability, cybersecurity, and environmental sustainability. The current modernized grid is called “Smart Grid,” which integrates advanced sensing technologies, control methods using machine learning approaches, and integrated communications into current electric power systems. Consequently, offered electric power systems courses are required to update in electrical engineering technology as well, to meet the industry needs of a workforce prepared to integrate smart grid technologies, such as advanced sensing, control, monitoring, communication, renewable energy, storage, computing, cybersecurity, etc. However, such updates of the course content are not always easy to implement due to the complexity of smart grid technologies and the limited number of instructors having knowledge of those technologies. In addition, smart grid courses should include a hands-on component aligned with the theoretical upgrades introduced in the course in the form of term projects. Such projects can be on a variety of topics, such as smart home/building, smart meter, smart distribution system, microgrid, communication infrastructure, Distributed energy resources (DERs) (e.g., rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV), wind), electric vehicle (EV), customer engagement, energy generation forecasting, load forecasting, and others. This paper will discuss the details of introducing a new course on smart grids in an electrical engineering technology program, including detailed examples of project selection.

Kuzlu, M., & Popescu, O., & Jovanovic, V. M. (2021, July), Development of a Smart Grid Course in an Electrical Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36961

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