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Teaching and Research Initiatives in Power Engineering Technology

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1467.1 - 26.1467.8



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Paper Authors


Yongpeng Zhang Prairie View A&M University

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Yongpeng Zhang received his BS degree in Automatic Control from Xi'an University of Technology in 1994, MS degree in Automation from Tianjin University in 1999, and PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Houston in 2003. After one year post-doctoral research, he was appointed as the Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Engineering Technology Dept at Prairie View A&M University in 2004 Fall, where he received promotion as the Tenured Associate Professor from 2010 Fall. His research interests include control system, mechatronics, motor drive, power electronics, and real-time embedded system design. As the Principal Investigator, his research has received significant sponsorship from Army Research Office, NSF, ED, and industry.

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Teaching and Research Initiatives in Power Engineering Technology The existing centralized, producer controlled generation and uni-directional transmission anddistribution network has been gradually shift to distributed generation with significantintegration of renewable energy and bi-directional power flow, leading to the so called "smartgrid". The power grid evolvement is boosting related industries, and provides a great opportunityfor United States to secure its leadership for future economic growth. However, the education ofengineers, technicians, and educators themselves has not kept pace with the rising demand forboth grid modernization and workforce replacement. To address both technical and educationalchallenges, the NSF project is proposed to develop a smart grid platform for multidisciplinaryteaching and research activities. The investigator team is composed of three faculties in twodepartment, and this presentation focuses on the teaching and research initiatives in EngineeringTechnology (ET). Obviously the revival of power engineering education cannot be the simpleduplication of the previous curriculum. Traditional core courses in power engineering technology,such as power system, power electronics, electric machines, etc, need to be revamped to deliverrelevant information in light of current industrial practices. And complementary knowledge andskills including control theory, embedded system, communications, digital signal processing, etc,are needed to strengthen student knowledge and skills in communication and informationtechnologies. As the new concentration on top of the existing degree plan, most power courses are selectedas the technical electives instead of required courses. Besides, supplementary courses incommunication and information technologies may not be required courses either. It means thestudents may not be able to receive the complete training in this field. Therefore, each powercourse needs to be independently established to ensure the knowledge delivery of the concepts ofemerging smart grid. One possible solution to integrate power topics with communication andinformation technologies is the senior design. Leveraged on the previous NSF projects, onlineteaching platform has been available. The courseware developed in three new courses have beenor will be uploaded to the online server. Through senior design projects, students gained valuableexperience in both power software development and online server management. Anotherimportant component is graduate student involvement. Graduate students are critical to ensureproject progress, and assist laboratory instructions. In addition, their research projects paved theway for the establishment of new platform and function as a pilot investigation for futureteaching innovations. 1

Zhang, Y. (2015, June), Teaching and Research Initiatives in Power Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24804

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