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Engineering | School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Electric Power and Energy Systems

The electric power and energy systems curriculum in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering includes six upper division undergraduate and fourteen graduate courses in the area of power system analysis, power generation, transmission and distribution, power system dynamics and stability, energy conversion, electric machines, power electronics, high voltage engineering, and nuclear power engineering. An undergraduate power laboratory supports the teaching of energy conversion. A relay protection and power electronics laboratory provide hands on experience in the field of electrical power supplies, drives and network protection systems. The graduate research program is supported by the Power System Computational Laboratory, the High Voltage Laboratory, Insulation Laboratory, Advanced Power Electronics Laboratories and Power Plant Diagnostics Laboratory. In addition, the use of computers is integrated into all of the upper division undergraduate and graduate courses to enhance the theoretical material taught in the courses.

ASU is the lead university in the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC), an industrially and federally supported program of industry/university cooperation. Students are exposed to industrial projects, professional society meetings, laboratory experience, and research partially supported by PSERC. More information about PSERC may be found at

Also, the ASU power engineering program is part of a NSF funded engineering research center, the Future Renewable Electric Energy Distribution Management (FREEDM) center.  The FREEDM center deals with the use of solid state controllers and devices to implement a ‘next generation’ power distribution system, including distributed energy resources.

Upper division undergraduate courses

EEE 460: Nuclear Power Engineering
EEE 463: Electrical Power Plants
EEE 470: Electric Power Devices
EEE 471: Power System Analyses
EEE 472 – Power Electronics
EEE 473: Electrical Machinery

Elective Courses

EEE 562: Nuclear Reactor Theory and Design
EEE 563: Nuclear Reactor System Dynamics and Diagnostics
EEE 564: Interdisciplinary Nuclear Power Operations
EEE 571: Power System Transients
EEE 572: Advanced Power Electronics
EEE 574: Computer Solution of Power System
EEE 577: Power Engineering Operations and Planning
EEE 579: Power Transmission and Distribution
EEE 598: Electric Power Quality
EEE 598: Power System Stability
EEE 598: Power System Dynamics
EEE 598 : Power Electronics applications in Power Systems
EEE 770: Advanced Topics in Power Systems

Research Activities

The power program concentrates on masters level and PhD education, which is sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), National Science Foundation, National Laboratories, power utilities and private industry. The Center for the Advanced Control of Energy and Power Systems sponsors research in electric power quality and control of power systems. Particularly close cooperation has been developed with the local utilities: Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service Company. The yearly industrial support is around $1 million, and the faculty and students publish several journal and conference papers. Most of the Ph.D. students receive financial support in the form of research or teaching assistantships. The research effort is focused in the following areas:

Power Electronics

The power electronics group focuses on research on high performance, switch mode power converters and control for a wide range of applications including voltage regulators for modern microprocessors, compact power supplies for space applications, motor drives with high performance PWM techniques, solid state transformers, power converters for renewable energy resources and power electronic control of power systems.  We work on developing new topologies, control methods and PWM techniques to enhance the efficiency, power density, power quality and dynamic performance  of the converters used in these and other emerging applications.

Recently a major research emphasis of our group has been on modeling, control and design of PWM power converters for enabling very high grid penetration of renewable resources – mainly distributed PV and wind, and emerging smart grid concepts including solar residential microgrids enabled by universal power management systems and distributed energy storage. 

High Voltage Engineering and Dielectric Studies

Study of the aging process in insulating materials and prediction of life expectancy. Investigation of flashover mechanisms in polluted insulator surfaces. Study non-ceramic insulators behavior in different environment. Field studies on insulation systems (ceramic and non-ceramic) and protective insulator coatings. Field and laboratory studies on polymeric cable terminations.

Studies of corona formation under different environmental conditions. Recent work concentrated on high electric field caused aging of fiber optic cables, brittle fracture study, investigation of field failures, development of new flashover theory and development of a new material screening test.

Power Systems Analysis and Computation

Research is done to develop better algorithms and computational tools for power systems analysis; for example, (i) parameter estimation for short transmission lines using PMU measurements, (ii) faster transient stability programs using partitioning and frequency domain techniques and (iii) effect of a carbon cap-and-trade scheme on short-term unit commitment and day-ahead contracts.

Research to apply the latest computer technology to power system analysis; for example (i) the use of parallel and vector computers for transient stability analysis, (ii) the use of object-oriented programming for better maintenance of power analysis software and (iii) the use of windowing and graphics technology to develop easier user interfaces.

Research in power distribution, particularly on control methods, solid state devices in distribution engineering, and distributed renewable resources is being conducted by the FREEDM center.

Power Generation

Development of advanced diagnostic methods applied to power generation facilities are under study. Such techniques include utilization of instrument fault detection, power plant modeling and process diagnostics. Advanced state estimation is applied to this area.

Electric Power Quality

Several projects are in progress in the area of electric power quality. These include the use of the fast Fourier transform for data analysis, power conditioner design, harmonics, active filters, impact of power electronic loads on power systems, software development for power quality analysis, fuzzy logic applications and state estimation.

Innovative Applications

Innovative research areas are under study at ASU, and students interested in advanced novel applications are invited to participate in this work. These areas include: applications of the global positioning satellite, generation of very high power pulses in military applications, advanced mathematical methods, chaos theory, artificial neural networks, design of statistical experiments in high voltage engineering, and NiCd battery systems.

Renewable Resources

The group at ASU has recently been involved with several new projects dealing with the interface of renewable energy resources into the electric grid.  These projects specifically deal with solar and wind resources.  The projects examine the impact of high penetration of these resources on power system performance and reliability at the distribution and transmission level.


Research Matrix

Find a faculty advisor that matches your research interests
Faculty membersHigh-voltage
Power systems
sensors, power
Energy storageNumerical
method for
wide area
Data processing
and decentralized
for power
design for
materials for
Transient stability,
dynamics analysis
and simulation of
power systems
game theory
Demand side
Cyber physical
systems security
and data
networks for
Plug-in electric
vehicles, electric
Wind power
Raja AyyanarXXXXX
Ravi GorurXX
Kory HedmanXXX
Gerald HeydtXXXX
Keith Holbert
Oliver Kosut*XX
Qin LeiXXX
Armando Rodriguez*X
Lalitha Sankar*XX
Anna Scaglione*XXX
Daniel TylavskyXXX
Vijay VittalXXXXX
Junshan Zhang*XX

* denotes an additional research expertise for faculty members that work in multiple areas