Kettering University became the first university to join the Power Electronics Industry Collaborative (PEIC -- pronounced ‘peak’), a national consortium of manufacturers, suppliers, researchers and other stakeholders working to advance the power electronics industry in the United States.
Kettering is currently an associate member of the consortium, which includes major companies like General Motors, Delphi, Magna Powertrain, Dow Corning, NextEnergy and Argonne National Laboratories, among others.
“PEIC evaluates the power electronics workforce in the United States and helps fill gaps in education,” said Dr. Kevin Bai, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of Kettering University’s Advanced Power Electronics Lab (APEL). “The organization is trying to identify the types of expertise needed in power electronics and develop solutions.”
PEIC’s mission is to maximize the growth in domestic energy stories and electric vehicle industries by accelerating the power electronics industry. This includes leveraging the skills, markets and technologies available in the United States to meet emerging demands of industry.
The desires of PEIC fit with work that has been ongoing in Bai’s lab since 2011. Work conducted in the lab has included research on power electronics with motor drive systems, power supplies, battery chargers, novel material-based semiconductor switches, renewable energy, battery and battery management systems and more. Bai and his team have worked with a wide range of industry partners, including Chrysler, Tenneco, Progressive Dynamics, FEV Inc., Bosch, GaN Systems and Mahindra Genze, among others.
Because of the extensive research that has been done in APEL and Kettering’s close relationships with nearly 600 corporate partners, the University is positioned to contribute valuable input to PEIC’s focus on developing the education necessary to supply a thriving power electronics workforce.
“Kettering’s power electronics courses have direct industry knowledge and applications incorporated,” Bai said. “It doesn’t get obsolete because our industry connections help solidify our program.”
Membership in PEIC opens up more potential applied research opportunities with industry partners for Kettering.
“This is a very good opportunity to show industry some of the work we’re capable of doing at Kettering,” Bai said. “There are many potential collaborations in the future that could result from our membership.”