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About the Center for Power Electronics Systems

Banner showing the different industries affected by power electronics systems such as transportation and solar energy.

The Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), with annual research expenditures of $4-5 million dollars, is dedicated to improving electrical power processing and distribution that impact systems of all sizes – from battery-operated electronics to vehicles to regional and national electrical distribution systems.

CPES has a worldwide reputation for its research advances, its work with industry to improve the entire field, and its many talented graduates. From 1998-2008, CPES was a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (NSF ERC). A collaboration of five universities and many industrial firms, the CPES ERC was the largest-ever collaboration of power electronics researchers. During the ERC period, CPES developed the IPEM (Integrated Power Electronics Modules), a standardized off-the-shelf module that has revolutionized power electronics.

Today, CPES is building on that foundation so that power electronics can fulfill its promise and reduce energy use while helping electronics-based systems grow in capability.

CPES expertise encompasses five technology areas: (1) power conversion technologies and architectures; (2) power electronics components; (3) modeling and control; (4) EMI and power quality; (5) high density integration.

The Center’s targeted applications include: (1) Power management for information and communications technology; (2) Point-of-load conversion for power supplies; (3) Vehicular power conversion systems; (4) Renewable energy systems.

The CPES industry consortium comprises over 70 members engaged with the Center to stay abreast of technological developments in power electronics. The consortium provides an ideal forum for networking with leading-edge companies and top-notch researchers. Designed with a multi-tiered structure to meet the varying needs of industry, CPES membership levels include 4 categories -- Principal Plus, Principal, Associate, and Affiliate.

The power electronics program at Virginia Tech was initiated in 1977 under the name of Power Electronics Research Group (PERG). In 1983, the group became a university center and was renamed Virginia Power Electronics Center (VPEC). In the same year, the VPEC Industry Partnership Program was established. In 1987, VPEC became a Technology Development Center of Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology. In 1998, VPEC won the NSF ERC award and CPES was formed with 4 partner universities -- University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, North Carolina A&T State University, and University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez.



Statistics

$150M
Research expenditures
171
Masters degrees awarded
150
Ph.D. degrees awarded
2280
Conference and Journal papers
244
Invention disclosures filed
108
Patents awarded
215
Companies have belonged to the CPES Industry Consortium
875+
Research projects sponsored by government and industry
2
National Academy of Engineering members
3
IEEE fellows
20000
Square feet of space
35
Countries with technical exchange
275
Visiting professors, students, and industry members
25
Startup companies founded by CPES alumni
15
CPES alumni in academia
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