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Richard Zhang returns to CPES

Aug 10, 2021

Richard Zhang
CPES is delighted to announce that after a highly successful and influential 22 years at GE, Richard Zhang will return to CPES as the Hugh P. and Ethel C. Kelly Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

CPES Director Rolando Burgos expressing the center's collective excitement, says, "Richard brings high-voltage power electronics experience that only a handful of people in the world have, strengthening CPES' place as one of the leading power electronics centers in the world conducting research and education on power technologies ranging from mW to GW."

Dr. Zhang officially joins Virginia Tech on Aug 10th and will be located in the Greater Washington, DC, Metro Area.

Highlights of his illustrious career follow:

Education and Experience
Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1998. From 1998 to 2008, he was with General Electric (GE) Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York, leading power electronics research serving all GE industrial businesses, including GE Renewable Energy, Healthcare, Aviation, Oil & Gas, Power, Transportation, Lighting and Industrial Systems. Subsequently, between 2008 and 2016, he held several executive technology and business leadership positions at GE Oil & Gas and GE Power Conversion based in Paris, France, and in Shanghai, China. In 2017, he joined GE's Grid Integration Solutions business based in Stafford, UK as the Chief Technology Officer.

Business and R&D Leadership
Over the years, Dr. Zhang has led wins of many large government research programs from DARPA, DOD and DOE (exceeding $35 million), created major business initiatives, and defined and led large research and development (R&D) portfolios. He managed R&D teams with sizes ranging from 50+ to 500+ in nine different countries: US, France, Germany, UK, Finland, Canada, China, India and Brazil. The technologies and products created in Richard's teams have been deployed in a cumulative capacity of 60+ GW in multiple industries, such as wind, solar, oil & gas, healthcare, marine, mining, power generation and metal processing, enabling over $10 billion GE businesses and making extraordinary contributions and impact on the society. In his most recent position, Dr. Zhang led research and development of the most advanced high voltage DC transmission (HVDC) solution in industry, including power electronics and revolutionary control platform in the industry, enabling bulk power transmission beyond 2 gigawatts for applications such as offshore wind tie-back. The resulting revolutionary HVDC solutions enabled Dr. Zhang's team to win the production and construction of the world-largest 1.4 gigawatts offshore wind-farm HVDC tie-back project in the North Sea, United Kingdom. He also guided research in the Supergrid Institute in Lyon, France.

Scholarly impact
Additionally impressive is Dr. Zhang's scholarly dissemination of knowledge and mentoring of younger colleagues. He has coauthored 35 papers in peer-reviewed conferences and journals and has over 100 patents or patents-pending. He has won 4 best paper awards from his publications on IEEE journals and conferences. Dr. Zhang taught numerous courses in the GE Edison Engineering Development Program, GE Six-Sigma Training, and European Ph.D. School. He started internal GE education programs: "New Product Introduction Leadership Academy" at GE Power Conversion and "GE HVDC University" at GE Grid Integration Solutions. Three of his GE advisees are now professors at US universities, and two are CEOs. He delivered numerous invited lectures at many professional meetings, including tutorials at IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Expo, Milwaukee, US in 2016, Biannual Postgraduate Conference, Cambridge University, UK in 2018, IEEE eGrid Workshop, Charleston, SC, US in 2018, and IEEE Workshop on Power Electronics for Grid Dynamics, Imperial College, London, UK in 2019.

Professional Service
Dr. Zhang was Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, an AdCom member of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, has been a reviewer and session organizer for multiple journals and conferences, and has been a member of several IEEE and non-IEEE standardization working groups. He is a Fellow of IEEE for his technical leadership in the development of high-power electronics. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Powerex - a US power semiconductor company, and served as Chair and Co-Chair of Industrial Advisory Board for CPES for the last 16 years.

Welcome back to CPES Richard!

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