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UK opens new national Centre for Power Electronics

A UK Centre for Power Electronics has been launched with funding of £18 million (US$27 million) from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The Virtual Centre will be the largest of its type in the world and is intended to become an international forum for power electronics research.

The program will focus on fundamental power electronics research at low technology readiness level (TRL) and will support a wide range of application areas with a medium to long-term time horizon.

Key challenges the Centre will address are: increased power conversion efficiency; increased power density; increased robustness; lower electromagnetic interference (EMI); higher levels of integration; and lower lifetime cost.

The ten universities which will initially benefit from research funding for the new center are the universities of Bristol; Cambridge; Greenwich; Imperial; Manchester; Newcastle; Nottingham Sheffield; Strathclyde; and Warwick.

The Centre will be funded as five linked grants, one funding the main coordinating hub activity, led by the University of Nottingham, and involving the universities of Manchester, Newcastle, Greenwich, Bristol, Warwick, Nottingham and Imperial College London, and four technical programs:

  • Devices: Led by Professor Phil Mawby at the University of Warwick and involving the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, and Newcastle.

  • Components: Led by Professor Philip Mellor at the University of Bristol and involving the universities of Greenwich, Nottingham, Manchester, Warwick and Imperial College London.

  • Convertors: Led by Professor Andrew Forsyth at the University of Manchester and involving the universities of Strathclyde, Nottingham, Bristol and Imperial College London.

  • Drives: Led by Professor Barrie Mecrow at the University of Newcastle and involving the universities of Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Bristol.

The opening of the new center comes two months after the launch of the PowerelectronicsUK Forum which is a network backed by industry, academia and the government that aims to boost the number of people within the Power Electronics industry.

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