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Clarkson Professor Pragasen Pillay Named Fellow By International Engineering Society

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Clarkson University's Pragasen Pillay, Jean Newell Distinguished Professor in Engineering, has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). pillay

The grade of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed upon a member by the IEEE, and is given in recognition of an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. A brief citation is issued to new Fellows describing their accomplishments and the total number selected in any one year does not exceed one-tenth percent of the total voting Institute membership. In honoring Pillay with the designation of Fellow, the IEEE cited his contributions to switched reluctance and permanent magnet motor drives.

Pillay’s work focuses on electrical machine drives for industrial and alternate energy applications, power quality and energy efficiency. His research has received funding in excess of $1 million, and has been supported by Delphi R&D, NASA, General Motors R&D, U.S. Navy ONR, Electric Power Research Institute, Entergy Corporation, Lockheed Martin, and Consolidated Edison of New York, among others.  Earlier this year, a grant submitted by Pillay to the Department of Energy on behalf of Clarkson’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Motors and Motion Association was awarded $773,530 to conduct research on improving the efficiency of motors over the next three years.

He has received numerous professional awards and honors, including the IEEE Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting Prize Paper Award (2003 and 1987) and an IEEE Power Engineering Society’s Working Group Award (2001) for developing a video on power engineering education. In 2001, Pillay was invited by the Council of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers to present the 50th Bernard Price Memorial lecture in five cities in South Africa. He is also a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, one of about 200 members, in a population of over 40 million.

Pillay received his doctoral degree from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in December 1987, while funded by a Fulbright scholarship. He joined the faculty of Clarkson in 1995. In 1999, he was appointed an adjunct professor in electrical engineering at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is also affiliated with the Clarkson Center for the Environment. He has published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals, most of them in the IEEE Transactions.

Pillay is a Fellow of the British IEEE, and is the past chairman of both the IEEE Industry Applications Society's Industrial Drives Committee and the IEEE Power Engineering Society's Induction Machinery Sub-Committee. 

The IEEE is a nonprofit, technical professional association of more than 370,000 individual members in 150 countries. Through its members, it is a leading authority in technical fields ranging from computer engineering, biomedical technology, telecommunications, electric power, aerospace and consumer electronics.
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