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Clarkson Graduate Student's Paper Wins Power Engineering Society Competition

Timothy R. Roth, an electrical engineering graduate student at Clarkson University, will be headed for Montreal in June to attend the 2006 IEEE/PES (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Power Engineering Society) annual conference and pick up his prize for winning the 2005 IEEE/PES Student Paper Contest.

The IEEE/PES competition, open to students internationally, encourages students in their professional development and stimulates interest in the problems and solutions confronting the electric power industry. Roth's paper discusses nontraditional test methods and extensive electric steel characterization under real operation conditions. The research conducted at Clarkson University is helping companies produce better machine design and better machine design software packages.

The U.S. Department of Energy, with strong support and cooperation from industry, sponsors Clarkson's research in improving the characterization of magnetic materials, which in turn is the key to improving the efficiency of electric machines. The high frequency excitations produced by variable speed drives introduce additional losses into the electric steel used in motors. This phenomenon is currently being widely researched at Clarkson and internationally. These devices produce non-sinusoidal voltage waveforms with high frequency harmonics. "Commercial test equipment does not have the capability of characterizing electrical steel at these high frequencies, so Clarkson is developing specialized test equipment to test electric steel at higher frequencies," noted Pragasen Pillay, the Jean Newell Distinguished Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Clarkson. "In fact, we are the only academic institution with this sophisticated test equipment," he added. Pillay is Roth's research advisor.

One purpose of the research conducted at Clarkson is to gain a better understanding of core losses under high frequencies and high induction levels as in the case of variable speed drives. This gives machine designers a better understanding of the electrical steel under real-world applications and promotes energy savings through more efficient machine designs.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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