As part of the Special Session program at the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress & Expo (ECCE 2017) in Cincinnati, OH (1–5 October), the Power Electronics Industry Collaborative (PEIC) – a national, industry-focused member-based consortium – will present a panel discussion on workforce challenges and opportunities facing the power electronics industry. Six expert panelists from PEIC’s member companies and industry stakeholders (representing power semiconductor and passive device manufacturers, systems companies, materials suppliers, national labs, and universities) will offer their perspectives on this industry issue.
Based on industry input received during its Member Meeting in November 2016 at PowerAmerica, PEIC has been refocusing its efforts to address workforce development opportunities. The upcoming session at ECCE 2017 is part of a new program originated by PEIC’s board of directors to play a key leadership role in overcoming the significant technical staffing challenges facing the industry.
“This discussion about workforce development at a major technical conference like ECCE has the potential to help set the direction for the power electronics industry,” believes PEIC president Keith Evans. “Not only to set a path for new engineers and technicians entering the field for the first time, but also to enable the current workforce to advance their skills, expand their overall knowledge, and increase access to industry resources,” he adds. “We have assembled a diverse cross-section of leading experts from our member companies, academic institutions, and government labs to present their views for this panel session.”
Participants in the 90-minute panel session include both PEIC members and invited speakers on the following topics:
- ‘The Power America Education Program’s Impact on Accelerating WBG Power Electronics Manufacturing’, presented by Victor Veliadis, deputy director & chief technology officer for Power America, a manufacturing institute supported by the USDepartment of Energy and managed by North Carolina State University (NCSU) with a mission to accelerate wide-bandgap device technology.
- ‘Coping with Crises: Why You May Need To, and How You Might Access Expertise on a Short-term Basis’, presented by Alex King, director of the Critical Materials Institute at The Ames Laboratory (which focuses on technologies to improve the use of materials essential for clean energy and manufacturing, and to find alternatives for materials subject to supply chain disruptions).
- ‘The Power Electronics Skillset Required for Variable Frequency Drive Development’, presented by Rich Lukaszewski, manager of the Power Electronics Group at Rockwell Automation (where he directs new product development for power electronics projects, including low-voltage drives).
- ‘Workforce Challenges in the Testing of Power Electronics & Energy Systems’, presented by Elie Naim, technical specialist for vehicle electrification at AVL (the world’s largest independent company for the development, simulation and test engineering of drive systems for passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and large engines).
- ‘Business Trends & Workforce Opportunities in Advanced Electronic Passive Component Manufacturing & Supply’, presented by Ron Demcko, AVX Fellow and manager of the technical sales group for passive electronic component and interconnect product maker AVX Corp (which includes developing simulation models for passive components as well as product support and applied development).
- ‘Challenges & Opportunities in Electrification Technologies for Corporations & Individuals’, presented by Minyu Cai, power electronics engineer in electrification technologies for corporate research & technology at Cummins Inc (a global leader in the design, manufacture, distribution, and service of diesel and alternative-fueled engines, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets, as well as related components and technology).
The format of the Special Session panel discussion includes a brief question & answer period following each presentation, followed by a group discussion and Q&A with the panelists. The panel will be moderated by David Morrison, editor of How2Power (an online information portal created to help power electronics and electrical engineers solve real-world design challenges in power conversion).