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NSF awards K-State researchers a planning grant for a new IUCRC

Led by Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty member Dr. Behrooz Mirafzal, three universities, Kansas State University, Northeastern University, and the Missouri University of Science and Technology plan to form a new Industry University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC), called Center for On-the-Move Energy Technologies (COMET). The primary goal of COMET is to create a framework for engineers, scientists, and graduate students to find innovative solutions for the challenges that on-the-move industries face. On-the-move energy systems include a broad range of applications from small portable electronic devices to air, sea, and ground transportation systems, which impact all aspects of modern life. Despite their wide range of power ratings and diverse applications, on-the-move energy systems share a number of challenging design and technical requirements. The long-term impact of this center is to make on-the-move energy systems more efficient, more reliable, and more affordable. Consequently, it promotes a safer and cleaner environment. Also, it gives the U.S. a technological and economical competitive advantage in the global market. The proposed research activities are strongly intertwined with comprehensive educational activities which will expose students at all levels to discovery-based and industry-focused skills.

On-the-move systems and devices typically operate off the grid with minimal (e.g. charging, etc.) interaction with the grid. COMET’s projects are designed to solve fundamental challenges and real-world engineering problems that will advance and create new technologies for the relevant industries. COMET’s main focus areas are (1) mobility and agility advancement, (2) fault-tolerance and reliability improvement, (3) prolonging operational time, and (4) power density enhancement. To achieve these goals, six critical approaches are considered as (i) alternative materials, (ii) alternative energy harvesting, (iii) contactless charging, (iv) smart designs for harsh environment, (v) real-time condition monitoring, and (vi) real-time corrective actions. The proposed center advances the research and design methodologies for these energy systems while taking into consideration specific challenges of each application. The team of researchers at Kansas State University has expertise in developing modern energy conversion systems, resilient converters, and enhancing power density for on-the-move systems.

Investigator(s): Behrooz Mirafzal mirafzal@ksu.edu (Principal Investigator)
James Edgar (Co-Principal Investigator)
Mohammad Hosni (Co-Principal Investigator)
Dwight Day (Co-Principal Investigator)
Fariba Fateh (Co-Principal Investigator)