Howard University Partners On An $18.5 Million Center For Power Optimization In Mobile Electronics

robothandWashington, D.C. Howard University is a partner on a new, $18.5 million Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems (P.O.E.T.S.). The ERC will be led Dr. Andrew Alleyne, Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in partnership with University of Arkansas, Stanford University, University of Sao Paolo in Brazil, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.

P.O.E.T.S. will attack the thermal and electrical challenges surrounding mobile electronics and vehicle design as a single system. Partners from around the world will build new technologies like three-dimensional thermal circuitry for cooling, next-generation power converters, and algorithms for coordinating the technologies automatically. They will look at those technologies from the microchip level all the way up to an entire vehicle.

“More than a dozen companies across the United States will also take part, testing the ideas and hiring students trained through P.O.E.T.S.,” said Dr. Sonya T. Smith, Howard University Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “The center will also engage with school districts to transition the breakthrough interdisciplinary STEM concepts to K-12 classrooms and inspire young people to pursue careers in these fields.”

The National Science Foundation began supporting Engineering Research Centers like P.O.E.T.S in 1985, to create and sustain integrated interdisciplinary research environments that advance fundamental engineering knowledge, enable technology and engineered systems, and prepare U.S. engineering graduates for success in the global economy. Academe and industry are joined in partnership through the ERC to achieve these goals.

The P.O.E.T.S. ERC aims to pack more power into less space for electrical technologies on the move by integrating novel 3-D cooling circuitry, power converters and algorithms for smart power management. Their work will enable the manufacture of lighten more compact and more efficient power electronic systems for electric vehicles, airplanes, construction equipment, handheld tools and other mobile applications.

Dr. Smith leads the Howard University team along with co-investigators Dr. James Hammonds, Mechanical Engineering and Dr. Charles Kim, Electrical Engineering.

Contact: Dr. Sonya T. Smith, Professor of Mechanical Engineering,