Virginia Tech will build on its world-leading expertise in power electronics systems through a major initiative headed by Dushan Boroyevich, who as an associate vice president of research and innovation will work to establish and deepen partnerships that fund extramural research.

“Over three decades, Dushan has built an extraordinary record of success in teaching and research, and he has an excellent reputation within industry as an innovative, reliable partner,” said Theresa Mayer, Virginia Tech’s vice president for research and innovation. “I am excited that Dushan has answered our call to help advance research in a more comprehensive way through the Energy Innovation Initiative. In this role, he will play a leading role in our industry engagement strategy.”

The Energy Innovation Initiative is part of a broader push to expand the scope and impact of Virginia Tech’s discoveries and to deepen the university’s research partnerships with leading companies. The university recently announced it is creating a Business Engagement Center in support of such efforts.

Boroyevich earned his Ph.D. in power electronics from Virginia Tech in 1986 and joined the faculty in 1990. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2014. He sees tremendous potential in promoting and integrating promising energy research from multiple disciplines across Virginia Tech, in conjunction with a Business Engagement Center.

“Virginia Tech has many islands of research strength that have strong reputations with industry and the public – they already have brands,” Boroyevich said. “Now the challenge is to build on top of that and create something that is even bigger. We want to leverage the individual, strong but narrower reputations that we already have, in order to enhance our work across the entire energy-innovation area.”

While leading the Energy Innovation Initiative, Boroyevich will continue in his roles as the American Electric Power Professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a co-director of the Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES) at Virginia Tech. CPES was founded by its director, University Distinguished Professor Fred Lee.

CPES has been the only National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center with Virginia Tech as lead institution. The commonwealth pledged $1.5 million of assistance to the center to help win the highly competitive award in 1998. More than 100 industrial partners acknowledged their support as well. The center's roots date back to 1977, when Lee formed the Power Electronics Research Group.

It was renamed the Virginia Power Electronics Center in 1983, and an industry partnership program launched that year. Since then, the center has partnered with more than 225 companies, conducted more than 875 projects sponsored by industry, had more than 150 students earn Ph.Ds., published more than 2,800 conference and journal papers, been awarded 103 patents, and been responsible for approximately $150 million in extramural research expenditures.

The Energy Innovation Initiative will focus on the type of work in electronic power conversion for which Boroyevich is renowned, but also research into the power grid, renewable energy, construction, transportation networks, autonomous vehicles, and energy policy. The university is also building on its strengths in such fields through its Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities Destination Area.

Destination areas are a mechanism to bring together faculty and students from different disciplines to address today’s most complex questions in a comprehensive way. Boroyevich serves on the Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities Stakeholder Committee.

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