Power Brokers

11.19.2013 | Engineering, Science, Research

The University of Dayton Research Institute's newest Ohio Research Scholar brings expertise in electrical power systems – talent that will complement existing capabilities at the Research Institute and support research and development at GE Aviation's new Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center.

Zhenhua Jiang joined the Research Institute Nov. 12 as an endowed researcher in electrical power systems modeling and simulation under funding from the Ohio Research Scholars Program; additional funding will come from a $1.2-million, three-year contract from GE Aviation. Jiang will initially work in a lab at the GE Aviation center, which opened in August and is located on the University of Dayton campus. He will be joined in the lab by Syed Hossain, whose expertise lies in the modeling and design of motors and controls. Hossain joined the Research Institute Nov. 8.

Jiang’s research will focus on the design, modeling and simulation of entire electrical systems with a goal of improved system reliability, efficiency and performance.

"There is a growing demand within the aviation industry for modeling of electrical power systems, because commercial and military aircraft are becoming increasingly power intensive," said John Leland, Research Institute director and associate vice president for research at the University. "As more flight-critical systems go from being hydraulically to electrically driven, aircraft power systems grow in size and complexity. Add to this the growth in radar, communications and entertainment systems on aircraft, and these systems are being required to perform under highly demanding conditions that were not even possible only a few years ago.

"The ultimate goal is to make sure aircraft power systems can do their most essential job – keeping aircraft in the air – while also providing new capabilities to the military and a better flying experience for the public."

Jiang's research will complement existing research in similar technologies at the Research Institute, which in 2012 received a seven-year, $42-million Air Force contract for research in advanced power and thermal management for aircraft. Researchers are looking at ways to more efficiently manage and dissipate heat created by advanced power systems, as well as develop more efficient electrical components that will generate less heat.

Leland said Jiang's presence will round out the Research Institute's capabilities in modeling and simulation. 

"We're already proficient in the modeling and simulation of structures, fluids, heat transfer and aerodynamics, but we’ve always wanted to offer our customers expertise in electrical power systems," Leland said.

Jiang holds a doctoral degree in power electronics from the University of South Carolina, where he performed his postdoctoral fellowship, then taught and performed research at the universities of New Orleans and Miami and at North Carolina State University. Prior to joining the Research Institute, he served as lead electrical engineer and project manager at the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y.

Hossain holds a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University of Akron. He worked as a senior project engineering at Globe Motors in Dayton for 11 years before joining the Research Institute.

For more information or interviews, contact Pamela Gregg at 937-229-3268 or pamela.gregg@udri.udayton.edu.