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£500,000 Chair in Power Electronics will help create next generation power grid

Professor Phil Mawby University of WarwickThe University of Warwick’s Professor Phil Mawby has been awarded a £500,000 Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Power Electronics which is also financially backed by Converteam, the UK’s largest technology company in the renewable energy sector. The award will support research into the use of new materials for power electronics to support sustainable technologies through a range of applications including the next generation of power grids.

The new chair will enhance Professor Mawby’s work with Converteam a worldwide specialist in power conversion whose UK HQ is in Rugby. They provide customized solutions to the conversion of electrical energy through design of drives, controls, motors and generators. Converteam operates in four main markets: marine, oil & gas, energy and industry and they will now be a key strategic partner in developing energy research activity at the University of Warwick.

The new Chair builds on the Warwick Institute for Sustainable Energy and Resources (WISER), which links together energy research at Warwick, including the fundamental sciences, economics, business and social studies. This award is particularly timely as Professor Mawby’s research is also being backed by the Birmingham Science City initiative which is providing additional funding to support this key area of energy research. 

Technical staff in the new clean room researching power electronicsProfessor Mawby is one of the University of Warwick’s senior professors in the School of Engineering at Warwick; with an international reputation for research excellence in power electronics. Professor Mawby says:

“Power electronics is the technology used to manage electrical energy efficiently. Almost every piece of modern electrical equipment uses power electronics. It is a generic technology with a vast array of applications, from the very low power levels found in mobile phones to the very high levels used in power distribution grids. Technological advances in this area have a significant potential to reduce energy consumption, even at a time when the global demand is growing rapidly. Japan judges power electronics to be one of the three most important technologies that are necessary for building a low carbon future. This award will greatly assist our research in these areas.”

Technical staff in the new clean room researching power electronicsUseful links:

For further information please contact:

Professor Mawby, School of Engineering , University of Warwick
Email:  Phone: 024 765 24742

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications, University of Warwick 
Tel: 024 76 523708 Mobile 07767 655860

PR32 31st March  2010

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