Prof. Johann W. Kolar

Prof. Johann W. Kolar
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich
International Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering
IEEE Fellow

Title: Monolithic Bi-Directional Switches — Opening New Horizons in Power Electronics

Abstract: With reference to recently intensifying R&D activities on two-gate monolithic bi-directional switches (M-BDSs) featuring bipolar voltage blocking and bidirectional current control capability, the talk contemplates on the potential advantages of M-BDSs for the realization of ultra-compact three-phase PFC rectifier systems and next generation variable speed drive inverter systems featuring low motor insulation stress. In this context the performance gain achievable utilizing  three-level T-type voltage source converter (VSC) topologies and the unique features of  current-source converter approaches – today solely employed in thyristor-based high-power medium-voltage motor drives -  and AC/AC matrix converter concepts over state-of-the-art VSC systems are highlighted. Final considerations are on the paramount importance of advanced integration and packaging technologies for a next disruptive performance improvement of power electronics systems.

Biography: Johann W. Kolar is a Fellow of the IEEE, an International Member of the US NAE and a Full Professor and the Head of the Power Electronic Systems Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. He has proposed numerous novel converter concepts incl. the Vienna Rectifier, has spearheaded the development of x-million rpm motors, and has pioneered fully automated multi-objective power electronics design procedures. He has supervised 82 Ph.D. students to completion, has published 1000+ IEEE journal and conference papers, 4 book chapters, and has filed 200+ patents. He has served as IEEE PELS Distinguished Lecturer from 2012 - 2016. He has received numerous awards incl. 45 IEEE transactions and conference Prize Paper Awards, the 2016 IEEE William E. Newell Power Electronics Award, and 2 ETH Zurich Golden Owl Awards for excellence in teaching. The focus of his current research is on ultra-compact/efficient WBG converter systems, ANN-based design procedures, Solid-State Transformers, ultra-high speed drives, bearingless actuators, and life cycle analysis of power electronics converter systems.

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