The Electric Power Systems Laboratory is part of the Electric Power Initiative's research group within the Swanson School of Engineering's Center for Energy at the University of Pittsburgh. Developed in collaboration with Eaton Corporation through the Pitt-Eaton partnership in electric power systems engineering, this new state-of-the-art facility will be commissioned in 2013 and will is located on the 8 th floor of Benedum Engineering Hall on the university's main campus. The lab is complementary and synergistic with Eaton's Power Systems Experience Center (PSEC) in nearby Warrendale, PA. The new Electric Power Systems Lab at Pitt is a multi-use facility for both research and educational activities. The research aspects provide opportunities for faculty and graduate students to perform advanced work in the areas of smart grid and micro-grid technologies and systems, renewable energy systems and integration, controls and communications, automation and relaying, power electronics devices and systems, distribution engineering, power quality, energy management, energy storage, and other emerging power technology areas. The educational components are in conjunction with new course developments in electric power engineering focused on these same emerging areas, utilizing the equipment and technologies of the laboratory. The lab is fully integrated with a new solar energy installation on the roof of Benedum hall, which was completed in fall 2012, and that will be expanded to include micro-wind turbines and natural gas generation - thus, creating a micro-grid environment for the lab, allowing a range of configurations to be incorporated for various research programs. The lab has the capability for alternating current (AC) supply at 480-V, 200-A and a total power capacity of approximately 50 kVA; and for incorporation of low voltage direct current (DC) supply, enabling hybrid AC/DC system configurations and testing.
The GRID Institute serves as the nexus for industry and
community focused collaborative research, development, demonstration, and
deployment to the electric power and energy sector, and facilitates the
establishment of public-private partnerships and the acceleration of economic
growth and technological leadership.
The GRID Institute also encourages greater energy-related
reginal opportunities and job creation, and enhances Pittâ€™s incubator,
start-up, and commercialization activities and potential.
Located at the Pittsburgh Energy Innovation Center, the
GRID Institute includes new laboratories, offices, and incubator spaces, and features
the countryâ€™s most advanced and capable academic-based
high-voltage/high-capacity Electric Power Technologies lab. In addition, the
GRID Institute houses the Nano-Materials for Conversion and Energy Storage Lab,
and the High-Temperature Energy Materials Testing Lab.
Established in 2011 and under the direction of Mary Besterfield-Sacre, PhD, the Engineering Education Research Center's (EERC) strives to engage faculty in the integration of research-based practices to enhance their teaching, as well as to engage faculty in utilizing research to better understand learning of engineering. The vision of the EERC is to expand engineering education research and produce new approaches to learning that engage students. The Engineering Education Research Center's (EERC) mission is twofold: 1) enhance the teaching and learning of engineering within the Swanson School of Engineering; and 2) expand engineering education research efforts at the University.
The overarching goals of the EERC are to:
Nucleate the Swanson School of Engineering's (SSoE) strong research programs to educational innovations at the graduate, undergraduate, and K12 levels.
Conduct high quality engineering education research.
Foster opportunities for faculty and future faculty development in teaching excellence.
The center also has the following: 1. Director for Assessment, 2. Assistant Director of Professional Development, Director of Special Projects. In addition, we have a faculty who is associated with the center that is funded one summer month. These individuals help to operationalize certain school wide initiatives. One person works to help with professional development of future faculty, one person works to help foster innovation and entrepreneurship activities in the engineering school, and one person helps to assess new programs. These individuals are non-tenure stream faculty, who are supported to work beyond their teaching obligations on various STEM educational efforts. We also have two technicians that work for us - one for Flipping and Innovation/Entrepreneurship.
Engineering initiatives include:
New faculty and future faculty (grad students and post docs) development. We host workshops and seminar courses associated with preparing our next generation faculty. We are also members of the NSF CIRTL network and advertise to our faculty and future faculty opportunities to learn more about teaching in STEM.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship activities. We have revamped our product realization certificate in the SSOE and are getting faculty trained in Lean Launch Pad activities to incorporate in their core undergraduate classes. We also support a boot camp and various activities for engineering students throughout the academic year.
Flipping the classroom. We have a SSOE initiative to flip core classes in the Swanson School of Engineering.
Research in engineering education - we have a growing number of non-tenure stream teaching faculty who are actively writing proposals and conducting research in engineering education. The EERC provides mentoring assistance where needed. In addition, the center provides guidance and services to faculty writing proposals that needs assistance with assessment and evaluation, as well as implementing educational research (e.g., HS/IRB, conducting assessment and evaluation). We have several externally funded research grants in engineering education with faculty in the Swanson School of Engineering.
Faculty development and evaluation of a new joint institute with Sichuan University.
Elements Contributing to Success
We have a permanent center space with DL capabilities, and offices. We are within the SSOE main building and conveniently located.
Funds from the Dean to conduct initiatives with additional externally funded grants.Culture in the SSOE that although research is a high priority; education is also a high priority.
Assessment of our programming so that we can make improvements.
Directed by Judy Yang, PhD, the ETEM Catalysis Consortium (ECC) provides researchers at Pitt and beyond with managed and comprehensive access to the cutting-edge in situ electron microscopy tools and catalysis expertise needed to address the critical challenges in catalysis science.
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) offers the unique ability to directly characterize the structure and chemistry of materials from micron- to angstrom-scale through a host of imaging, diffraction, and spectroscopic techniques. Unraveling the complex relationship between the structure of a nanocatalyst and its catalytic properties -- necessary for the development of predictive catalysis design -- requires time-resolved visualization while under operational conditions, since the dynamic state of these catalysts cannot generally be inferred from static post mortem examination. In situ capability also enables creating and examining interfaces where one or more sides are not solid: e.g., solid/gas, solid/liquid, and liquid/gas.
Dynamic systems need dynamic characterization: Environmental TEM (ETEM).
Pitt is home to one of only a handful of ETEMs in the US. The ECC serves as an interface to these unique and powerful instruments available at Pitt and ECC partner sites. Dedicated technical staff, experienced in both TEM and catalysis, aid customers interested in ETEM in designing and carrying out experiments. Assistance with data analysis and consultation on projects is also available. As the ECC grows, we are constantly expanding our offerings, particularly with the goal of complementing our extensive in situ microscopy characterization with computational modeling and reaction engineering support.
The Evolutionary Intelligence Laboratory in Electrical and Computer Engineering and under the direction of Prof. Yiran Chen and Prof. Hai (Helen) Li is a research laboratory the focus of which includes: nano-electronic devices, emerging and bio-inspired computing architecture, storage system and sensing technology, display technology and human-machine interaction, security theory of nano-devices, and embedded and mobile systems. The lab possesses 1) the testing equipment of semiconductor chip/circuits and mobile systems, such as probe station, power meters, power supplies, signal generator, spectrum analyzer, pattern generators, color composition analyze, etc.; 2) multiple Dell PowerEdge server, Convey Hybrid Core computing system, and tens workstations; 3) Android based smart phone testing platform; and 3) the complete state-of-the-art software for VLSI circuit and FPGA designs.