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Plenary Lecture #2

10th Dec. 2022

Electric Propulsion Systems and the Aviation Industry

Leila Persa
Professor of electrical and computer engineering
Baskin School of Engineering
UC Santa Cruz USA


Fully electric drive systems are making their way into every aspect of transportation systems including eBikes, motorcycles, automobiles, commuter trains, marine vessels, etc. These systems are favored since they can reduce fuel consumption, eliminate carbon emissions at the point of use, and increase design flexibility. In these electric drive systems, a number of critical features are desired. Specifically, these systems must be highly efficient, light weight, low-cost, highly reliable, and low noise. More recently, there has been a keen interest in electrifying aircraft propulsion; especially for short flights. This interest is driven by a desire from governments worldwide to reduce carbon emissions. This talk provides an overview of electrified transportation applications and the state of electrification in aviation. Recent research on a fully-electric aircraft powertrain utilizing superconducting technology will be described.

Brief Bio:

Leila Parsa (Fellow, IEEE) received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX in 2005. She is currently a professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. From 2005 to 2016 she was a faculty member in the department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.
Her research interests are in design, analysis and control of electromechanical energy converters and power electronics converters for various applications.
Dr. Parsa was the recipient of several awards including the 2021 Nagamori Award, the 2009 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and the 2007 IEEE Industry Applications Society Outstanding Young Member Award. She has authored or co-authored over 130 journal and conference publications. Dr. Parsa has served in technical program committee of several IEEE conferences in various capacities and is the general chair of IEEE International Electric Machines and Drives Conference in 2023.

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