Prof. Braham Ferreira

My chair is entitled Power Electronics and Electric Machines, and I am heading a group that investigates electrical power conversion. Examples include the conversion of mechanical to electrical power in wind turbines and the supply of electrical power to computers and LED lights. Students consider E-Mobility as an exciting new application of our technology.

We are playing an active role in designing drive systems for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles, ranging from wireless battery-charging stations to generators for range extenders. The electric vehicles that we investigate are not limited to automobiles and bicycles. For example, one of our thesis students designed an electrical motor that can turn the rotor blades in a hybrid helicopter using super-conductor windings.

Experimental work is important to us, and we have a well-equipped laboratory in which graduate students work on their research projects and in which undergraduate students from electrical, mechanical and aerospace engineering do practicals. Students consider the study programme stimulating and challenging because our field is multidisciplinary, requiring a working knowledge of electronics, electro-mechanics, power systems and embedded control.

Students are also excited by the level of interest that partners in the industry are showing for our research. Given that electrical power conversion is essential for improving energy efficiency and harvesting renewable energy – and because of our good reputation – our students easily find well-paid jobs.