My research interests lie within the broad interdisciplinary areas of Power and Energy (my main focus, especially recently), and Dynamic Systems and Control (further in the past), and my goal has been to conduct research that addresses the issues of cleaner energy and better healthcare (my focus for a number of years, related to Dynamic Systems). Further details about my research are provided in the following, while a selective list of the grants/contracts awarded to me can be found at this link).
Power and Energy systems
I have been working over the past two decades, first in industry and then in academia, on various aspects of power and energy systems in terms of analyzing and innovatively improving their stability, transient performance, power quality and reliability characteristics. Recently, this has included research on Power Electronic systems focused on multilevel inverters and on soft-switched DC-DC converters. It has also included work on Arc Fault protection (funded by the Air Force) to detect and manage these faults in both AC and DC power systems (such as found in hybrid electric and electric vehicles). In addition, my students and I have performed studies related to the dynamics and control of alternative fuel (derived from biomass) engines, wind energy systems, fuel cell systems and hybrid wind-fuel cell systems (please see my CV for related funding and publication details).
My current research focus is on improving Transportation systems, although I've also been performing research that seeks to optimize the structure and control of DC/AC converters, for use in Electric vehicles, and for the purpose of interfacing between Renewable sources (solar, wind, fuel cells), Energy storage devices (ultracapacitors, Li-ion batteries) and the Grid. This will enable greater and better use of cleaner energy throughout the world.
The work by my students and I on the dynamic response of the human respiratory system, which had been the main topic of my research over several years (funded in large part by a multi-million dollar NIH grant that I helped co-author the proposal for, and served as a project consultant on), was aimed at developing a computer-aided system based on parameter estimation of an electric circuit model of respiratory impedance that would help doctors better detect and monitor the treatment of several important respiratory diseases, e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. We had proposed new models that improve on the accuracy of existing models and have also determined from several pilot studies that their parameters (component values) can discriminate between various groups of subjects: normal versus asthmatic children, normal versus cystic fibrosis children, normal versus COPD adults, and normal versus asthmatic adults.