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Energy and Power Systems


The energy and power systems area is part of the CU Denver Department of Electrical Engineering. We offer classes and perform research in all major areas of energy and power systems, including:

  • power systems
  • power electronics
  • machines and drive systems
  • renewable energy systems

Power systems analysis deals with large-scale generation, transmission and distribution of electric power. Teaching and research activities focus on the most economic, efficient and reliable ways for performing these tasks. Linear algebra, numerical analysis, control systems and optimization theory are typical disciplines involved in the analysis of power systems.

Power electronics deals with switch-mode electric power processing. The element that performs the power processing function is the so-called power converter, a collection of power semiconductors, inductors and capacitors interconnected in a specific fashion. Power electronics is a highly interdisciplinary activity, encompassing elements from power semiconductor devices, switching circuit topologies, digital real-time control, sensors, heat transfer and packaging. At the University of Colorado Denver we teach and/or perform research in all of these areas.

Electric drives covers power electronics drive systems for electric machinery. Research topics include energy conversion/storage systems, alternative energy applications and distributed generation systems. Courses offered cover converters performance and control algorithms such as field-oriented vector control. The technologies in this area are increasing in importance these days due to the current energy situations and the fact that electric drives are utilized in many energy applications such as renewable/sustainable energy systems. We offer courses on theories and hands-on experience and perform research on energy systems utilizing electric machinery.

Renewable energy considers electrical generation using renewable energy sources of a variety of types. While examining many developing technologies, we concentrate on the design and application of photovoltaic and wind electrical generation. Current methods of classification of wind and solar sites and aspects which must be considered when choosing sites for wind or solar installations are examined and researched. Topics include photovoltaic and thermal solar technologies, inverter technologies, and their integration into the power grid. Also included are micro-hydro and fuel cell technologies, renewable system economics and legislative effects.


Associate Professor Fernando Mancilla-David investigates:

  • Power systems: power system modeling, operation and control
  • Power electronics: converter topologies and control, simulation of power electronic circuits, HVDC, HVDC light/plus and custom power and FACTS devices
  • Renewable energy: distributed energy resources (DER), power system integration and converters suitable for DER applications

The Energy Conversion Research Force (ECRF) research group under the direction of Assistant Professor Jaedo Park investigates various projects:

  • Energy conversion device application on renewable energy systems
  • Grid-interactive distributed generation system
  • Energy storage system application on power grid
  • High-performance machine drive systems
  • Application of machine/drive technology to various energy systems
  • Micro-controller application on energy conversion systems

Associate Professor Jan Bialasiewicz investigates:

  • Wavelet applications in power systems
  • Renewable energy and distributed power systems: modeling, simulation and control

Faculty Information

Jan Bialasiewicz, PhD, Associate Professor

Fernando Mancilla-David, PhD, Associate Professor

Jaedo Park, PhD, Associate Professor

Keith Malmedal, PhD, PE, Lecturer
NEI Electric Power Engineering Inc.

Jeffrey Selman, PE, Lecturer
Senior Manager of Transmission Systems Support
Tri-State G&T Association, Inc.

Related Courses

Undergraduate Courses

  • ELEC 3164 – Energy Conversion
  • ELEC 3724 – Energy Conversion Laboratory
  • ELEC 4444 - Power Systems Laboratory

Crosslisted Courses

  • ELEC 4164/5164 - Electric Drive Systems
  • ELEC 4174/5174 – Power Electronic Systems
  • ELEC 4184/5184 – Power Systems Analysis
  • ELEC 4808/5808 - Renewable Energy Systems

Graduate Courses

  • ELEC 5194 – Power Systems Operation and Control
  • ELEC 5774 – Power Systems Dynamics and Protection
  • ELEC 5802 - Advanced Electric Drive Systems
  • ELEC 5806 - Substation Engineering Design
  • ELEC 5813 - Energy Systems Planning
  • ELEC 5821 – Advanced Power Electronic Systems
  • ELEC 5xxx - Electric Machinery

For complete, up-to-date course descriptions, visit the CU Denver academic catalog and search for the course numbers listed above.