Research

I have been conducting research in artificial intelligence applications to power electronics and drives since my doctoral program at the University of Tennessee. The title of my Ph.D. dissertation (defended in 1995) is Fuzzy Logic and Neural Network Based Advanced Control and Estimation Techniques in Power Electronics and AC Drives.

I moved to Brazil and worked for The University of São Paulo (USP) at the Department of Mechatronics and Mechanical Systems. There I became involved in several mechatronic research projects. I defended my Livre-Docência thesis in 1998, titled Intelligent Based Modeling and Control of Automatic Processes.

When I joined Colorado School of Mines in April 2000, I was able to bring along some activities that I had begun in Brazil: development of five-phases brushless motor for electric vehicle applications, neural network development, fuzzy modeling, and controls. With the support of some Brazilian government grants, I also brought to CSM a few students to work as Research Associates, (please refer to my full-CV, for further details). During 2000 and 2001, I worked on several fronts related to robotics, mechatronics, power electronics, signal processing and even neural network processing for bio applications.

What has really defined my current research area was the grant of an NSF-Career Award in 2002. This project proposes a high-frequency ac link microgrid for connection of renewable energy systems with power flow optimization based on the instantaneous active-reactive Akagi theory under an adaptive critic design based neural network controller.

I had also worked through a PSERC grant during 2002 - 2003, on the development of a smart sensorial system for power transmission and distribution, concentrating on the development of an intelligent optical sensor monitoring for on-line health assessment of oil based transformers. For the period of 2003-2005 I am collaborating with my colleague, Dr. P.K. Sen, in another PSERC grant for assessment of loss of life of liquid filled power transformers due to overloading.

I see a current need to invest in the development of the high-power end of power electronics. Mainly FACTS, active filters, and advanced distribution systems to bridge the gap to power systems, renewable energy systems, distributed power, energy storage, power quality, signal processing, information technology and intelligent control. These needs are motivating my research with my current students in (i) intelligent control of high frequency microgrid ac grids, (ii) real-time platform for induction generator systems and (iii) integration of fuel cell generation to microgrid systems.

I am in charge of the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) grant of National Science Foundation at Colorado School of Mines. Therefore, I am working hard to expand the industrial activities of this center in our region.

My research area can be summarized as the application of intelligent based control to power electronic systems. Since renewable energy systems need power electronic interfaces, my interests are in enabling power electronics technology for the needs of renewable sources.