The Michigan Engineer News Center

Sijia Geng awarded Towner Prize for Distinguished Academic Achievement

A PhD student in electrical engineering, Geng researches trajectory sensitivity and renewable energy in microgrids.| Short Read
EnlargeSijia Geng
IMAGE:  Sijia Geng, PhD student in electrical engineering

Sijia Geng, a PhD student in electrical and computer engineering, recently was awarded the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Prize for Distinguished Academic Achievement by the College of Engineering.

Ian Hiskens, Vennema Professor of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, advises Geng in her two projects.

One project focuses on trajectory sensitivity, which has been widely used to analyze the dynamic behavior of complex systems when they change from their initial conditions or parameters. Sijia and Professor Hiskens derived the jump conditions describing the second-order trajectory sensitivities at switching and reset events, which has been summarized into a conference paper.

Geng’s other project focuses on the optimal planning and control of renewable energy generation in microgrids, which are smaller scale power systems that can function with or without connection to the central power grid.

You can apply engineering to the real world and see the value of your work.Sijia Geng

Geng is listed as a co-author on two papers. The most recent, “Nonlinear Control of Variable Wind Speed Turbines via Fuzzy Techniques,” details the use of the artificial intelligence of fuzzy logic to accommodate the many uncertainties in measuring wind speed, and using the results to adjust rotor speed to maximize power output.

The other paper, “Sliding mode control of LLC resonant DC-DC converters,” details creating a high-efficiency resonant converter, which are used to tune power to a specific frequency for use in electronics.

Geng first became interested in engineering because of its practicality. “You can apply engineering to the real world and see the value of your work,” says Geng. “And maybe it’s a naïve thought, but I believe engineering can elevate global welfare.”

Geng’s choice to research renewable energy and power systems offers a clear path to satisfy these engineering interests.

Sijia Geng
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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read