ERC for Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems

Award No. 1449548


Nearly all modern electronic systems are hitting a power density wall where further improvements in power density pose significant challenges; thermal and mechanical barriers limit increased electrical power density. Surmounting these challenges offers a wide range of opportunities, both scientific and economic. The ERC for Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS) aims to enhance or increase the overall power density available in tightly constrained mobile environments by changing the approach to their design and operation. POETS uses system-level analysis tools to identify barriers to increased power density. Design tools will be used to create optimal system-level and subsystem-level co-designs that simultaneously balance both electrical and mechanical objectives and constraints. New materials and 3D distributed hardware architectures will integrate with novel algorithms for system operation which continuously balance power flow. The technologies that emerge will be readily transitioned from the test bench to the marketplace with assistance of a robust innovation ecosystem comprised of small and large corporations.

To enhance the interdisciplinary systems impact of POETS’ vision, a new approach to engineering education will be part of the center’s legacy. The majority of current engineering education “silos” students by department. POETS will enhance systems-level training at both the undergraduate and graduate level across Mechanical, Materials, and Electrical engineering. This will enhance cross-disciplinary designs for the type of multi-physics electro-thermal systems that are growing in importance for mobile infrastructure. POETS will create the human capital that is explicitly trained to think, communicate, and innovate across the boundaries of technical disciplines. POETS will also generate future leaders committed to bringing technology to market.