Agreement connects UVM to research, jobs
As part of a new joint venture, a UVM power systems scientist has been named as a Chief Scientist for a large, Seattle-based Dept. of Energy research center.
According to UVM, Prof. Mads Almassalkhi’s “research interests lie at the intersection of power systems, mathematical optimization, and control systems and focuses on developing scalable algorithms that improve responsiveness and resilience of power systems.”
Intermittent power, such as solar and wind, require more ‘responsive and resilient’ transmission and distribution systems, to help match for uneven generation with demand. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory employs about 5,000 engineers and scientists, and has a $1.1 billion budget.
According to a UVM statement, the university and PNNL have established a joint appointment program to increase collaborative research and joint funding opportunities between UVM faculty and PNNL researchers. PNNL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory and a leading center for scientific discovery in chemistry, Earth sciences, biology and data science, and for technological innovation in sustainable energy and national security.
Through joint appointments granted under this program, researchers from each institution can pursue joint funding opportunities and access specialized instrumentation and unique research tools at the partner institution that foster deeper collaborations and scientific impact. Another objective of this program is to engage students in research and training opportunities under projects and grants and provide PNNL researchers the opportunity to enhance student experiences through mentoring and advising. The first joint appointee is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Mads Almassalkhi, who joins PNNL as a Chief Scientist. Professor Almassalkhi is working with PNNL on a number of research, design, and development opportunities that would fund graduate students and enhance research.
Karma Sawyer, director of PNNL’s Electricity Infrastructure and Buildings Division, said Almassalkhi’s joint appointment “is a wonderful opportunity for PNNL to expand its advanced controls program to address key technological challenges with the operations of future energy systems. Professor Almassalkhi’s R&D expertise in multiple energy sectors provides rich collaboration opportunities that will yield great scientific impact and build the future STEM workforce through student engagement in research projects,” said Sawyer.
Vice President for Research Kirk Dombrowski added, “The Department of Energy’s National Labs are preeminent research facilities. The Pacific Northwest National Lab is leading research in areas like renewable energy that are central to UVM’s science and impact goals. This opportunity to partner with PNNL is a key bridge for advancing UVM research and creating a bidirectional collaboration that can help solve America’s future energy needs. Congratulations to UVM faculty member Mads Almassalkhi for leading this effort, and to the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences for leading UVM in this vital new effort.”
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