Course Descriptions

The Power and Energy Systems Area committee and associated faculty for the 2014 – 2015 academic year together with their fields of interest are:


As one of seven major areas in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Power and Energy Systems Area is responsible for the development and offering of a considerable number of courses. The current courses assigned to the power area are described briefly below.

ECE 307 – Techniques for Engineering Decisions
The course is concerned with the modeling of decisions in engineering work and the analysis of models to develop a systematic approach to making decisions. The course aims to teach students to think structurally about decision-making problems. Fundamental concepts in linear and dynamic programming, probability theory and statistics serve as the mathematical basis for the development of techniques for solving typical problems faced in making engineering decisions in industry and government. Topics include resource allocation, logistics, scheduling, sequential decision making, facility siting, investment decisions, application of financial derivatives and other problems for decision making under uncertainty. Extensive use of case studies from actual industrial applications gets the students involved in real-world decisions. Two projects provide students with experience working in teams and require formal oral presentations and written reports.

ECE 330 – Power Circuits and Electromechanics
This course provides power and energy fundamentals including sinusoidal steady-state circuit analysis, complex power, power factor correction, three-phase circuits, per-phase analysis, mutual inductance, and transformers. It also includes fundamental concepts in energy conversion including forces and torques of electric origin, energy conversion cycles, concepts of dynamic equilibrium points, basic spring-mass mechanics, and principles of electric machines, transducers, and relays.

ECE 333 – Green Electric Energy
Provides an introduction to renewable electric energy sources. Course begins with an introduction to the overall energy infrastructure, basic electric power concepts, the electric power grid structure and conventional generation. Next, wind power systems are considered including the integration of wind generation into the electric power grid, and an introduction to the power flow problem. Next is distributed generation technologies and the economics of distributed generation resources, followed by the sun as an energy resource, photovoltaic materials, and solar energy systems.
Course finishes with coverage of energy storage technologies and coverage of Smart Grid concepts as they relate to renewable electric energy. Prerequisite: ECE 205 or ECE 210.

ECE 431 – Electric Machinery
This course includes the theory and laboratory experimentation with three-phase power, power factor correction, transformers, stepper motors, induction machines, synchronous machines, DC machines, and brushless DC machines. It also includes a special industry field trip on selected topics with an in-class oral presentation. One of the assignments includes a digital simulation of machine dynamics and stability analysis. The laboratory portion concludes with an interconnected multi-machine power system experiment in voltage and frequency control.

ECE 432 – Advanced Electric Machinery
This three-hour course contains advanced theory and analysis of rotating and linear machines and drives. It includes power electronic drives for dc and ac motors. The analysis uses d-q transformations and related techniques. Emphasis is placed on time-scale modeling of electromechanical devices and on their function in drives. The required text was Analysis of Electric Machinery and Drive Systems, by P. C. Krause, O. Wasynczuk and S. D. Sudhoff, IEEE Press. This class was not offered in the 2013 – 2014 academic year.

ECE 464 – Power Electronics
Study of electronic circuits and devices for conversion and control of energy; switching converter analysis and design; dc-dc, ac-dc, dc-ac power converters, phase control, and pulse-width modulation; components for energy processing, including magnetic, capacitive, and semiconductor switching devices; discussion of power electronics as an enabler of energy efficiency; applications to alternative energy conversion, power supplies, amplifiers, electric transportation, efficient lighting, and emerging energy systems. Prerequisite: ECE 442

ECE 469 – Power Electronics Laboratory
Laboratory study of electronic circuits and devices for conversion and control of energy; discussion of electrical properties of batteries, solar cells, motors, and loudspeakers; design, operation, testing, and applications of ac-dc, dc-dc, and dc-ac switching converters; design and evaluation of magnetic components; power supply design project, including considerations such as heat transfer, control, and device behavior; alternative energy systems and power electronics applications to LED lighting, audio amplifiers, and electric and hybrid vehicles.
Prerequisite: ECE 443; credit or concurrent registration in ECE 464

ECE 476 – Power System Analysis
Modeling of electric power systems, and the analysis of models for planning, operations and control. Basic principles in phasor representation, complex power, balanced three-phase, and per-phase analysis. Transmission-line parameter computation, including conductor bundling, and transposition. Transmission-line models, and power handling capabilities of transmission lines. Modeling of generators, transformers, and loads. Power flow problem formulation and solution methods, decoupled power flow and dc power flow simplifications. Generation control, economic dispatch and restructuring. Short-circuit analysis, unbalanced system operation, and system protection. Transient stability problem formulation, swing equation, and equal-area criterion.

ECE 530 – Analysis Techniques for Large-Scale Electrical Systems
This course presents fundamental analytic, simulation and computational techniques for the analysis of large-scale electrical systems. The course stresses the importance of the structural characteristics of such systems. The key aspects of methods for static and dynamic analysis are covered.

ECE 554 – Dynamic System Reliability
This 0 ‒ 4 hour course offers subjects in new and developing areas of knowledge in electrical and computer engineering intended to augment the existing curriculum. Topics include basic reliability concepts, uncertainty modeling, reliability analysis, system design, fault detection and diagnosis and applications. Texts are System Reliability Theory, by M. Rausand and A. Hoyland, Uncertain Dynamic Systems, by F. Schweppe, Mathematical Theory of Reliability, by R. Barlow and F. Proschan, and Fault-Diagnosis Systems, by R. Isermann. This class was not offered in the 2013 – 2014 academic year.

ECE 568 – Modeling and Control of Electromechanical Systems
Fundamental electrical and mechanical laws for derivation of models of electric machines; force and energy densities and duality of electrostatic and magnetostatic machines and sensors; coordinate transformations of variables in electric machines including d-q analysis; power electronics for motor control; feedback linearization and nonlinear control as applied to electric machines and drives; basic models of mechanical loads; applications to sensors, actuators, variable speed drives, and electric transportation. Same as ME 565. Prerequisite: ECE 431 and ECE 515.

ECE 573 – Power Systems Operations and Control
This course presents an overview of power system operations and control, lays out the basic objectives of security and economics in power system operations and control, discusses the security analysis framework and the role of the energy management system. The course covers the key scheduling tasks in power system operations and control from optimal power flows to resource scheduling and commitment, their solution schemes and implementational issues. In addition, state estimation and observability analysis are treated. Key aspects of electricity restructuring, including electricity market structures and design, congestion management, locational marginal prices and ancillary services, are analyzed.

ECE 576 – Power System Dynamics and Stability
This course includes detailed modeling of transmission lines, sychronous machines and their controls including excitation systems and turbine-governor dynamics. It utilizes time-scale concepts to introduce reduced order models. It includes non-linear and linear multi-machine dynamic models and power system stabilizers. It includes both small-signal and transient stability analysis. The course includes numerical techniques for transmission line analysis as well as nonlinear ordinary differential equation solution methods.

ECE 588 – Electricity Resource Planning
This course presents an overview of power system planning and discusses the methodologies for reliability evaluation and assessment, production and marginal costing supply- and demand-side planning, system expansion and planning under competition. The basic principles and processes of resource planning and the effects of uncertainty and their modeling using probabilistic analysis are discussed. Throughout the key aspects of reliability and economics and the trade-offs among them are covered. The course analyzes the impacts of competitive environment on planning decisions the application of financial tools in planning.

ECE 590 I Seminar: Power Systems
This course is a graduate seminar on advanced topics of current interest. Both faculty and students participate by presenting either current research results or topics of interest in journal publications. Guest speakers from industry and other universities are also scheduled periodically throughout the semester.  Approximately 80 students participated in this course for both semesters.

The four-hundred level courses are advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate courses, while the five hundred level courses are graduate. The Power and Energy Systems Area Committee Periodically evaluates each course outline for possible revision for future offerings