Each year, IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) recognizes one engineer worldwide to receive the Outstanding Young Engineer Award. The IEEE PES Outstanding Young Engineer Award was established to recognize engineers 35 years of age or under “for outstanding contributions in the leadership of technical society activities including local and/or transnational PES and other technical societies, leadership in the community and humanitarian activities, and evidence of technical competence through significant engineering achievements.” The recipient will receive a plaque, up to $1,000 travel reimbursement to attend the IEEE PES Annual Meeting, and have the privilege of designating a college or university to receive a $2,000 scholarship for an electrical engineering undergraduate. IEEE PES is the second-largest society under IEEE and has nearly 43,000 members across the world.
This year, Dr. Junbo Zhao, associate director of Eversource Energy Center and an assistant professor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Connecticut, was selected to receive the award. It recognizes his innovative works on “robust dynamic state and parameter estimation, physics-informed learning and uncertainty quantification, and cybersecurity for power systems”.
“It is truly an honor to receive this recognition from IEEE PES. My work has been motivated and shaped by industry needs and I am hoping my developed solutions are also shaping the industry deployments.” Zhao said. “Working with various power industry and national labs supported by National Science Foundation, Department of Energy and power utilities allows a good balance between technical innovations and practical applications in achieving the decarbonization goal while enhancing grid reliability and resiliency”.
Professor John Chandy, Head of the UConn ECE Department, said “Dr. Zhao’s recognition by IEEE PES is a testament to the outstanding research that he has done as a young researcher, and the department is excited about the great work that Dr. Zhao will do as his career progresses”.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Zhao is recognized with such a prestigious award. In his capacity as Eversource Energy Center Associate Director, Junbo leads our center’s grid modernization research pilar and explores new strategic partnerships with industry and national labs” said Emmanouil Anagnostou, Professor, and Director of Eversource Energy Center at the University of Connecticut.
“This is truly a reflection of the talented young faculty we have at the School of Engineering” said Kazem Kazerounian, Professor and Dean of School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut. “Dr. Zhao’s recognition is a testament to the hard work he has put in since arriving at UConn.”
Bio: Junbo Zhao is an Associate Director of the Eversource Energy Center for Grid Modernization and Strategic Partnerships and an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He received the Ph.D. degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, in 2018. He did the summer internship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory from May to August 2017. He is currently the chair and officer of multiple IEEE Task Forces, Working Groups, and subcommittees. He has published three book chapters and more than 140 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, where more than 70 appear in IEEE Transactions. 6 of his papers have been listed as Highly Cited Papers that reflect the top 1% (one hot paper with Top 0.1%) of papers by field according to Web of Science. His research interests are cyber-physical power system modeling, estimation, security, dynamics and stability, uncertainty quantification, renewable energy integration and control, robust statistical signal processing, and machine learning. He serves as the associate editor of more than 6 international journals, including the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, and IEEE Power and Engineering Letters. 9 of his conference papers won the best paper awards, such as the 2020-2022 IEEE PES General Meeting and 2021 IEEE Sustainable Power and Energy Conference. He received the 2021 IEEE PES Outstanding Volunteer Award, 2021 IEEE Transactions on Power Systems Best Paper Award, the 2021 IEEE PES Technical Committee Working Group Recognition Award for Outstanding Technical Report and the 2020 IEEE PES Chapter Outstanding Engineer Award. He has been listed as the 2020 and 2021 World’s Top 2% Scientists released by Stanford University in both Single-Year and Career tracks.