I agree. I had a similar experience about 5 years ago where I was doing research into Automotive Smart Power Distribution networks and tapped into a local university. So happens, the Professor I was discussing my project was an IEEE Fellow for the Power Electronics Society. In a university setting Power Electronics is a huge research arena and quite a few companies like GE have partnerships with them because of their prototyping and testing developments and facilities in that arena. Tomorrows Power Elecrtronics technology is being developed into todays university research labs.
I have seen that companies are now taking alot of interest in the smart grid projects. Everyone is realizing the importance of using the energy smartly as it has alot of benefits both for the environment and the business as well. And the integeration of power systems, network architecture and control is becoming a hot area to work in. Hoping to see more advancement in this field.
Naperlou, Thanks for your comments. This industry is definitely a target for automation control suppliers because of the need and resulting business opportunity. Obviously an important area of focus moving ahead.
Al, I have been looking at distributed generation for a while now. About ten years ago I recveived proposals from a number of engineering firms, all of which used universities as an exmple of their off-grid and distributed generation experience. At first I thought that this was not terriably relevant. Over time I came to understand that these are large installations that are advancing the state of the art. These new control technologies, coupled with new power sources, promises to bring us more reliable and cheaper power.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.