This June, Associate Professor Daniel Costinett was presented the 2022 Richard M. Bass Outstanding Young Power Electronics Engineer Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Electronics Society.
Awards from the IEEE are among the highest honors bestowed on technical engineers worldwide. Each year, the Richard M. Bass Award honors an early-career engineer who has made outstanding contributions to the field of power electronics.
“It feels profoundly significant to be associated with Dr. Bass’s legacy,” said Costinett. “He found ways to make complex circuit design phenomena manageable and was always giving back to the community. The way I approach power electronics is largely inspired by his work.”
Power electronics engineers study how to control electrical current using electrical devices, such as the power converters that transform the high-voltage electricity at a power plant into forms of energy that various end-user products, from phones to refrigerators, can use.
Costinett’s research focuses on the detailed modeling, control, and optimization of power electronics. He pushes the limits of charging efficiency to improve electric cars, medical devices, and airplanes and to lower renewable energy costs.
However, his contributions to power electronics go far beyond his own lab.
“Dr. Costinett is committed to giving students hands-on experience designing, building, and testing devices,” said Interim Department Head and Chancellor’s Professor Leon Tolbert, who nominated Costinett for the award. “Then he puts all that material online for faculty at other universities to use, greatly impacting power electronics internationally as well as on campus.”
Indeed, despite his considerable accomplishments, Costinett is more excited by the potential of his students than his circuits.
“Our faculty has a unique combination of complementary expertise that makes UT a top program in both power electronics and power systems,” he said. “However, I believe the biggest impact of my work will come from our outstanding students, who are going out to industry and applying all that knowledge towards creating the next generation of products.”
In Tolbert’s opinion, Costinett’s humility only makes him more deserving of the award. “Dr. Bass was an excellent teacher and one of the kindest people that I have ever known,” Tolbert said. “Dr. Costinett reminds me of him.”
Izzie Gall (865-974-7203, firstname.lastname@example.org)