Challenges and testing techniques for the next generation of fast-switching, GaN & SiC (WBG) based Power Converters


An overview of Power Electronics at UW, followed by a presentation on design challanges and testing techniques for power converters using fast-switching power devices.

  Date and Time




  • University of Washington
  • 185 W Stevens Way NE
  • Seattle, Washington
  • United States 98195
  • Building: Electrical Engineering Building
  • Room Number: Room EEB 303
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  • Co-sponsored by University of Washington IEEE Student Chapter
  • Starts 25 January 2019 02:00 PM
  • Ends 20 February 2019 05:00 PM
  • All times are US/Pacific
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  • No Admission Charge
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Dr. Brian B. Johnson
Dr. Brian B. Johnson of University of Washington


An Overview of the Power Electronics Curriculum and Research at UW

In a brief introductory talk, Assistant Professor Brian Johnson will give an overview of the power electronics curriculum at the University of Washington. In particular, he will outline how the curriculum is being updated to comprehensively cover topics in converter design, modeling, circuit analysis, digital control, printed circuit board layout, and advanced controls for grid applications. He will conclude with a brief discussion of his ongoing research interests.


Brian Johnson obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, in 2010 and 2013, respectively. He also obtained a B.S in Physics from Texas State University in 2008. He is currently an Assistant Professor within the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Washington in 2018, he was a staff scientist with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion. His research interests are in renewable energy systems, power electronics, and control systems.


Address:185 Stevens Way, M322, Electrical Engineering Building, Seattle, Washington, United States, 98195

Seshank Malap
Seshank Malap of Tektronix


Challenges and testing techniques for the next generation of fast-switching, GaN & SiC (WBG) based Power Converters

The need for highly efficient and power-dense, power electronics converters for industrial, automotive and consumer applications is pushing the rapid adoption of super-fast switching power device technologies such as SiC and GaN. Although these newer power devices have a lot of advantages that enable faster switching speeds and high power density, they bring along a suite of critical design challenges.

This talk will discuss how the new power devices perform compared to the more mature cousins (MOSFETs & IGBTs) and what precautions should engineers and scientists take to optimize their performance.

We will also discuss the best practices of dealing with sensitive parasitic, effects of inductance and capacitance on testing data and how best to mitigate those effects.

Finally the talk will focus on best ways of testing component and system losses to get the highest efficiency possible from the power converter designs. These principles will also apply to traditional fast switching power devices including MOSFETs and IGBTs.


For past 8 years, Seshank has specialized in power solutions strategy, marketing, applications and testing. Before Tektronix, Seshank has held a variety of apps, research and design roles at Toshiba International Corporation, NXP Semiconductors and Lear Corporation. His experience involves working on power semiconductors, UPS systems, automotive battery chargers and automotive motor drives.


Address:14150 SW Karl Braun Dr, , Beaverton, Oregon, United States, 97077


6:30 PM Food

6:40 PM Introductions

6:45 PM Dr. Brian Johnson, "An Overview of the Power Electronics Curriculum and Research at UW"

7:00 PM Seshank Malap, "Challenges and testing techniques for the next generation of fast-switching, GaN & SiC (WBG) based Power Converters"