Magnetic Levitation and Bearingless Motors


Madison Wisconsin Section - Life Member Affinity Group & PES/IAS Chapter Joint Event

We each interact with no fewer than a dozen different electric motors every day. These electromechanical devices have become fundamental to our existence, pumping the water we drink, generating the electricity we use, aiding in heating and cooling our homes, and even providing our means for transportation. Electric motors are estimated to consume 45% of global electric energy, making them the single biggest consumer of electric power and an important technology to target for efficiency improvements in an effort to decrease our global energy footprint. Typically the first point of failure in electric motors, and a source of significant energy loss, is the bearing system used to support the motor's shaft.

This talk will investigate using magnetic levitation to eliminate bearings from motor systems and create ultra-efficient, high speed, "bearingless" motors. This technology is specifically targeted towards overcoming obstacles in bearingless motor technology so that it can be used in large systems across the industrial and energy sectors where it has the potential to offer tremendous energy savings, size reductions, and intelligent, self-monitoring capabilities. A new type of motor winding technology, referred to as "dual purpose no voltage" windings, is proposed to overcome critical challenges that limit the efficiency and manufacturability of legacy bearingless motor systems. The proposed windings are able to re-use the electric motor's coils to create magnetic levitation forces on the shaft in addition to torque. The end result is a highly integrated, electromechanical device that is easy to manufacture and uses little raw material.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 13 Mar 2019
  • Time: 11:30 AM to 01:00 PM
  • All times are US/Central
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  • 1513 University Ave. / 1500 Engineering Dr.
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • United States 53706
  • Building: Mechanical Engineering -- Note Building Change
  • Room Number: 1152

  • Co-sponsored by Madison Section PES/IAS Joint Chapter (PES/IA34)
  • Starts 25 February 2019 06:07 AM
  • Ends 13 March 2019 10:00 AM
  • All times are US/Central
  • 8 spaces left!
  • No Admission Charge
  • Menu: Meat Pizza, Veggie Pizza, Gluten-free Pizza


Eric Severson

Eric Severson of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UW-Madison


Eric Severson received the B.Sc. and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2008 and 2015, respectively. He worked as a post doctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota from 2015 to 2016. He then had a brief stint in industry as a principal electrical engineer at McMillan Electric Company. Dr. Severson joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison in August 2017 as an assistant professor. He is a fellow of the Grainger Institute for Engineering and associate director of the internationally recognized Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC). His research interests include bearingless electric machine design, power electronics, and flywheel energy storage.


Address:1415 Engineering Dr, Room: 2557A, Madison, Wisconsin, United States, 53706


11:30 Sign In, Lunch, Social Time, Announcements, Introductions

Note: Pizza; $5 members, $10 non-members, Students Free

12:00 Presentation, Q & A, Discussion

1:00 Adjourn