Engineering leadership earns Vittal prestigious honor

Vittal power systems engineering

Arizona State University professor Vijay Vittal has won a top technical field award for innovation from the world’s largest and most prominent engineering association.

Vittal, the Ira A. Fulton Chair Professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, has been selected to receive the award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his accomplishments in power systems engineering.

The IEEE technical field honors are awarded for contributions or leadership in specific areas of interest to the institute.

Vittal’s Herman Halperin Electric Transmission and Distribution Award is among honors that the IEEE bestows in tribute to “technical professionals whose exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions have made a lasting impact on technology, society, and the engineering profession.”

The award specifically recognizes his contribution to “development of power system stability assessment methods leading to the maximum utilization and increased reliability of transmission lines.”

Vittal, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is director of the Power System Engineering Research Center (PSERC), a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

PSERC addresses the major challenges facing the electric power industry. Its work focuses on developing the designs and components to provide more efficient, secure, resilient, adaptable and economical electric power infrastructure.

The center also works to educate new generations of experts in electrical power technologies, provide experienced decision-makers on energy policy issues and promote quality university education programs in electrical power engineering.

Based at ASU, the PSERC consortium encompasses research programs at 12 other universities – Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M, Colorado School of Mines, Washington State University, Wichita State University, Howard University, the University of Illinois, The University of Wisconsin Iowa State University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Before joining ASU in 2005, Vittal was the Anston Marston Distinguished Professor in Iowa State University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and director of the university’s Electrical Power Research Center.

He is a former program director of power systems for the National Science foundation Division of Electrical and Communications Systems in Washington, D.C.

Vittal served as editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, a leading journal in the field, from 2005 to 2011.

The IEEE, which promotes the advancement of technological innovation, has some 400,000 members from more than 160 countries.

The Herman Halperin award is named for a pioneer in the design and operation of electric plant facilities and power-distribution systems.