Undergraduate Energy Seminar Series: The Role of Microsystems for a Clean Energy Future

Improvements in electrical energy efficiency from lower cost, more efficient, solid-state lighting to a flexible electricity grid.
Rajeev Ram
Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Location: E19-319




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In the U.S., approximately 40% of primary energy is used to produce electricity. Electricity is projected to supply an increasing share of the world’s total energy demand and is the fastest-growing form of end-use energy worldwide. This presentation will specifically provide an introduction to microelectronics R&D technologies and materials related challenges relevant to realizing a clean energy future.

Professor Rajeev Ram will focus on improvements in electrical energy efficiency from lower cost, more efficient, solid-state lighting to lighter weight electrical vehicles to a flexible electricity grid. Technologies include chip-scale converters for solid-state lighting and microprocessor power supplies. At the kW scale, module integrated converters employing integrated wide bandgap seminconductors are being explored for industrial motor and automotive charger applications. At MW scale, projects include creating greater flexibility in grid assets such as transformers by employing advanced converter architectures.

Through these examples, Professor Ram will convey the role that Electrical Engineers can and should play in addressing global issues such as climate change and energy access.

About the speaker

Professor Rajeev Ram is the Principal Investigator for the Physical Optics and Electronics (POE) Group. More than two dozen graduate and post-doctoral researchers have worked with Professor Ram in the Physical Optics and Electronics Laboratory. These students have gone onto leading semiconductor companies such as Intel, Sun, Samsung and Freescale as well as to tenured faculty positions at Cornell, the University of California, the University of Michigan, and MIT.

He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering at University of California, Santa Barbara and a BSc in Physics from the Californial Institute of Technology. Professor Ram has received the Ruth and Joel Spira Award and Jamieson Award for teaching. He is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow—MIT’s highest honor for teaching. He is a long-term member and current Co-Chair of both the Energy Education Task Force and the Energy Minor Oversight Committee.


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This workshop is offered through MIT Energy Initiative, Undergraduate Energy Seminar Series. It is targeted for MIT Undergraduates.

In 2015, MIT Energy Initiative created Undergraduate Energy Seminar Series to provide students interested in energy studies with lectures and workshops that introduce them to energy studies classes, careers in energy studies, and emerging energy research. We invite all MIT undergraduates interested in learning more, to come and participate. Light fare will be provided.