ECE PhD student Inhwi Hwang awarded two fellowships from IEEE for his research on power electronics

Hwang is working to enhance the stability and robustness of power grid converters, which could help strengthen grid stability for renewable energy sources, as well as help protect against cyber attacks.

Inhwi Hwang, an ECE PhD student, has been awarded the IEEE PELS John G. Kassakian Fellowship, which recognizes the top candidate among those who also received a 2023 IEEE PELS Graduate Studies Fellowship.

“I am both delighted and honored to have been recognized with these awards,” Hwang said. “I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to my esteemed mentors: Al-Thaddeus Avestruz, Seungki Sul, Jongho Lee, and Shenghui Cui, who have been instrumental in my research journey.”

Hwang specializes in research spanning the control of grid-connected converters, high-performance wireless power transfer systems, and switched-capacitor converters. He’s currently working to enhance the stability and robustness of power grid converters, which are power electronic devices that can interface renewable energy sources, energy storage systems, or flexible loads with the utility grid. They can provide various benefits, such as power quality improvement, voltage regulation, frequency support, and active filtering. They can also strengthen grid stability, which helps protect against cyber attacks.

“Our project is to develop a novel control mechanism for grid connections that could serve as an alternative to the traditional voltage/current source converter,” Hwang said. “This could simplify grid-connected converter control and reduce the risk of converter failure.”

Hwang is also interested in quantum computing and computational power minimization in artificial intelligence. He enjoys solving mathematical problems as a hobby.

“To me, mathematics and physics are not solely academic disciplines—they are the pillars that make life fascinating,” he said.

Hwang is advised by Prof. Al-Thaddeus Avestruz. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ECE from Seoul National University in South Korea, where he was valedictorian. As an undergrad, he received the Kim Jeong Sik Special Scholarship.

“One philosophy that resonates with me and that I wish to emphasize is the belief that challenges, no matter how daunting, serve as the bedrock upon which our future strengths are built,” Hwang said.

Outside the lab, Hwang enjoys powerlifting, hip-hop music, and rap. He is learning Chinese and Spanish, and he plays golf and tennis.