Sept. 12, 2019

College of Engineering honors researchers of the year


Chad Ulven, associate chair and professor of mechanical engineering, has been named the 2019 NDSU College of Engineering Researcher of the Year.

Ulven has been involved in the research of polymer matrix composites for various commercial and defense applications for the past 19 years. He is currently the principal or co-principal investigator of five research projects related to composite material development. Most recently, Ulven was awarded a multi-million dollar cooperative research project with the Army Research Laboratory to design and develop advanced composite 3D printers. He has also co-written five patent applications that have led to three spin-out companies.

Ulven joined the NDSU faculty in 2005 after earning his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from NDSU in 2001. Last spring, Ulven was selected to present the 2019 NDSU Faculty Lectureship, one of the university’s oldest and most prestigious awards.

Di Wu, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, also was honored for his research efforts.

Wu was named the College of Engineering Early Career Researcher of the Year for his work on renewable energy integration, application of complex network theory in power grids, cascading failure analysis and power system dynamics and stability.

He recently received $600,000 in funding from the Department of Energy. The project, in collaboration with the University of Oklahoma, will study intelligent, relay-based grid protection and restoration technology for the future power grid.

The College of Engineering’s final research award, Graduate Student Researcher of the Year, was presented to Yanchao Li.

Li earned his doctorate in electrical engineering in April and is working as a power electronics application engineer at a company in California. At NDSU, Li’s research focused on the development of high power density and high efficiency DC-DC and DC-AC converters. He published 25 journal and conference papers and helped secure 11 research grants.

Ulven, Wu and Li were honored at the College of Engineering Scholarship and Awards Reception Sept. 6 in the NDSU Memorial Union Great Plains room. The event was a celebration of student scholarship recipients, scholarship donors and faculty and staff award winners.

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