2018 Graduate Fellows

Zhipeng Liu

Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, are key components of clean energy systems. These energy sources, however, are inherently unpredictable. Maintaining stable power generation and transmission despite uncertainties in energy generation will be a significant engineering challenge in coming decades. The future smart grid is envisioned to help ensure stability through real-time sensing and control, fundamentally shifting the paradigm of power system operation from open- to closed-loop control. The goal of my PhD study is to develop computationally efficient control techniques that are scalable to large power systems and provide provable guarantees on stability. In my preliminary work, I have investigated submodular optimization techniques for smart grid stability, including voltage, small-signal, and transient stability, which have been identified as key challenges by the North American Synchrophasor Initiative (NASPI). My initial results have appeared in top venues including IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE CDC, and Cyber-Physical Systems Week.

Advisor: Radha Poovendran – Electrical Engineering

“Providing clean energy to the inhabitants of our planet is a major challenge to future generations. The University of Washington is to be congratulated for establishing an Institute where faculty and students can work together to tackle the difficult global challenge of energy sustainability.”
– Mildred Dresselhaus, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Emerita and Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Energy competition is opening up in a variety of ways, the push for carbon control will continue, and the rate of technology advancement is exponential. All the things I’ve seen at the CEI are just perfect for the way we see things going in energy. You guys are at the cutting edge. We’re counting on you.”
– Ronald Litzinger, President, Edison Energy
Since its founding the Clean Energy Institute has contributed more than $1.1 million toward the education of 66 STEM scholars and recruitment of 12 students through our fellowship programs.