Swakshar Ray of Calcutta, India, a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering and a member of the Real-Time Power and Intelligent Systems Laboratory at the University of Missouri-Rolla, was one of five students internationally picked to receive a $3,000 grant from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computational Intelligence Society.
Ray’s research will focus on using intelligent techniques to carry out dynamic optimal control of the electric power grid with switching devices — called Flexible Alternating Current Transmission System (FACTS) devices. Putting intelligent control of the devices and other elements of the power grid in place could mean an end to the threat of cascading power failures. Such failures can lead to massive blackouts, such as the one that occurred in August 2003.
A record 12 applications were received for the IEEE CIS W.J. Karplus Summer Research Grant. Ray will conduct his research under the direction of Dr. Kumar Venayagamoorthy, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the RTPIS Laboratory. Venayagamoorthy received the Karplus grant himself in 2001.