The Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center consists of more than 35 staff members and collaborates with numerous researchers in industry and academia. Staff members hold advanced degrees in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering, and physics. Most are active members of professional societies such as the IEEE, IEE, ASME, and SAE, and hold leadership positions in these organizations.

Since 1990, more than 60 patents have been granted with several more pending. Researchers have published more than 300 technical papers with more than 60 papers published in IEEE Transactions of the following societies: Power Electronics, Industry Applications, Energy Conversion, Power Delivery, Industrial Electronics, Instrumentation and Measurement, and Magnetics.

Burak Ozpineci
Dr. Burak Ozpineci is the group leader of the of the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received a M.S. and Ph.D. from The University of Tennessee in electrical engineering in 1998 and 2002, respectively, and his B.S. degree from the Orta Dogu Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. He joined the Post-Masters Program with the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2001 and became a full time staff member of PEEM in 2002. Dr. Ozpineci is the Chair of the IEEE PELS Rectifiers and Inverters Technical Committee and was the Transactions Review Chairman of the IEEE Industry Applications Society Industrial Power Converter Committee. He also has a Joint Faculty Associate Professor position with The University of Tennessee. His research interests include system-level impact of SiC power devices, multilevel inverters, power converters for distributed energy resources and hybrid electric vehicles, and intelligent control applications for power converters.


Diane Ciarlette
Diane is the Administrative Assistant for the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group. She provides support to the group, the group leader, and team leads.

Tim Burress
Tim Burress earned BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee.  His education includes a focus on power electronics, electric machinery, and control systems.  In 2004, he began working in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he developed comprehensive testing and analysis methods for assessing design, packaging, operational characteristics, and performance of hybrid and electric vehicle drive components.  He has authored several highly recognized reports that detail broad-based benchmarking assessments of on-the-road inverter and motor technologies.  In addition to leading benchmarking efforts at ORNL, he is ORNL’s Electric Machines Team Leader and his team utilizes and develops FEA software and state-space models to develop, model, and optimize electric machine designs and their control algorithms.  The team fabricates novel electric machine designs and conducts comprehensive dynamometer testing to verify performance and operational efficiency.

Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell  has been working as an Electromechanical Technician in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group since June of 2004. He received his Associates of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering Technology from Pellissippi State Technical Community College and is currently working on his Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 
Paul Chambon
Paul Chambon is a research engineer with the Electrical & Electronics Systems Research Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He received a Master equivalent in Electrical Engineering from the Grenoble Institute of Technology, France, and Imperial College, London, U.K. Mr. Chambon worked for 10 years at Ricardo, both in England and the U.S, then at AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. for 2 years, before joining Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2009, where he has focused on hybrid electric powertrain research. Mr. Chambon's expertise is in advanced powertrain controls development, from offline simulation to vehicle implementation.

Madhu Chinthavali
Dr. Madhu Sudhan Chinthavali received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee in 2015 and 2003, respectively. He received a B.E. degree in electrical engineering in 2000 from Bharathidasan University, India. He is presently leading the Power Electronics Team in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His research experience and interests covers power electronics applications in transportation electrification, renewables, building energy integrations, and energy storage systems, wireless and wired charging systems, integrated power electronics architectures, and high power applications. His is also the principal investigator for ONRL's wide bandgap device program, including testing, packaging, designing, and integration activities.

Suman Debnath

Suman Debnath
Dr. Suman Debnath received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering (with specialization in power systems and power electronics) from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India in 2010 and his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA in 2015. He joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2015. His main research interests include grid integration of renewables like PV and wind, HVDC/MVDC systems, grid-connected power converters and control, high-power drives, and wireless power transfer.


Veda Prakash N. Galigekere
Dr. Veda Galigekere received his B. E. Degree from Visveraya Technological University, Belgaum, India, in 2004 and the M. S. and Ph. D. Degrees from Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, in 2007, and 2012, respectively. Before he joined ORNL, he was a summer intern at GE Global Research, John. F. Welch Technology Center, Bangalore, India and worked at Lear Corporation, Power Electronics and Hybrid Electric Vehicles Team in Southfield, MI. He is currently serving as a Guest Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, Special Issue on Impedance Source Converter Topologies and Applications. His research interests include wireless power transfer, small-signal modeling, and control of power converters

Kathy Gambrell
Kathy Gambrell is a staff member in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Ms. Gambrell attended Tennessee Technological University and Roane State Community College and has over 25 years’ experience in project management and outreach. She serves as an interface with ORNL staff members, sponsors, universities, and private industries to fulfill project-related objectives. She also defines and implements project goals, commitments, and milestones; performs financial analyses; and monitors technical projects to ensure sponsor satisfaction. Before coming to the center, Ms. Gambrell was involved in intelligent transportation systems outreach activities for the US Department of Transportation.


Zhenxian Liang
Dr. Zhenxian Liang is an R&D staff member of the Power Electronics and Electric Group. He received his B.S (Eng.) in 1983 and the M. S (Eng.) in 1986, both from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, and a Ph. D from Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, in 1993. Prior to joining ORNL in May 2010, he worked with the R&A division of Ford Motor Company, the GRC of Generic Electric Company and the CPES at Virginia Tech. He was an associate professor with the Electrical Engineering School of Xi’an Jiaotong University. He has been mostly engaged in research to develop advanced electronics devices and modules. He is currently involved in the development of power semiconductor packaging technology and integrated power electronics modules for electric power process applications. Dr. Liang is a senior member of IEEE and a member of IMAPS.

Laura Marlino
Laura Marlino is a research engineer and the Director of Vehicle Electrification Partnerships in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She received her B.S. degree in electronics engineering from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and her M.S.E.E. degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her graduate thesis was on power electronics for low earth orbit satellites. During her engineering career she has been employed with Teledyne Camera Systems in California doing analog video design and Honeywell Aerospace and Marine in New Mexico as both a test and design engineer involved with cockpit displays and processors for military aircraft. She also has worked as an IC design engineer with ASIC International in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Karen Nolen
Karen Nolen is a program specialist for the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group and the Advanced Vehicle Systems Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  She earned a B.S. in Organizational Management from Tusculum College and an M.S. in Accounting from Strayer University.  Since 2011, Ms. Nolen has provided project management and daily financial operations support. She provides subcontract and cost management for ORNL staff members throughout the organization, proposal guidance and documents for various funding opportunities including WFO and CRADA agreements, and cost reports for internal and external contacts. She also provides support to ORNL’s Hardin Valley Campus Operations.

Omer Onar
Dr. Omer C. Onar received his Ph.D. degree from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Electrical Engineering, in July 2010, Chicago, IL. In July 2010, he was awarded the distinguished Alvin M. Weinberg Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where he joined the Energy and Transportation Science Division. His research interests cover transportation electrification, wireless power transfer systems, and renewable energies.

Jason Pries Jason Pries

Larry E. Seiber
Larry Seiber is a technical staff member of the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He graduated from Roane State in 1974 with an Associate Degree in Electronics Technology. He developed machine drive and instrumentation technology while working in the Power Electronics group of the Centrifuge Division at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant from 1974 - 1985. In 1985, he joined the Y-12 Development Division where he provided mechanical and electrical design and Construction oversight support to the Continuous Automated Vault Inventory System program as well as technical support for the Local Area Network and several computer systems. He joined ORNL in 2000.

Richard Smith
Richard Smith is a research program coordinator with the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s National Transportation Research Center.  He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  He has worked at ORNL for 14 years in the areas of research coordination, project management, and strategic planning at the directorate, division, and program levels.  Richard currently coordinates research and development activities with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, NASA, NIST, DoD, and national laboratories in support of the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Offices’ Advance Power Electronics and Electrical Machines program.  From 2004 to 2007, he served on assignment at the DOE VTO collaborating and planning research activities among the national laboratories, industry and several government agencies and departments – NASA, NIST, DoD, DOC, EPA, and DOT.  While supporting the VTO programs, Mr. Smith has had a major role in the preparation and follow-up of several congressionally mandated National Academy of Sciences reviews of VTO’s R&D programs and industry partnerships.  From 2000 to 2004, he served as the technical assistant to the ORNL Associate Director for Energy and Engineering Sciences.  Prior to working with ORNL, Mr. Smith was the project manager/design engineer for uranium processing and enrichment projects, nuclear power plant control system projects, vehicle assembly plant projects, and several manufacturing automation and optimization projects.

Gui-Jia Su
Dr. Gui-Jia Su is a research scientist in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received the B.S. in electrical engineering from Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electrical Engineering, China, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan. He has worked as a research associate in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Nagaoka University of Technology conducting research on high-speed motor drive applications and high frequency power distribution systems. He is a member of the IEEE.

Lixin Tang
Dr. Lixin Tang received his Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia, in 2004; the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China, in 1991 and 1994, respectively. From April 1994 to August 1998, he was with the Beijing Institute of Mechanical Equipment, first as an assistant electrical engineer, then as an electrical engineer since 1996. He participated in several projects on static frequency converters. In August 1998, he joined GE Hangwei Medical Systems Co. Ltd., Beijing , China, as an electrical engineer, where he was in charge of the design, quality control, and technical support of the x-ray generator (XG) subsystem of several CT scanners. He worked as a part-time teaching/research assistant in UNSW from 2000 to 2004, while he was studying for his Ph.D. He worked for Central Queensland University (CQU) as a post-doctoral research officer in Rockhampton, Australia, from April 2004 to March 2005. He joined PEEM in April 2005. His current research interests are novel motor modeling, AC drives control and power electronics converters for automotive application. He has published about 40 technical papers in the area of power electronics and he is an IEEE senior member.

Leon M. Tolbert
Dr. Leon M. Tolbert received the Bachelor’s, M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, in 1989, 1991, and 1999, respectively. He joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 1991 and worked on several electrical distribution projects at the three U.S. Department of Energy plants in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, from 1991 - 1999.  He joined the University of Tennessee in 1999 and is presently the Min H. Kao Professor and Department Head in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is also a part time senior research engineer at ORNL and conducts joint research in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center. Dr. Tolbert is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Tennessee and a Fellow of IEEE.  He does research in the areas of electric power conversion for renewable energy sources, multilevel converters, utility application of power electronics, microgrids, electric vehicles, and application of wide bandgap (SiC and GaN) power electronics.

Fei (Fred) Wang
Dr. Fred Wang received the B.S. degree from Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, in 1982, 1985, and 1990, respectively, all in electrical engineering. Dr. Wang was a Research Scientist in the Electric Power Lab, University of Southern California, from 1990 to 1992. He joined the GE Power Systems Engineering Department, Schenectady, NY, as an Application Engineer in 1992. From 1994 to 2000, he was a Senior Product Development Engineer with GE Industrial Systems, Salem, VA. During 2000 to 2001, he was the Manager of Electronic & Photonic Systems Technology Lab, GE Global Research Center, Schenectady, NY, and Shanghai, China. In 2001, he joined the Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES) at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, as a Research Associate Professor and became an Associate Professor in 2004. From 2003, he also served as the CPES Technical Director. Since 2009, he has been with The University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Knoxville, TN as a Professor and Condra Chair of Excellence in Power Electronics. His research interests include power electronics, power systems, controls, electric machines and motor drives. Dr. Wang is a fellow of IEEE.

Jack Wang

Zhiqiang (Jack) Wang
Dr. Zhiqiang (Jack) Wang is an R&D staff member in the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his B.S. degree from Hunan University, Changsha, China, in 2007, and M.S. degree from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, in 2010, both in electrical engineering. He started Ph.D. study in 2010 at the Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA, and in 2011 he transferred to the Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT), The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA, where he received the Ph.D. degree in 2015. He joined the Post-Masters Program with the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Research Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2014 and became a staff member in 2015. His research interests include high power grid-connected converters, high temperature high density power conversion, driving / protection / integration of wide bandgap (WBG) devices, and wireless power transfer.

Cliff P. White
Cliff White is a technical staff member of the Power Electronics and Electronic Machinery Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received an Associate of Science in electronic engineering technology from the State Technical Institute at Knoxville in 1979. He has worked at Texas Instruments in Johnson City, Tennessee, as a troubleshoot technician on their line of industrial controllers. In 1980, he began work at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant. He has been instrumental in the design and assembly of several prototype inverters for use in laboratory experiments and as part of industry-sponsored projects conducted at ORNL.

Randy Wiles
Randy Wiles has worked at TVA as a designer for the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, as well as a designer of robotic and remotely maintained hot cell equipment for Remotec in Oak Ridge. Mr. Wiles received an Associate of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Pellissippi State in Knoxville. He joined ORNL in 1988 and the Nuclear Science and Technology Division. Responsibilities there were hot cell equipment design, as well as the design; fabrication, testing and QA qualification of curium recycle targets in support of the Heavy Element Research Program.  Mr. Wiles joined the Power Electronics and Electric Machinery Group, of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he is involved in R&D work, machine design and operational testing relating to applications of power electronics and advanced electric machine technologies to electric vehicles.

Rong Zeng

Rong Zeng

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