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Alumnus Asad Awan awarded for the best doctoral thesis in the field of technology

Awan’s doctoral research deals with the control methods for more efficient electric motors, which could replace traditional induction motors in industrial applications and help reduce the carbon footprint of motor driven systems
Aalto University alumnus Asad Awan.
Asad Awan.

Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK and Tekniska Föreningen i Finland TFiF awarded Aalto University's School of Electrical Engineering alumnus Asad Awan for the best dissertation of the year in the field of technology. Awan’s doctoral thesis is entitled Control methods for Permanent-Magnet Synchronous Reluctance Motor Drives. The supervising professor was Professor Marko Hinkkanen from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation.

Awan’s research deals with the control methods for synchronous motors, like synchronous reluctance motors. In the future, these motors will replace traditional induction motors in many applications, such as fans and pumps. They are more efficient than widely used induction motors and their manufacturing costs are comparable to traditional induction motors. Apart from industrial applications like fans, pumps, and conveyers, the designed control methods have applications in electric vehicles and heavy-duty mobile working machines.

The control methods developed in Awan’s research are implemented in frequency converters (variable speed drives) for controlling synchronous motors. The European Committee of Manufacturers of Electrical Machines and Power Electronics estimates that the energy efficiency of industrial motor systems could be improved by up to 30 percent by using variable speed drives. This improvement would make a big difference in the energy consumption, since approximately eight billion electric motors in the European Union consume nearly half of the electricity produced in the EU.

Cutting 40 million tons of CO2 emissions

‘Under the new EU regulations, the use of efficient electric motors and variable speed drives will bring annual energy savings of 110TWh by 2030, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of the Netherlands. This means that about 40 million tons of CO2 emissions will be avoided each year and millions of euros saved. I believe my work can play a role in the introduction of these efficient synchronous motors to industry,’ Awan says.

Awan is currently working as a Design Engineer R&D at ABB Drives Oy. He started his work in April 2019, just after submitting his doctoral thesis for pre-examination.

‘My work is directly related to what I did during my doctoral research. I am helping to improve the existing products and hopefully will be involved in developing new ones that could save energy and improve the performance of existing systems, whether they are used in general-purpose applications like fans, pumps, and conveyers or the automotive industry,’ Awan says.

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