Joseph Ojo Wins TTU's 2001 Kinslow Research Award

Deregulation of electric power utilities has opened the door for new ideas about how to generate power and Joseph Ojo recently walked through with an answer.

For his research on power generation systems, Ojo has been awarded Tennessee Tech University's 2001 Kinslow Research Award for a paper published in the November/December 2000 issue of "IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications."

"The paper has made some vital and practical contributions to emerging power generation technologies that should be of great use in naval ship, aircraft, aerospace and industrial schemes," said Esther Ososanya, TTU associate professor of electrical and computing engineering.

Electric utilities, as part of their deregulation strategies, are encouraging the use of isolated power generation systems. Stand-alone systems feature ease of control, low cost and operating efficiency compared to transporting electric power from long distances.

Ojo's work has focused on the design, analysis and control of stand-alone generators, with a special emphasis on ease of control and generating at a high power capacity. In his paper, "PWM-VSI Inverter Assisted Stand-Alone Dual Stator Winding Induction Generator," he proposed his generator as a means of creating power at controlled voltages and constant frequency.

Induction machines, the focus of Ojo's research, are cheap and robust, but require power electronics converters to give the operator optimal control. Many of the problems with reaching optimal control have been solved by his work.

Ojo says his research has practical applications that can be felt close to home once industry deregulation causes people to seek out smaller, more efficient sources of power and more control over them.

"On a small scale, the generator could be used on a farm or even by someone with a specialty need," said Ojo. "One application that comes to mind is an area attraction, Hidden Hollow, which needs a power source for its light displays. The small stream available on the property combined with an efficient generator could allow the attraction to generate its own power supply more cheaply and efficiently."

Ojo, a member of TTU's faculty since 1988, earned his doctorate in electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison after earning his master's and bachelor's degrees at Nigeria's Ahmadu Bello University. His previous honors include TTU's 1996 Sigma Xi Research Award and the 1995 IEEE Industry Application Society Paper Award.

The Kinslow Award is given annually for the best paper written by a TTU engineering faculty member and published in a refereed professional journal. The award honors Professor Emeritus Ray Kinslow, who taught for 32 years at Tennessee Tech and served as head of the engineering science and mechanics department for 25 years.