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New Power Engineering Professor Joins ECE

Robert Bass joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as an Associate Professor in Fall 2011. Dr. Bass recently shared some of his accomplishments as well as a look forward to what’s to come at PSU and the Power Engineering Lab, slated to open in Fall 2012.

Robert Bass joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department as an Associate Professor in Fall 2011. Dr. Bass recently shared some of his accomplishments as well as a look forward to what’s to come at PSU and the Power Engineering Lab, slated to open in Fall 2012.

What are your most recent or exciting projects or research?
I'm currently working on a technology innovation project for BPA: Multi-unit Optimization of a Hydroelectric Powerhouse. Past projects of interest include the development of an NH3 Adsorption chiller, the design & build of a 20kVA three-phase power system, design & build of an off-peak air conditioning system, and the evaluation of the use of off-peak electricity to run a Haber-Bosch ammonia production process. I'm also interested in examining how EV charging will affect distribution systems and how demand-responsive loads can be used to ameliorate integration problems associated with renewable energy generation.

What's your vision for the future of the lab?
I will be developing both a research lab and an undergraduate teaching lab within the ECE Department.  The undergraduate teaching lab will provide students with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience designing, building and testing practical three-phase power systems. This will be a place for power engineering students to gain valuable experience working with power systems.  The research and undergraduate labs will share the same space,  so it will serve as an academic social nexus, a mixing point for BS, MS and PhD students interested in power engineering.

I also intend to develop a power engineering MS program focused on providing educational opportunities for professionals.  The program will consist of a suite of power engineering, energy economics, policy and regulation courses designed to advance the career potential of our graduates.  Classes will be taught in the evening to accommodate the schedules of working adults, and instructors will come from the local power industry.

Both of these efforts are central to my goal of developing a social & professional network of power engineers in Portland, with PSU as its regenerative source.

What kind of students are you looking for?
The students with whom I have worked in past have all been hard-working, dedicated individuals who realize that through their efforts they have the ability to change their society for the better.  I intend to build a research group and academic programs consisting of students who embrace these principles.

Recent Funded Projects:

Multi-Unit Optimization of a Hydropower Powerhouse, Bonneville Power Administration (co-PI)
Workforce Training for the Electric Power Sector, US DOE (PI)
Development of a NH3-CaCl Adsorption Chiller for Solar Thermal Applications, Oregon Renewable Energy Center (PI)
Evaluation of Mini-Split Heat Pumps, Portland General Electric (PI)
Evaluation of the Use of Variable-Rate Electricity for the Industrial Production of Ammonia (PI)
LED Street Lighting Feasibility and Lifecycle Analysis, Portland General Electric (PI)
Oregon City Hydroelectric Feasibility Study, Portland General Electric and Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District (PI)