Power Engineering


Power engineering plays a significant role in the regional economy, with over eighty companies focused on various aspects of power. These include regional IOUs, munis, co-ops and PUDs; numerous power engineering consultancies; power equipment manufacturers; developers and independent power producers; high-tech firms focused on smart grid products; and federal entities like BPA and the Army Corp of Engineers. Investment in new generation and transmission, innovations in communications and IT, and rapidly-decreasing prices for renewable resources are all contributing to the industry’s growth.

PSU’s MS ECE power engineering track provides an industry-focused educational pathway for individuals who wish to enhance their depth in power engineering. Courses cover topics such as protection, power systems design, stability, planning and operations. Students are exposed to industry-relevant software, including ETAP, PowerWorld, ATP and ASPEN. Classes are offered in the evenings to accommodate work schedules. And, many of the instructors have been recruited from the local power industry.


Students who begin this track should have a solid understanding of power systems components and fundamental power systems analysis techniques. PSU’s EE 347 (non-rotating power systems components, fundamental analytical methods) and EE 348 (rotating power systems components, power systems controls) together prepare students well for the MS ECE power engineering track. 


EE 530 Analytical Methods for Power Systems
EE 531 Power Systems Protection
EE 532 Electrical Machine Analysis & Design
EE 537 Advanced Power Systems Protection

Depth and Breadth Course list

EC 538 Energy Economics
EE 534 Power Operations Fundamentals I
EE 535 Power Operations Fundamentals II
EE 536 Power Systems Stability 
EE 538 Dynamics and Control of AC Drives
EE 539 Design of Electrical Machines 
ECE 533 Advanced Electromagnetics
ECE 545 Power Electronic Systems Design I
ECE 546 Power Electronic Systems Design II
ECE 551 Control System Design I
ECE 552 Control System Design II
ECE 576 Computational Methods

Track Completion Forms

Program Completion Form

Thesis Program Completion Form


Robert Bass is the program director of the power engineering specializations. His interests pertain to electrical power systems, particularly distributed & renewable assets and the overlaying smart grid technologies that link them together. Current and past projects include; evaluation of power quality of EV charging stations; development of LCOE metrics for energy storage systems; SQP optimization for multi-unit hydropower powerhouses; and, aggregation and analysis of synchrophasor data from distribution feeder circuits.

Jonathan Bird Professor Bird’s research areas are at the intersection of applied electromagnetics, mechanics and controls. His graduate work involved investigating the performance capabilities of an electrodynamic wheel for high-speed ground transportation applications. While at General Motors, Dr. Bird designed high torque density induction and interior permanent magnet motors for hybrid and fuel-cell vehicle applications. At Portland State University Dr. Bird has been continuing his research into the use of electrodynamic wheels as well as investigating the capabilities of magnetically geared electrical machines for wind and ocean power generation applications.  Dr. Bird has authored or coauthored over 40 peer reviewed papers in major journals and conferences. Dr. Bird’s research has been funded by the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute. 

Mahima Gupta Dr. Gupta's research focuses on energy conversion with the aim of high power density and efficiency. Ranging from a few kilowatts to several megawatts, the focus applications include electrified transportation, photovoltaic systems, wind farms, micro-grids, etc. Before joining Portland State University in 2020, Dr. Gupta was a part of the Research and Advanced Engineering group at Ford Motor Company where she worked on next-generation electrified powertrains. During her Ph.D., she devised the idea of smart switching modulation for cascaded power converters which permits two orders of reduction in the dc-link capacitance requirements.

Power Engineering Laboratory

Laboratory for Electromechanical Energy Conversion

Adjunct Faculty

Guy AlLee, MS ECE, Canonical USA Inc. Expertise: Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, 380 Vdc Distribution
Ian Beil, PhD, PE, Portland General Electric. Expertise: power systems planning
Luis Perez, PhD, PE,  Pacific Power. Expertise: protection, stability, EM transients  
Song Wang, PhD, PE, Pacific Power.  Expertise: stability, protection