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Faculty Recognition

Professor Secures National Grant for Power Grid Challenges

The computing tools developed through the project could have applications well beyond the electric grid.

Cal Poly Assistant Professor Jason Poon has secured $496,000 in grant funding to develop innovative computer methods for managing power systems.

The award from the National Science Foundation is a collaborative grant that sends $267,000 to Cal Poly and $229,000 to the University of Minnesota for the three-year project, “Electronic Analog and Hybrid Computing for Power and Energy Systems.”

“Managing the grid has become much more complex in the last 10 to 20 years,” said Poon, who began teaching electrical engineering at Cal Poly in 2022. “And existing computing tools are limiting our ability to make the grid more sustainable, reliable and efficient.”

The teams at Cal Poly and the University of Minnesota are aiming to evaluate the feasibility of radical new computing techniques that have the potential to be much faster and more capable than conventional computing tools used in grid applications, such as cloud-based servers or industrial-embedded processors.

“Computing — particularly real-time computing — is essential in a variety of applications, including transportation, manufacturing and consumer electronics,” Poon said. “What we’re developing could provide transformative benefits for all these areas.”