Researcher of the Year Sudip Mazumder
Distinguished Researcher, Natural Sciences and Engineering
Professor of electrical and computer engineering
Years at UIC: 18
What are your research interests?
Power electronics and devices (with applications including, but not limited to, renewable energy, electric vehicles, smart grid, aerospace/electric ships, biomedicine, cyber-physical energy systems, etc.)
How did you become interested in these topics?
My core expertise is in power electronics. It is a practical field with wide applications and societal impact. So, in a way, it is a two-way street; as power-electronics technology advances, new applications emerge, and on a similar note, new applications necessitate new advancements in power electronics at component, system and network levels. This interplay has provided me opportunities to contribute to the advancement of the field.
What do you teach?
These days, I teach courses related to power electronics encompassing analysis, design, optimization and practicalities.
How do you balance teaching and research?
They are not entirely different. Teaching, I feel, has made me a better researcher since clarity of delivery and clarity in understanding are intertwined. Similarly, I feel research has made me a better teacher by enabling me to gain and deliver practical and application-specific, in-depth knowledge often missing in common textbooks.
What’s your advice to students who want to focus their future careers on research?
• Ensure that your fundamentals are strong
• Foundation of smart work is diligence
• Build good communication skills
• Things are becoming increasingly specialized. Advanced education and research are good long-term investments.