IFEC 2023: Patrick Fuchs Presents the Outstanding Performance Award to University of Belgrade

In this year's "IEEE International Future Energy Challenge" competition, Patrick Fuchs (Business Development Manager at ZES ZIMMER) not only served as a jury member but also had the privilege of presenting the "Outstanding Performance" award to the student team "H-Bridges" from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, during the final event on July 27, 2023. Congratulations to the team for this well-deserved achievement. As one of the sponsors of this year's competition, we would also like to congratulate the other finalist teams on their impressive results and awards:

  • Reutlingen University: The Grand Prize ($10,000)
  • University of Belgrade: Outstanding Performance Award ($5,000)
  • Utah State University: Best Teamwork Award ($2,500)
  • University of Connecticut: Educational Progress Award ($2,500)
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and Sardar Patel Institute of Technology: Innovative Concept Award ($1,000)

Future, energy, and challenges are words that increasingly go hand in hand and describe the career paths of many engineers. They shape the direction and key aspects for numerous companies in the manufacturing and research sectors of the electronics industry, while also expanding the space for innovation. They equally define the focus and significance of university chairs in power electronics, information technology, and other engineering disciplines. Challenges such as efficiency, power density, autonomous control considering weight and cost in the energy supply, transmission, conversion, etc., are gaining prominence. They already reveal to students where they can complement their theoretical and practical knowledge and expertise to be prepared for the future.

The prestigious international competition, IFEC (IEEE International Future Energy Challenge), addresses the aforementioned and provides young engineers worldwide with a platform to tackle exciting and visionary challenges in the mentioned areas, to grow, and to make a sustainable impact on their professional and societal future. This time, the task was to develop a Solid-State Transformer according to defined specifications and to present a functioning demonstrator to the jury. For further details, please visit the IFEC 2023 website: http://energychallenge.weebly.com/ifec-2023.html
The annual competition is driven by the associations IEEE, PELS, IAS, PES, PSMA and was organized this year by the Institute of Drive Systems and Power Electronics (IAL) at Leibniz University Hannover.

"It was incredibly inspiring to witness the Bachelor's and Master's students throughout the competition, seeing their work, presentations, and growth in tackling the tasks. The learning curve achieved by each team, from submitting their proposals to the semifinals in Orlando, Florida, and ultimately to the finals in Hannover, was remarkable. The acquired knowledge, expanded expertise, and flourishing in an international environment are invaluable," emphasized Patrick Fuchs.
"Winning a prize and being honored for one's work undoubtedly feels great and makes such an adventure unforgettable. There's no question about it. However, it is especially the broadened experience, the established professional network on an international level, and the development of resilience in research and development that have provided young engineers with an invaluable foundation for their careers. I am fortunate to have been a part of this journey in representing ZES ZIMMER," he added.

During the final tests, our LMG671 served as a precision power analyzer for determining efficiency and other electrical parameters. In the middle stage of the competition, Patrick Fuchs provided training to the participating teams on power measurement, offering an introduction and dedicated immersion in the application-specific knowledge relevant to the competition. The aim was to teach the students the most efficient methods for accurate measurement and plausible measurement results by showcasing ideal measurement instruments, parameterization, identifying potential sources of error, and suggesting measures to avoid or reduce them. This enabled the teams to verify their setups correctly and analyze optimization potential comprehensively.

We would like to express our gratitude to all the involved associations, organizers, sponsors, industrial partners, and especially the dedicated students and their respective universities for their support. Special thanks go to Prof. Dr. Jens Friebe and his team of scientific assistants and colleagues for their excellent and well-thought-out organization of the competition.

The theme of the next IFEC competition in 2024 is "Stereo Switch-mode Audio Power Amplifier," focusing on efficiency and power density with excellent audio quality. Further information can be found on the official IFEC 2024 website: http://energychallenge.weebly.com