Heavy-duty All-electric Urban Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Organizer: Yue Cao

As we are heading to all-electric intercity passenger aircraft, emerging Urban Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), unmanned or manned, serve as stepping stones to demonstrate start-of-the-art electrification technology. We are already familiar with light-weight drones in cinematography, entertainment, and industrial inspections. However, technology challenges still exist in larger scale (10x-100x) commercial applications such as package delivery drones or passenger flying taxis. Such aerial vehicles are the future urban mobility solutions and face unique design requirements. In this panel, we will focus on such heavy-duty all-electric UAVs, and particularly their propulsion systems. We will review the existing effort in related areas but more importantly, look at the future opportunities specially tailored for UAVs.

Short Bio of Organizer:
Dr. Yue Cao is an Assistant Professor in Energy Systems Group at Oregon State University (OSU). Before joining OSU, he was a research scientist in the propulsions team at Amazon Prime Air in Seattle, WA. He has been a power electronics engineer intern with special projects group at Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA; Halliburton Company, Houston, TX; Flanders Electric, Evansville, IN; and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN. His research interests include power electronics, motor drives, and energy storage with applications in transportation electrification, renewable energy integration, and energy efficient buildings.

Dr. Cao received the M.S. (2013) and Ph.D. (2017) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC), and B.S. (Hons. 2011) degree in electrical engineering and mathematics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He received the Myron Zucker award from the IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS) in 2010. He was a Sundaram Seshu Fellow at UIUC in 2016, where he was a James M. Henderson Fellow in 2012. He is a recipient of Oregon State Learning Innovation Award for transformative education in 2020.

Dr. Cao is the Tutorials Chair of ECCE 2021, and he was a Local and Industry co-Chair of ECCE 2018. He successfully co-organized a panel on More Electric Aircraft at 2019 IEEE International Transportation Electrification Conference (ITEC). He was the Corresponding Technical Programs Chair of 2016 IEEE Power and Energy Conference at Illinois (PECI). In 2020, he established a joint IEEE PES/PELS Chapter at OSU. He is currently an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification.

Speakers and presentations:

  1. Satish Rajagopalan, Research Science Manager, Amazon Prime Air
    Challenges and Opportunities in Future eVTOL Propulsion Systems
  1. Dominik Karbowski, Technical Manager, Argonne National Laboratory
    Energy Impacts of Urban Air Mobility
  1. Rodger Dyson, Technical Lead, NASA Glenn Research Center
    Safety and Exergy Optimization of Heavy-Duty Electric Aerial Propulsion Systems with Solid-State Energy Conversion Technology
  1. Ali Emadi, President and CEO, Enedym Inc.; Professor, McMaster University
    High-Speed Switched Reluctance Motor Drives for UAV Propulsion Systems
  1. Sara Roggia, Senior Research Engineer, SAFRAN
    Electrical Machine Innovative Solutions for Aircraft System Challenges
  1. Bulent Sarlioglu, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    More-electric or All-electric Aerial Vehicles for a Sustainable Future