Industry vs Academia: which career path is right for you?

Organizers: PELS Digital Media and Education Committee, Somasundaram Essakiappan, Yongheng Yang, Harish Sarma Krishnamoorthy, Arijit Banerjee, Jinyeong Moon

One of the significant decisions young professionals in power electronics face is choosing whether to pursue a career path in industry or academia. While this decision may be easy for some, it can be challenging for others. This special session will explore the necessary competencies and skills for pursuing careers in both academia and industry. The session attendees should leave the course prepared to face the realities of the academic (faculty) job or a career in industry, with clarity on their own professional aspirations, and knowledge of skills and materials to succeed. The session presenters will include experts with experience in academic and industry careers from various regions of the world, who will provide guidance and serve as a resource for participants.

Short Bios of Organizers:
Somasundaram Essakiappan obtained the Ph.D. degree in 2014 from Texas A&M University specializing in power electronics for distributed energy resources integration. He is currently with the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where he is EPIC Teaching Professor and Duke Energy Suite Power Labs Manager. His research interests include grid interactive power electronics, traction and motor control, and cyber-physical systems.



Yongheng Yang received the Ph.D. degree from Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark, in 2014, where currently, he is an Associate Professor and the Vice Program Leader for the research program on photovoltaic systems. His current research is on the integration of grid-friendly photovoltaic systems with an emphasis on the power electronics converter design, control, and reliability.




Harish S. Krishnamoorthy received the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA, in 2015. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX. Prior to this, he was an Electrical Engineer at the Houston Formation Evaluation Center, Schlumberger REMS, Houston. His research interests include power electronic converters and control, power conversion for data centers, electric vehicles, envelope tracking for 5G, radar power supply, high power density converters and packaging techniques for applications in extreme environments.


Arijit Banerjee received the Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. Prior to joining MIT, he was with the Power Conversion Systems Group, General Electric (GE) Global Research Centre, Bangalore. His research interests include analysis, design, control, and diagnostics of electromechanical energy conversion systems.



Jinyeong Moon received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, in 2016. He was with Hynix Semiconductor Inc., Icheon, South Korea, from 2007 to 2011 as a Senior Research Engineer, and a postdoctoral associate at MIT from 2016 to 2017. He was with Maxim Integrated, North Chelmsford, MA, USA, from 2017 to 2018 as a Member of Technical Staff. His current research interests include modeling, design, analysis, and measurement of circuits and systems in the fields of power conversion, energy harvesting, electromagnetics, and renewable energy.


Speakers and presentations:

  1. Phil Krein, UIUC-ZJU, China
    Academic life in USA
  1. Dibyendu Rana, Apple Inc, USA
    Career path in industry – some advice
  1. Mark Dehong Xu, Zhejiang University, China
    Academic life in China
  1. Pradeep Shenoy, TI, USA
    Why industry?
  1. Frede Blaabjerg, Aalborg University, Denmark
    Balance between academic work and life: Academic life in Europe
  1. Pedro Rodriguez, Loyola University, Spain
    Balance between industrial work and life: Transition between academic and industrial careers