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With the price of gasoline reaching record levels this past summer, researchers in academia and the automotive industry have been scrambling to develop hybrid and pure electric vehicles to meet growing consumer demand for more economical and environmentally friendly means of transportation.
In early September, the fourth annual IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC) was held in Harbin, China. More than 600 renowned experts from the U.S., China, India, France, Germany, England and other countries participated in the three-day event. Among them was Prof. Ziyad Salameh of UMass Lowell’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who is co-director of the Center for Electric Car and Energy Conversion.
The choice of China to host the meeting was especially significant, given that in 2006 the most populous nation on Earth became the world’s second largest car market behind the United States. According to the magazine China International Business, last year there were more than 35 million private cars in the country, with 3 million in Beijing alone.
VPPC provided a forum for sharing knowledge, experience and creative ideas in electric vehicle power and propulsion, with emphasis on current issues and future trends in the areas of advanced power systems, storage, control electronics and motor drives. “The theme of the conference was ‘Powering Sustainable Mobility,’ ” says conference chairman C. C. Chan. “The challenges of sustainable mobility are energy, environment and safety. Power and propulsion are the key technologies for clean, efficient and intelligent vehicles toward sustainable mobility.”
“The conference was wonderful,” says Salameh. “It was very successful.” He gave talks at two technical sessions on the performance evaluation of lithium cobalt cells and lithium polymer batteries for use in electric vehicles, and chaired a session on supercapacitors.
Joining him in the presentations were doctoral students Frank Tredeau and Bong Kim. At the end of the meeting, the organizers presented Salameh with a certificate of recognition for his many contributions to the growing field of electric vehicles.
In December 2007 and April 2008, Salameh was invited to give lectures and chair sessions at the 17th International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference in Fukuoka, Japan, and the 13th annual Saudi Technical Exchange Meeting in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, respectively.