Kaushik Rajashekara, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), is the winner of the 2019 IEEE PELS Vehicle and Transportation Systems Achievement Award presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)’s Power Electronics Society (PELS).
He is being recognized "for contributions to the advancement of power conversion and propulsion systems for electrification of land and air transportation."
"I am honored to be the first recipient of this award from the IEEE Power Electronics Society," Rajashekara said.
Rajashekara, who is the head of the Cullen College power and energy systems program and director of the Power Electronics, Microgrids and Subsea Electrical Systems (PEMSES) laboratory, is a world-renowned authority and advocate for transportation electrification and futuristic vehicles.
Early in his career at General Motors/Delphi, Rajashekara was a member of the team that helped develop the General Motors EV1, the first mass-produced electric car from a major automaker. As chief scientist, he continued to develop and advocate for electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicle propulsion systems. He then served as chief technologist at Rolls-Royce, where he worked on advanced architectures for more electric and hybrid electric aircrafts. During this time, Rajashekara also investigated strategies for electric taxiing of airplanes, flying trucks and powering drones.
"There is an increasing trend in transportation electrification, which will further accelerate the advance of connected cars and autonomous vehicles," he said. "The electric and hybrid vehicle technologies being developed for automotive systems are being adapted for aircraft systems. It's an exciting time to be part of the transportation world."
Rajashekara became a member of the NAE – an elite group that brings together many of the world’s most accomplished engineers – in 2012 for contributions to electric power conversion systems in transportation. He is also a fellow of the IEEE and the U.S. National Academy of Inventors.
He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India and completed a master’s of business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in Indianapolis.
Rajashekara received the award this week at the IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference (ITEC) and Expo in Novi, Michigan.