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ECE's Krishnamoorthy named OTC Emerging Leader
April 7, 2022
By
Stephen Greenwell
Harish Sarma Krishnamoorthy, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Cullen College of Engineering, is part of the 2022 class for the Offshore Technology Conference's Emerging Leaders Program.
Harish Sarma Krishnamoorthy, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Cullen College of Engineering, is part of the 2022 class for the Offshore Technology Conference's Emerging Leaders Program.

Harish Sarma Krishnamoorthy, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the Cullen College of Engineering, is part of the 2022 class for the Offshore Technology Conference's Emerging Leaders Program.

The program recognizes young professionals with fewer than 10 years of experience in the offshore energy sector, according to a press release from the OTC. Each Emerging Leader is nominated by one of OTC’s 15 sponsoring, endorsing or supporting organizations, and selected by last year’s inaugural class of Emerging Leaders.

Given the stature of the organization, Krishnamoorthy called it a “prestigious honor” to be named an Emerging Leader.

“The Offshore Technology Conference has been named to the Trade Show Executive Gold 100, a prestigious all-star team of the 100 largest trade shows, and it is also arguably the largest conference in the world for offshore energy technologies,” he said. “It is a prestigious honor and feels great to be picked as an Emerging Leader in the Class of 2022. Congratulations to all the other named researchers and leaders of the Class of 2022 as well. It is truly satisfying to be among such an elite group.”

According to the citation for his selection, Krishnamoorthy was chosen “for contributions to promote research and workforce development in offshore energy technologies, with a strong focus on enhancing the safety and reliability of the electrical power systems/equipment, as well as reducing the carbon emissions.”

When it came to his contributions to the field, Krishnamoorthy pointed at three pressing challenges in offshore energy technologies that he deals with – safety, reliability and carbon emissions.

“With the widespread electrification of subsea oil and gas (O&G) systems and expansion of offshore wind generation, reliability and quality of electrical power have become extremely critical,” he said. “For example, the O&G industry loses about U.S. $100 million annually, directly or indirectly, due to incidents related to poor power quality. Over the last several years, I've tried to be at the forefront of addressing these important challenges.”

After completing his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M in 2015, Krishnamoorthy joined Schlumberger’s Wireline group. He played an important role in the development of reliable, extreme environment-capable electronics for Schlumberger’s ORA ‘Intelligent Wireline Formation Testing’ platform, which won the 2021 World Oil Award for Best Exploration Technology. The Ora platform performs downhole fluids’ analysis and sampling at greater than 50 percent higher operational efficiency, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Since joining UH’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2017, he has further expanded his contributions to the electrification of offshore technologies through research and workforce development. He is also an Associate Director of the Power electronics-Energy storage-Microgrids and Subsea Electrical Consortium (PEMSEC) at UH, which is funded by several major energy companies, such as Chevron, Shell, TechnipFMC and others. He has also been a PI or co-PI in multiple projects pertaining to the development of offshore energy technologies. These are funded mainly through the ‘Subsea Systems Institute (SSI)’ established under the RESTORE Act. All the projects target improving the sustainability, safety, reliability and efficiency of offshore power systems in subsea O&G and/or wind energy applications.

Krishnamoorthy has more than 75 publications in refereed journals/conferences, including OTC. About 10 of these publications in the last three to four years have aimed at enhancing the reliability, fault tolerance and/or efficiency in offshore power systems, especially in subsea O&G production. Moreover, he has published several papers on advanced power converters and architectures for offshore wind energy generation.

Five of the most critical technologies recently developed by Krishnamoorthy include: (i) Fault-tolerant, compact and flexible ‘solid-state transformers’ (SSTs) for medium voltage DC (MVDC) distribution, (ii) Statistics and machine learning based approaches for predicting the remaining useful life of electrical equipment in-situ, in order to facilitate preventive maintenance, (iii) Hybrid circuit breaker concepts for MVDC distribution, which reduce the response time in offshore DC grids to <100 µs, (iv) SST-based multi-port energy router for the electrical interconnection of subsea O&G production with offshore wind turbines, and (v) SST-based AC-DC rectifier concepts for compact as well as efficient power conversion in offshore wind turbines and subsea drive systems.

Krishnamoorthy was also quick to thank teachers, mentors and students that had helped him with his research.

“My Ph.D. supervisor, Prof. Prasad Enjeti of Texas A&M, was who I started contributing toward offshore wind research with,” he said. “My colleague, Prof. Kaushik Rajashekara, has been both a partner and a mentor on numerous offshore energy related projects at UH. The Subsea Systems Institute, which is led by Prof. Ramanan Krishnamoorti, has sponsored multiple projects for advancing key offshore energy technologies. I also want to thank the ever-supportive ECE department and the Cullen College of Engineering at UH, along with my previous employer Schlumberger, who gave me an opportunity to work on the ORA platform. Last but not least, none of these could have been possible without the active encouragement from my family and friends, whom I owe tremendously!”

This year’s class will be honored during a special ceremony during the conference on Tuesday, May 3. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the OTC website.

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