Celebrating the Lifetime of UT Arlington Professor Mo-Shing Chen

Mo-Shing Chen, a world-renowned energy engineering educator and researcher, died on 1 Might on the age of 91.

The IEEE Fellow was a professor on the College of Texas at Arlington for greater than 40 years. He based the college’s Vitality Programs Analysis Middle in 1968 and served as its director till he retired in 2003.

Chen created UTA’s first Ph.D. program in electrical engineering in 1969, and it shortly turned one of many nation’s largest and top-rated graduate packages in energy methods engineering.

Chen’s analysis included the modeling {of electrical} masses, the impact of voltage management in vitality financial savings, real-time testing to enhance energy system effectivity, laptop illustration of cogeneration methods, decreasing effectivity losses in transmission strains, and voltage stability.

By his work, he solved complicated issues engineers had been dealing with with energy networks, from small, rural electrical cooperatives to ones that serve massive metropolitan areas together with New York Metropolis’s Consolidated Edison Co.

He taught his college students not solely the way to remedy such issues but in addition the way to determine and perceive what precipitated the troubles.

Mentoring the subsequent era of energy engineers

Born within the village of Wuxing in China, Chen and his household moved to Taiwan in 1949 when he was a young person. After Chen earned a bachelor’s diploma in electrical engineering in 1954 from Nationwide Taiwan College in Taipei, he joined the Taiwan Energy Co. as an influence engineer in Wulai. There he turned fascinated by tough, real-world issues of energy methods, akin to frequent blackouts and sudden spikes of electrical masses.

Deciding he needed to pursue grasp’s and doctoral levels in electrical engineering, Chen moved to america to take action on the College of Texas at Austin beneath the mentorship of Edith Clarke, an EE professor there. She had invented an early graphing calculator and labored on the design and development of hydroelectric energy methods together with the Hoover Dam, situated on the Nevada-Arizona border.

Clarke and Chen had full of life discussions about their work, and so they had mutual respect for each other. He studied beneath Clarke till she retired in 1957.

Chen earned his grasp’s diploma in 1958 and his Ph.D. in 1962.

He joined UTA—then often known as Arlington State Faculty—in 1962 as an assistant professor {of electrical} engineering.

As a professor, Chen noticed {that electrical} engineering packages at universities across the nation weren’t assembly the wants of trade, so he based UTA’s Energy Programs Analysis Middle. It was later renamed the Vitality Programs Analysis Middle.

He gained international recognition within the energy trade by way of his intensive, two-week continuing-education course, Modeling and Evaluation of Trendy Energy Programs, which he started instructing in 1967. Attendees realized the way to design, function, and stabilize methods. The course turned the facility trade’s hub for persevering with schooling, attended by 1,500 members from academia and trade. The attendees got here from greater than 750 universities and firms worldwide. Chen additionally traveled to greater than 40 corporations and universities to show the course.

He mentored UTA’s first Ph.D. graduate, Howard Daniels, who turned an IEEE life member and vp of a multinational energy firm primarily based in Switzerland. Chen went on to mentor greater than 300 graduate college students.

Chen this 12 months was awarded considered one of UTA’s first Faculty of Engineering Legacy Awards. The consideration is designed to acknowledge a school member’s career-long efficiency and dedication to the college.

In 1968 he based the Transmission and Substation Design and Operation Symposium. The occasion, nonetheless held at the moment, serves as a discussion board for utility corporations, engineers, contractors, and consultants to current and focus on traits and challenges.

He additionally created a distinguished-lecturer collection at UTA and invited college students, school, and trade engineers to campus to hearken to speeches by energy methods engineers together with IEEE Fellow Charles Concordia and IEEE Life Fellow W.F. Tinney.

Chen mentioned he was all the time cognizant that the first objective of a college was schooling, so earlier than making any choice, he requested himself, “How will my college students profit?”

By the mid-Nineteen Seventies, the U.S. Nationwide Science Basis constantly ranked UTA as one of many high energy engineering packages within the nation.

Chen mentioned he believed any school member might train high college students, who usually want little assist. A professor’s actual service to society, he mentioned, was turning common college students into top-quality graduates who might compete with anybody.

A part of that course of was recruiting, motivating, and mentoring college students. Chen insisted that his graduate college students have an workplace close to his so he might be available for discussions.

Chen’s contagious enthusiasm and thorough understanding of energy methods— together with a knack for speaking tough ideas clearly, merely, and humorously—made him a preferred professor. In 1976 he acquired the primary Edison Electrical Institute Energy Engineering Educator Award. Greater than 50 of Chen’s college students and colleagues endorsed him for the honour.

Chen based the college’s first worldwide visiting-scholars program in 1968. By this system, greater than 50 energy methods researchers have spent a 12 months at UTA, instructing and conducting analysis. Contributors have come from China, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Macedonia, Spain, and Russia.

Energy engineering analysis for ConEd

Chen was the principal investigator for greater than 40 analysis tasks on the Vitality Programs Analysis Middle. Lots of them had been supported by Consolidated Edison (ConEd) of New York and the Electrical Energy Analysis Institute, in Washington, D.C.

Certainly one of his first analysis tasks concerned creating a pc illustration of an operational energy system with Daniels. Operating a pc was costly within the late Sixties, and Chen and Daniels’ analysis helped lower knowledge acquisition prices from between US $10,000 and $20,000 to just one cent.

With that undertaking, Chen shortly demonstrated his analysis worth to the facility trade.

Within the first undertaking Chen led for ConEd, he and his workforce created a pc illustration of New York Metropolis’s underground electrical energy system. It was considered one of Chen’s favourite tasks, he mentioned, and he loved trying again at his experiences with it.

“Earlier than this examine, computer systems had been used to symbolize balanced methods, not unbalanced underground methods,” he as soon as instructed me. “New York Metropolis is essentially a distribution system, not a transmission system. ConEd had paid $2 million to a special, very well-known college to do that examine, but it surely couldn’t ship the outcomes after two years. We bid $250,000 and delivered the leads to 9 months.”

ConEd’s CEO on the time mentioned, “We requested for a Ford, and also you delivered a Cadillac.” It was the start of an almost 30-year relationship between Chen and the utility firm.

Chen and his colleagues designed and constructed a small supervisory management and knowledge acquisition system within the mid-Nineteen Eighties for a bunch of energy corporations in Texas. Such methods collect and analyze real-time knowledge from energy methods to observe and management their gear. Chen’s invention proved invaluable when he and his workforce had been modeling electrical masses for analyzing energy system stability, ensuing within the discount of blackouts.

He revealed greater than 100 peer-reviewed papers, most of them in IEEE Transactions on Energy Programs.

His awards included the 1984 IEEE Centennial Medal, an honorary professorship by eight universities in China and Taiwan, and an honorary EE doctorate in 1997 from the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, in Mexico.

He was a member of the Texas Society of Skilled Engineers, the American Society of Engineering Schooling, IEEE–Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Sigma Xi.

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