ECE professorship awarded to smart grid researcher Sid Suryanarayanan

Professor and student

Associate Professor Sid Suryanarayanan, inaugural recipient of the ECE Rhoden Professorship, works with a student at the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory.

Last year, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering unveiled its first-ever endowed professorship, the Lisa and Desi Rhoden College Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Lisa and Desi Rhoden
Lisa Rhoden (B.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84), and Desi Rhoden (B.S., Electrical Engineering ’83; M.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84).

Lisa and Desi Rhoden are alumni of the department, who met at Colorado State University while taking electrical engineering course work. Using the knowledge they attained while at CSU, Lisa now works as an industry organizer and manages leading teams of software, firmware, and hardware engineers around the world. Desi, with more than 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, is executive vice president at Montage Technology.

“Our electrical engineering education is the foundation of our life successes,” said the Rhodens. “We want to support excellence in the classroom to ensure transformative learning experiences for future generations.”

Inaugural recipient of Rhoden professorship

Entrusting the facilitation of these learning experiences to current faculty, the Rhoden professorship has been awarded to Siddharth Suryanarayanan, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, director of the Advanced Power Engineering Laboratory at CSU, and the 2015 recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society Outstanding Young Engineer Award.

“I’m thrilled and humbled at the same time. This is a validation, I feel, of my contributions thus far to research, teaching, and service,” he said.

Suryanarayanan’s research is in modern electric power systems and is aimed at the creation of scalable and sustainable smart grids. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the smart grid is a suite of technologies for creating the next generation of the electricity grid with high energy efficiency, innovative operations, presence of renewable energy sources, and new technologies such as electric vehicles, and active participation from end users.

With the help of the Rhoden professorship, Suryanarayanan hopes to further explore the field of high-performance computing for application in the smart grid area. He also intends to further support his cohort of graduate students. “I depend a lot on my students, and I’m very grateful for their hard work. I intend to support them in a way that helps them meet their professional goals,” he said.

Facilitating positive student experiences

Suryanarayanan firmly believes that students gain a full, well-rounded educational experience at CSU. His students agree. Manish Mohanpurkar, CSU electrical and computer engineering graduate and scientist of power and energy systems at Idaho National Laboratory, felt his education under the guidance of Suryanarayanan was invaluable.

“Leading by example, Dr. Suryanarayanan has cultivated working habits of discipline, attention to detail, and timeliness. The educational experience in the electrical and computer engineering department at CSU has been instrumental in building my career and taking it to the next level as a scientist at a national laboratory,” he said.

With the help of the Rhoden professorship, Suryanarayanan looks forward to facilitating more quality learning experiences in his lab. “Having positive relationships in undergrad and grad education cultivates that kind of relationship with the university. It’s fantastic that our alumni are recognizing and showing commitment to the growth of our department’s stature.”