IEEE Talks Transportation Electrification: Broadening the Scope of IEEE Electrification Magazine

IEEE Electrification Magazine is a quarterly magazine dedicated to disseminating information on all matters related to microgrids onboard electric vehicles, ships, trains, planes and off-grid applications. Through a memorandum of understanding (MOU), the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community recently joined the IEEE Industry Applications Society, IEEE Power & Energy Society and IEEE Power Electronics Society as sponsors of the publication. IEEE Electrification Magazine editor-in-chief Iqbal Husain and Ali M. Bazzi, the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community eNewsletter editor-in-chief, explain what this new relationship means for the cast of diverse stakeholders benefitting from this development.

How might this MOU between IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community broaden the reach of the magazine?

Iqbal Husain: The original intent when IEEE Electrification Magazine was established was to address topics of interest primarily wherever electrification was taking place in transportation, such as in electric vehicles, electric ships, electric planes and electric railways, as well as microgrids. Those are the five key areas where we have been focused on publishing articles and illuminating trends. The objective is not to go very, very deep technically, like we have in IEEE Transactions, but at a level that can be easily understood even by business managers and others who are not experts in the field. We felt this MOU introduces us to a broader community for dissemination of information on what is happening in the electrification toward transportation, as well as to get additional authors, articles, interesting information and advertisers into the magazine.

How do you see the editorial content of the magazine changing?

Iqbal Husain: It is not going to change a whole lot because the focus has been toward transportation electrification. But it is going to broaden toward some of the other things that we have not addressed before, such as connected vehicles, communications within vehicles, fleet systems, etc.

Ali Bazzi: Another very important area to explore is cybersecurity in autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. As the editor-in-chief of the electronic newsletter for the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community, we have had several special issues in marine propulsion, cybersecurity and communications, wireless power transfer and many other areas. As the eNewsletter is now more mature, we believe that these more technical articles will now be better suited to broaden the scope of IEEE Electrification Magazine; therefore, we are reshaping our newsletter in 2019 to be more focused on brief news updates on topics such as webinars, seminars, conferences, workshops and job opportunities and to go from quarterly to monthly. 

Why is now the right time for this sort of collaboration to be taking place?

Iqbal Husain: Not only is there a lot happening in the transportation electrification sector itself, the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community has evolved so much over these past four years. In 2013, there did not exist this organization, and, in the years since, they have grown up to what it is today with engagement across different technical areas via the IEEE Aerospace & Electronics Systems Society, IEEE Consumer Electronics Society, IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IEEE Industry Applications Society, IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society, IEEE Power & Energy Society, IEEE Power Electronics Society, IEEE Reliability Society, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology, IEEE Standards Association and IEEE Systems Council.

Ali Bazzi: Another factor is that we now have more than 6,000 people who receive the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community eNewsletter, so we thought that a pipeline has now been successfully opened for these more technical articles that are of interest to the broader readership of IEEE Electrification Magazine.

What are some topics where you believe the magazine can help enhance understanding?

Ali Bazzi: I would like to read more and get better educated on the human/vehicle interaction and in what areas autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles might be the right solution. 

Iqbal Husain: I agree that it would be interesting for the readership to bring in elements of these autonomous vehicles or semi-autonomous vehicles. It appears that what most people are interested in are these topics around electric vehicles and microgrids. The number of unique visitors and hits for those articles really jumped up from 2016 to 2017. 

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Dr. Ali M. Bazzi is a UTC Assistant Professor of Engineering Innovation in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Center for Clean Energy Engineering (C2E2) at the University of Connecticut, where he established and currently directs the Advanced Power Electronics and Electric Drives Laboratory (APEDL). His research interests include power electronics design, control, optimization, fault diagnosis and reliability modeling in motor drives, solar photovoltaics and other applications including electrified transportation. He also is interested in renewable energy integration in microgrids and real-time control and optimization of energy systems in general. Dr. Bazzi is editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community eNewsletter. 

Dr. Iqbal Husain is the director of the FREEDM NSF Engineering Center and the ABB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He also serves as the director of the Advanced Transportation Energy Center at North Carolina State. Dr. Husain’s expertise is in the areas of power electronics, electric machines, motor drives and system controls. He made unique contributions for the design and control of electric machines and drives through his modeling and analysis-based research activities. In the FREEDM center, his research is focused on power electronics integration into power systems. He is the editor-in-chief of IEEE Electrification Magazine.