Two U.S. senators get first-hand look at UWM’s energy research

Two U.S. senators recently received an up-close look at the federally funded, collaborative research being done between UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science and Badger Technology Group.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona toured Badger Technology in Port Washington in early August for an update on federal investments, made to Wisconsin, in renewable energy and avionics systems.

UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science is partnering with Badger Technology on research for the U.S. Air Force Research Lab to produce, integrate and test a hybrid energy storage system at the Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. The project, called HESS (Hybrid Energy Storage System) supports the Department of Defense’s focus on energy resilience through the increased use of renewable energy.

After the tour, Baldwin’s office posted on Facebook: “Got to see how our skilled engineers at Badger Technology Group and UWM College of Engineering are using federal investments to lead the way in aerospace innovation, keep our country safe, and move Wisconsin’s renewable energy economy forward!”

During the senators’ tour, Mike Andrew, director of corporate relations for the College of Engineering & Applied Science, highlighted the capabilities and talents of UWM’s Center for Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems, which supports Badger Technology on the HESS project.

Researchers at the center are developing methods to make electric power systems more sustainable, cost effective and secure through research on energy storage, microgrid systems and renewable energy sources.

The center is led by Rob Cuzner, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Cuzner is the principal investigator of the HESS project, leading the UWM researchers who will conduct microgrid tests of the system developed by Badger Technology.

He is supported by the following team, which includes three students:

  • Joseph Lentz (master’s student), project lead and CSEES lab manager
  • Bill Weber, outreach program manager
  • Allen Jacob (master’s student), research assistant
  • Soheil Malekshah (PhD student), research assistant
  • Jacob Zuehl, engineering consultant

This research will foster commercial applications as the U.S. and the world work to modernize the electrical grid.

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