High-Specific-Power Machines and Drives for Aircraft Propulsion


IEEE Central Illinois Section November Meeting

Technical Talk

The global aviation industry emitted 781 million tons of CO2 in 2015, a number which is expected to grow as air travel grows rapidly in emerging markets.  Without the intervention of new policies, global aircraft emissions are projected to triple by 2050. Ambitious goals have been set by the aerospace industry for the next three generations of commercial transport aircraft to ensure sustainability of the industry. This includes a better than 70% reduction in aircraft fuel burn, along with significant reduction in noise and other emissions. These challenging goals require the development of disruptive technologies beyond the current trends in the aviation industry.

One approach being explored to meet these targets is the use of electric/hybrid-electric propulsion. Studies show that commercial transport aircraft with a 'turboelectric distributed propulsion system' is able to reduce the mission fuel burn by 70-72% on an intercontinental mission without compromising payload, range or cruise speed.  This is accomplished by using an electric propulsion system that decouples the power producing parts of the system from the thrust producing parts. Fifteen electric motor driven turbofans were mounted on a continuous nacelle and two large turbo-generators located at the wing tips were employed. Small electric aircraft are already being produced and offered commercially, but significant challenges prevent scaling up of the technology to commercial aviation. Megawatt scale electrical machines and drives with specific power better than 6 kW/kg will be required to make these systems viable.

This talk will describe the application space and key enabling technologies being explored.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 09 Nov 2016
  • Time: 06:30 PM to 08:30 PM
  • All times are (GMT-06:00) US/Central
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  • 306 N Wright St
  • Urbana, Illinois
  • United States 61801
  • Building: Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (ECEB)
  • Room Number: 4070
  • Click here for Map

  • Starts 11 October 2016 12:00 AM
  • Ends 09 November 2016 01:00 PM
  • All times are (GMT-06:00) US/Central
  • No Admission Charge


Kiruba Haran Kiruba Haran of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


High-Specific-Power Machines and Drives for Aircraft Propulsion


Kiruba S. Haran obtained a PhD in Electric Power Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, in 2000. He spent 13 years as a senior engineer and manager of the research group developing advanced electrical machine technology at GE Research. He moved to the University of Illinois in 2014 as an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics. His research focus in recent years has been on high specific power machines and drives for mobile applications, with both superconducting and non-cryogenic approaches. He serves on the Steering Committee of the IEEE Transportation Electrification Community, is the current Chair of the Electric Machinery Committee of IEEE-PES, and is an editor of the IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion. He is a registered Professional Engineer in New York and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Kiruba Haran of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


High-Specific-Power Machines and Drives for Aircraft Propulsion



6:30 – 6:45 PM: Sign-in and Meet & Greet (Refreshments provided)

6:45 – 7:45 PM: Seminar – Tech Talk by Prof. Haran

7:45 – 8:15 PM: Q&A

8:15 – 8:30 PM: Wrap-up and Meeting End