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News Archive 2001 - 2010

EE Professor Receives University’s Outstanding Research Award

April 19, 2007

Wei-Jen Lee, Ph.D., a professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Energy Systems Research Center, has received the Outstanding Research Achievement Award presented by The University of Texas at Arlington. The award recognizes a record of outstanding research, based on the quality, importance and impact of the research.

Dr. Lee joined the Electrical Engineering Department in the College of Engineering in 1986. Since that time, he has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than 60 projects valued at almost $6 million. His work often produced dramatic results:
 His studies for Consolidated Edison Company of New York discovered a design flaw in a network protector. The manufacturer had to recall all the units in the market, possibly avoiding a major system incident.
 His development of a “Dynamic Performance Monitoring System for the Interconnection between the Co-generation and Utility Grid” enabled a petrochemical company to participate in the generation program for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, earning $8 million for the company.
 His “Neural Network Short Term Load Forecasting” project for an electric co-op reduced the system’s day-ahead forecasting error from 10% to less than 3%. This had the potential of saving several thousand dollars a day.

Dr. Lee is a recognized leader in the world of power systems research and development. He has published 31 refereed journal articles, 85 conference papers and seven book chapters. The depth of the background he possesses in power systems analysis is demonstrated in the number of IEEE “Color Book” Recommended Practice Standards he has helped write. His “recommended practices” have become industry standards and are the most referenced materials in the electric power industry. As a result of his history of achievements, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) recently elevated him to Fellow grade, the highest membership grade and one of the most prestigious honors awarded by the IEEE.

Also recently, the Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Department of the IEEE’s Industry Application Society notified Dr. Lee that his paper “Multi-stage Artificial Neural Network Short-term Load Forecasting Engine with Front-end Weather Forecast” was selected to receive the 2006 Prize Paper Award. His award will be presented at the Society’s 2007 Technical Conference Awards luncheon in Edmonton, Alberta in May.

In addition to his research, Dr. Lee is also a noted educator. He currently supervises 10 Ph.D. and two master’s students. In 1992, at the request of the Saudi Consolidated Electric Company, he worked with Electrical Engineering Professors Floyd Cash and Mo-Shing Chen to develop an interdisciplinary degree plan with concentrations on power engineering, electrical engineering and computer science. The Saudi system sent five of its dispatchers to UT Arlington to receive an undergraduate education and obtain special training at the Energy Systems Research Center.

The group members earned their degrees in 1996, receiving great respect from their employer; a company vice president attended their graduation ceremony, receiving coverage in Saudi newspapers. Because of the success of this program, the company decided to send all of its dispatchers to UT Arlington to receive formal training. The degree plan was so successful that it was used as a model to help UT Arlington establish a Bachelor of Science degree in the interdisciplinary area. The program was subsequently approved by the UT system.

“Dr. Lee is one of our most productive faculty,” said Dr. Raymond Shoults, chair of the Electrical Engineering Department. “Not only does he conduct significant research and produce high-quality research publications, but he has also maintained the highest number of graduate student credit hours under his direct supervision at the Ph.D. level over the last three years. He is a tremendous credit to the department and to UT Arlington.”