Electric Power Systems Engineering

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The Master of Science in Electric Power Systems Engineering (MS-EPSE) gives students a thorough understanding of the tools, methods, and practice of electric power engineering. It is both focused and practical in its orientation, with the goal of providing an education that is directly applicable to a career in industry. 

The MS-EPSE degree is an accelerated program suitable for a new or recent graduate, as well as experienced professionals who want to receive the necessary retraining to change careers. The program is offered both in-class and as an online degree.

Admission Requirements

Students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in electrical engineering with an overall GPA of at least 3.0. Students who do not have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in electrical engineering must satisfy:

  1. Completion of the following ECE courses (or electrical engineering courses equivalent to ECE 200, 211, 220, 301, and 303.
  2. Applicants must have also completed the following courses or equivalent courses: three semesters of calculus, one semester of probability/statistics, two semesters of physics, and one semester of chemistry.

GRE scores within the last four years of the date of anticipated admission. Guideline for minimal GRE percentile scores are 70 percentile verbal, 90 percentile quantitative, and 50 percentile analytical or writing. GRE scores for students who are graduates from NC State may be waived. 

Three strong recommendations from persons able to comment on the applicant's qualifications for graduate study. 

All non-US citizen applicants (i.e., non-resident aliens and permanent residents) must demonstrate proficiency in English at a level necessary to be successful in a graduate program at NC State University. The TOEFL or IELTS test must have been taken within two years of the date of anticipated admission. On the TOEFL iBT, students must have a minimum score of 18 on the Listening, Reading and Writing sections, 19 on the Speaking section, and a minimum Total score of 90. On the IELTS, students must have a minimum score of 6.5 on the Listening, Reading and Writing sections, 7.0 on the Speaking section, and a minimum Overall Band Score of 6.5. Scores on previous versions of the TOEFL and IELTS are considered with the same qualitative standard. The TOEFL and IELTS tests will be waived if the applicant is a citizen of a country where English is an official language and the language of instruction in higher education or if the applicant has successfully completed at least one year of full-time study in a degree program at a four-year US college or university.

TOEFL -  institution code 5496; department code 66. 
GRE - institution code 5496; department code 1203. 

Master’s Degree Requirements

The MS-EPSE program requires 30 credit hours of graduate coursework. Twenty-seven credits include four core electric power engineering courses; two interdisciplinary courses on power electronics, data communications, cyber security and environmental issues associated with electric power systems; professional skills training on project management, communication skills, and the business aspects of electric power utilities, and solid hands-on experience through laboratories and a capstone project. This program provides a one-to-one interaction with industry partners. 

Student Financial Support: Student scholarships are available through an application process. Please contact the program manager for further information. 

Other Relevant Information

To further promote integration of concepts and provide hands-on experience, the program includes an industry sponsored capstone project. 

Faculty

Full Professors

  • Mesut E. Baran
  • Subhashish Bhattacharya
  • Aranya Chakrabortty
  • Robert Wendell Heath
  • Iqbal Husain
  • Ning Lu
  • Srdjan M. Lukic
  • Daryoosh Vashaee
  • John Victor Veliadis
  • Wenye Wang
  • Jonathan Wierer

Associate Professors

  • Zeljko Pantic
  • Nuria Gonzalez Prelcic
  • Nitin Sharma

Assistant Professors

  • Amay Jairaj Bandodkar
  • Spyridon Pavlidis
  • Wenyuan Tang

Practice/Research/Teaching Professors

  • Douglas C. Hopkins
  • David Lee Lubkeman
  • Leonard Wilson White
  • Wensong Yu

Courses

Civil Engineering

CE 578/CE 478  Energy and Climate  (3 credit hours)  

Interdisciplinary analysis of energy technology, natural resources, and the impact on anthropogenic climate change. Topics include basic climate science, energetics of natural and human systems, energy in fossil-fueled civilization, the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on climate, and technology and public policy options for addressing the climate challenge. The course is quantitative with a strong emphasis on engineering and science.

Prerequisite: Senior standing

Typically offered in Fall only

Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE 511  Analog Electronics  (3 credit hours)  

Analog integrated circuits and analog integrated circuit design techniques. Review of basic device and technology issues Comprehensive coverage of MOS and Bipolar operational amplifiers. Brief coverage of analog-to-digital conversion techniques and switched-capacitor filters. Strong emphasis on use of computer modeling and simulation as design tool. Students required to complete an independent design project.

Prerequisite: ECE403

Typically offered in Fall only

ECE 516  System Control Engineering  (3 credit hours)  

Introduction to analysis and design of continuous and discrete-time dynamical control systems. Emphasis on linear, single-input, single-output systems using state variable and transfer function methods. Open and closed-loop representation; analog and digital simulation; time and frequency response; stability by Routh-Hurwitz, Nyquist and Liapunov methods; performance specifications; cascade and state variable compensation. Assignments utilize computer-aided analysis and design programs.

Prerequisite: ECE 435 or ECE 301

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 533  Power Electronics Design & Packaging  (3 credit hours)  

This course introduces design of high-performance power electronic circuits where the integrated physical topology must be considered as part of the circuit, and provides an understanding of the multitude of parasitic elements created by circuit layout, materials and fabrication techniques. This prepares the student for high-density, high-frequency design of converters, gate drive circuits and resonant topologies. The student is also introduced to a power-electronics packaging lab and primary fabrication processes, such as Direct Bonded Copper (DBC) module construction with heavy-wire bonding, two-sided and 3D power modules in layered polymers, and high-voltage isolation of circuits with encapsulate in modules.

Prerequisite: ECE 434 or with permission of instructor

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 534  Power Electronics  (3 credit hours)  

DC and AC analysis of isolated and non-isolated switch mode power supply. Basic converter topologies covered include: buck, boost and buck/boost and their transformer-couples derivatives. Design of close loop of these DC/DC converters. Power devices and their applications in DC/DC converters. Inductor and transformer design.

Prerequisite: ECE 302

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ECE 535/MAE 535  Design of Electromechanical Systems  (3 credit hours)  

A practical introduction to electromechanical systems with emphasis on modeling, analysis, design, and control techniques. Provides theory and practical tools for the design of electric machines (standard motors, linear actuators, magnetic bearings, etc). Involves some self-directed laboratory work and culuminates in an industrial design project. Topics include Maxwell's equations, electromechanical energy conversion, finite element analysis, design and control techniques.

Prerequisite: MA 341

Typically offered in Spring and Summer

ECE 536  Digital Control System Projects  (3 credit hours)  

Discrete system dynamics, sampled-data systems, mathematical representations of analog/digital and digital/analog conversions, open- and -closed-loop systems, input-output relationships, state-space and stability analyses, time and frequency domain analysis with emphasis on time domain. Design and implementation of digital controllers. Case studies. Design project including hardware implementation.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing & ECE 436 or similar or consent of instructor

Typically offered in Fall only

ECE 550  Power System Operation and Control  (3 credit hours)  

Fundamental concepts of economic operation and control of power systems. Real and reactive power balance. System components, characteristics and operation. Steady state and dynamic analysis of interconnected systems. Tieline power and load-frequencycontrol with integrated economic dispatch.

Prerequisite: ECE 305, ECE 435

Typically offered in Fall only

ECE 551  Smart Electric Power Distribution Systems  (3 credit hours)  

Features and components of electric power distribution systems, power flow, short circuit and reliability analysis, basic control and protection, communications and SCADA, new "smart" functionality such as integrated volt/var control, automated fault location isolation and restoration, demand response and advanced metering infrastructure, integration of distributed generation and energy storage.

Prerequisite: ECE 451

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 552/ECE 452  Renewable Electric Energy Systems  (3 credit hours)  

Principles and characteristics of renewable energy based electric power generation technologies such as photovoltaic systems, wind turbines, and fuel cells. Main system design issues. Integration of these energy sources into the power grid. Economics of distributed generation. Credit is not allowed for both ECE 452 and ECE 552.

Prerequisite: ECE 305 or ECE 331

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 554  Electric Motor Drives  (3 credit hours)  

Topics covered in this course: Principles of Electromechanical energy conversion; analysis, modeling and control of electric machinery; steady state performance characteristics of direct current, induction, synchronous and reluctance machines; scalar control of induction machines; introduction to direct and quadrature axis theory; dynamic models of induction and synchronous machines; vector control of induction and synchronous machines.

Prerequisite: ECE 305 or equivalent

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 561/ECE 461  Embedded System Design  (3 credit hours)  

Design and implementation of software for embedded computer systems. The students will learn to design systems using microcontrollers, C and assembly programming, real-time methods, computer architecture, interfacing system development and communication networks. System performance is measured in terms of power consumption, speed and reliability. Efficient methods for project development and testing are emphasized. Credit will not be awarded for both ECE 461 and ECE 561. Restricted to CPE and EE Majors.

Prerequisite: Grade of C- or better in ECE 460

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 581  Electric Power System Protection  (3 credit hours)  

Protection systems used to protect the equipment in an electric power system against faults, fault analysis methods, basic switchgear used for protection, basic protection schemes, such as overcurrent, differential, and distance protection and their application.

Prerequisite: ECE 451

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 583  Electric Power Engineering Practicum I  (3 credit hours)  

This course introduces fundamentals of project management and system engineering principles in a wide range of electric power applications from concept through termination. The course also provides opportunities for students to adapt technical content to both expert and novice audiences in project management reports and presentations. Restricted to Master of Science in Electric Power Systems Engineering.

Prerequisite: ECE 451

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 584  Electric Power Engineering Practicum II  (3 credit hours)  

In this capstone course students will apply electric engineering and science knowledge to an electrical power engineering project. Consideration of the design process including feasibility study, preliminary design detail, cost effectiveness, along with development and evaluation of a prototype accomplished through design-team project activity. Complete written and oral engineering report required. Restricted to Master of Science in Electric Power Systems Engineering.

Prerequisite: ECE 583

Typically offered in Fall and Summer

ECE 585  The Business of the Electric Utility Industry  (3 credit hours)  

Evolution of the electric utility industry, the structure and business models of the industry, the regulatory factors within which the utilities operate, the operations of the utility industry and the current policy and emerging technology issues facing the business. The course includes significant interaction with industry officials and utility business operations.

Prerequisite: ECE 451

Typically offered in Fall only

ECE 586  Communication and SCADA Systems for Smart Grid  (3 credit hours)  

This is an introductory course on communication technologies and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems for smart electric power applications. The fundamental concepts, principles, and practice of how communication systems operate are introduced and the function of main components reviewed. Application of communication systems for electric power, in particular SCADA architecture and protocols are also introduced. The course includes hands-on experience with typical intelligent electronic devices interconnected by a communication system.

R: Graduate Students Only

Typically offered in Fall only

ECE 587  Power System Transients Analysis  (3 credit hours)  

Review of solutions to first and second order differential equations for electric power circuit transients. Applications to fault current instantaneous, shunt capacitor transients, circuit switching transients and overvoltages, current interruption and transformer transient behavior. Computer solution techniques for transient analysis using PSCAD and Matlab/Simulink. Modeling of utility power electronics circuits including single and three-phase rectifiers and inverters. Applications of power electronics for transmission system control and renewable generation. Distributed line modeling for traveling wave analysis of surge events. Introduction to voltage insulation, surge arrestor operation and lightning stroke analysis.

Typically offered in Fall only

ECE 589/MSE 489/MSE 589/PY 489/PY 589/ECE 489  Solid State Solar and Thermal Energy Harvesting  (3 credit hours)  

This course studies the fundamental and recent advances of energy harvesting from two of the most abundant sources, namely solar and thermal energies. The first part of the course focuses on photovoltaic science and technology. The characteristics and design of common types of solar cells is discussed, and the known approaches to increasing solar cell efficiency will be introduced. After the review of the physics of solar cells, we will discuss advanced topics and recent progresses in solar cell technology. The second part of the course is focused on thermoelectric effect. The basic physical properties, Seebeck coefficient, electrical and thermal conductivities, are discussed and analyzed through the Boltzmann transport formalism. Advanced subject such as carrier scattering time approximations in relation to dimensionality and the density of states are studied. Different approaches for further increasing efficiencies are discussed including energy filtering, quantum confinement, size effects, band structure engineering, and phonon confinement.

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 592  Special Topics In Electrical Engineering  (1-6 credit hours)  

Two-semester sequence to develop new courses and to allow qualified students to explore areas of special interest.

Prerequisite: B average in technical subjects

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ECE 650  Internship  (3 credit hours)  

This course requires an internship with a company or organization outside the University. The student will secure an internship of a technical nature and complete and submit a Coop report for evaluation.

Restricted: 14EEMS, 14CPEMS, 14CNEMS, 14EPSEMS

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

ECE 726  Advanced Feedback Control  (3 credit hours)  

Advanced topics in dynamical systems and multivariable control. Current research and recent developments in the field.

Prerequisite: ECE 516

Typically offered in Fall only

ECE 732  Dynamics and Control of Electric Machines  (3 credit hours)  

Dynamic behavior of AC electric machines and drive systems; theory of field orientation and vector control for high performance induction and synchronous machines; permanent magnet and reluctance machines and their control; principles of voltage source and current source inverters, and voltage and current regulation methods.

Prerequisite: ECE 453 or ECE 592

Typically offered in Fall only

ECE 734  Power Management Integrated Circuits  (3 credit hours)  

Review of modern power management converters and circuits; Review modeling and control of converters; Detail discussion of voltage and current mode controllers; Understanding of power converter losses and optimization method, as well as management of power; Integrated circuit design of various power management chips.

Prerequisite: ECE 511 and ECE 534

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 736  Power System Stability and Control  (3 credit hours)  

Principles of FACTS (flexible AC transmission systems) and their applications. Power transmission on an AC system. Power system models for steady-state and dynamic analysis. Power system transient analysis for stability assessment. Voltage phenomena and methods for assessment.

Prerequisite: ECE 451 and ECE 750

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 739  Integrated Circuits Technology and Fabrication Laboratory  (3 credit hours)  

An integrated circuit laboratory to serve as a companion to ECE 538. Hands-on experience in semiconductor fabrication laboratory. Topics include: techniques used to fabricate and electrically test discrete semiconductor devices, the effects of process variations on measurable parameters.

Prerequisite: ECE 538

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 753  Computational Methods for Power Systems  (3 credit hours)  

This course is designed to introduce computational methods used for power grid operation and planning. The course will help students understand the various computational methods that form the basis of major commercial software packages used by grid analysts and operators. Students are expected to have some basic understanding of principles of power system analysis including power system models, power flow calculation, economic dispatch, reliable and stability analysis. The course covers the following computational methods commonly used in power grid operation and planning: Locational Marginal Pricing Schemes, Game Theory, Unconstrained Optimization, Linear Programming, Non-linear Constrained Optimization, and Forecasting Methods.

Prerequisite: ECE 451 or ECE 550

Typically offered in Spring only

ECE 792  Special Topics In Electrical Engineering  (1-6 credit hours)  

Two-semester sequence to develop new courses and to allow qualified students to explore areas of special interest.

Prerequisite: B average in technical subjects

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

Industrial and Systems Engineering

ISE 515  Manufacturing Process Engineering  (3 credit hours)  

Manufacturing process engineering, primary, secondary, finishing and assembly processes. Traditional and non-traditional manufacturing processes, group technology, manufacturing analyses and application of economic analyses. Graduate standing in Engineering.

Typically offered in Fall and Summer