PhD student wins IEEE award

Earlier this month the 2020 IEEE International Conference on High Voltage Engineering and Application took place, with 683 academic papers presented online. The event is one of the largest conferences in the field of high voltage engineering.

Dr Qiang Liu from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) delivered an invited keynote speech on ‘Streamer and Breakdown Mechanisms of Dielectric Liquids’. PhD student Berihu Mebrahtom won an IEEE Caixin Sun and Stan Grzybowski Best Student Paper Award for “Development of a dual-temperature test cell for laboratory ageing experiment of transformer insulation systems”. The paper presented the design, construction and verification of a dual-temperature test system for the ageing assessment of various transformer insulation materials. The award came with a prize of $500.

Berihu obtained the BEng degree for Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Manchester in 2011. After several years of industrial working experience, he has been pursuing a PhD degree under the supervision of Dr Qiang Liu and Prof Zhongdong Wang in EEE. Berihu received a full PhD scholarship funded by the Transformer Research Consortium- Phase 4, with the industrial sponsors of EPRI, M&I Materials, National Grid, Scottish Power, SGB-SMIT, Shell, TJ|H2b and Weidmann.

The Transformer Research Consortium was established in 2005 at The University of Manchester to develop knowledge and understanding related to many aspects of transformers, allowing optimisation of the design and operation of these important assets. In establishing a consortium, insight is gained from experts with a diverse specialist experience of transformer design and operation. The consortium brings together expertise from transformer manufacturers and owners, solid and liquid insulation material manufacturers and oil testing companies.

Qiang Liu, Reader of Power System Plant and Director of High Voltage Laboratories, says: “The IEEE ICHVE 2020 Best Student Paper Award reflects the dedicated effort Berihu put into the development of the dual-temperature ageing test system. The outputs of the year-long ageing experiments would potentially lead to the revision of a few IEC international standards”


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