Meet The Team

Dr. Kiruba Haran — Leading a NASA project regarding the development of the compact, high efficiency electric machine for more-electric aircraft.  Our inverter is intended to drive his electric machine. Dr. Kiruba Haran obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering from OAU, Nigeria in 1994, and a PhD in Electric Power Engineering from RPI, Troy, NY in 2000. He is currently an Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering at UIUC. Prior to this, Dr. Haran was at GE for 13 years, and led the research group that develops advanced electrical machine technology for all of GE’s industrial businesses.

Nathan Pallo ( — After completing his BSEE from MIT in 2011, Nathan remained in the Boston area to work in the innovation economy. After 5 years in industry – with work ranging from designing advanced wireless power systems for medical, automotive and consumer applications at WiTricity Corporation, to research and development on measurement and control systems in harsh environments at Loci Controls – Nathan joined Pilawa Group at ECE Illinois in 2016 for graduate studies. Current research includes extreme performance power converters, as well as their real-time emulation.

Robert Pilawa-Podgurski is currently an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and is affiliated with the Power and Energy Systems group. He performs research in the area of power electronics. His research interests include renewable energy applications, electric vehicles, energy harvesting, CMOS power management, high density and high efficiency power converters, and advanced control of power converters.

Christopher Barth  ( — Chris received his BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2012 and 2014, respectively. For his BS and MS work, he performed research in solar photovoltaics and advanced digital control techniques for maximum power point tracking. He is currently pursuing his PhD degree, with a focus on high power density inverter, motor drives, and thermal management of power electronic systems.

Thomas Foulkes  ( — Thomas received his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana in 2015. He is currently pursuing his MS degree in Electrical Engineering. His research focus is advanced cooling techniques for high density power inverters for electric vehicle applications.

Dr. Tomas Modeer (post-doc) — Dr. Modeer received MSc and PhD degrees in electrical machines and power electronics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden in 2005 and 2015 respectively. In addition to extensive industry consulting experience in areas of inverters and motor drives, Dr. Modeer has served as an airplane mechanic in the Swedish Air Force. His current research is on high power density inverters for next generation electric aircrafts.

Andy Yoon —Andy Yoon is a 2nd year graduate student working with Professor Kiruba Haran. He also received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013.