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10/03/2016

Ludois named to Midwest Energy News’ ’40 Under 40′

Written By: Krista Eastman

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Midwest Energy News has placed Daniel Ludois, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and an affiliate of the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI), on its 2016 “40 Under 40” list, recognizing him as one of the Midwest’s emerging leaders in transitioning America to a clean energy economy. Ludois is one of only two academic researchers to make this year’s list, which also includes some of the region’s most influential utility executives, leaders in the non-profit sector, policymakers, and entrepreneurs.

Ludois received his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2012. He now serves as assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in UW–Madison’s College of Engineering and associate director of the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC). Ludois’ research focuses on high-performance power electronics and electric machines.

An expert in both the theory and application of electromagnetics, electrostatics, and solid state power converters, Ludois is contributing to our transition to a clean energy economy by creating technology that can bring large-scale change to power conversion. More specifically, his development of lightweight, reliable, and energy and cost-efficient electrostatic motors – motors that use electric rather than magnetic fields to convert electricity into rotary force – has lasting implications for many clean energy applications, including wind turbines, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, aerospace applications, energy storage, and energy infrastructure.

Compared to conventional machines and devices, Ludois’ innovative, “E-field” systems reduce metal mining needs, enable new manufacturing techniques, and extend the useful lifetime of equipment while maintaining higher electrical efficiencies. The systems are also low-maintenance and made from inexpensive and recyclable materials. This technology also forms the basis of a spin-off company, of which Ludois is co-founder, called C-Motive Technologies. Ludois spearheads the development of electrostatic machinery through to the proof-of-concept stage while at the same time working in close collaboration with C-Motive to realize the commercial reality of what the company calls “breakthrough electrical machines with unmatched efficiencies.”

An associate director of WEMPEC, Ludois also helps lead an internationally renowned research group promoting collaboration among more than 80 corporate sponsors to research and develop the newest technologies and techniques in electrical machinery and power electronics. In his role at WEMPEC, Ludois promotes and coordinates collaboration between the university and industrial partners in researching and developing technologies that prioritize energy innovation.

Ludois is also a 2015 recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, one of the highest honors given at the beginning of a scientific or engineering career.