Chairs, Professorships, and Faculty Scholars

Chair: Grainger Endowed Director's Chair in Electric Machinery and Electromechanics

The Grainger Endowed Director's Chair in Electric Machinery and Electromechanics was established in 2002 by a gift from The Grainger Foundation Inc., a private foundation established by William Wallace Grainger, a 1919 Illinois graduate in electrical engineering. In 1927, the late Mr. Grainger founded W. W. Grainger, Inc., a distributor of industrial and commercial equipment and supplies. Today the Grainger Corporation is an international leader.

The new Chair supports the Director of the Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics. The Center is supported by a separate endowment and is dedicated to establishing the University of Illinois as a leader in the field of electric machinery and electromechanics.

The Grainger Foundation Inc. has made many notable gifts to the College of Engineering, including student fellowships and awards; funds to establish and equip laboratories in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; funds to construct the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center and landscape the Bardeen Quadrangle; funds for the renovation of Engineering Hall; funds to establish and then endow the Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics; and funds for a new technology development program.

The endowment of the Director's Chair in Electric Machinery and Electromechanics comes two decades after the establishment of the Grainger Professorship in Electrical Engineering. Those who have held the original position include Mac Van Valkenburg, Petar Kokotovic, and George Gross. In 1998 the Professorship was elevated to the Grainger Chair in Electrical Engineering, and Professor Pete Sauer was invested with the position.

Phil Krein

ECE Professor Phil Krein

Professor Philip Krein is an international scholar in the field of power electronics and also has been a strong research contributor in electrostatics. He earned a BS in electrical engineering and an AB in economics and business from Lafayette College in 1978. At the University of Illinois, he earned an MS in 1980 and a PhD in 1982 in electrical engineering. He joined the faculty of the College of Engineering in 1987 and introduced the modem power electronics curriculum.

Professor Krein helped establish Illinois as a leader in power electronics, a field that involves the study of semiconductors and electronic circuits for the conversion and control of energy. This energy processing is critical in the development of personal computers, industrial automation, high-performance communication networks, home appliances, alternative energy systems, and most energy-intensive applications.

Professor Krein is the author of Elements of Power Electronics, the first undergraduate text to provide an engineering science framework for power electronics. A frequent entry on the campus "Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Students," Professor Krein has served as the faculty adviser for the College of Engineering's design project courses to build and operate hybrid electric vehicles. He currently advises the student team in the International Future Energy Challenge competition.

His honors include a Fulbright Senior Scholarship at the University of Surrey in 1997-1998, president of the IEEE Power Electronics Society in 1999-2000, and Fellow of the IEEE. He was a University Scholar for 1999-2001. At present, he serves as a member of the IEEE Board of Directors.