Peter W. Sauer

Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
4046 ECE Building
306 North Wright Street
Urbana Illinois 61801

Primary Research Area

  • Power and Energy Systems

For more information



  • Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, December 1977


Pete Sauer obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla in 1969. From 1969 to 1973, he was the electrical engineer on a design assistance team for the Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, working on design and construction of airfield lighting and electrical distribution systems. He obtained the MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1974 and 1977 respectively. He has been on the faculty at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1977 where he teaches courses and directs research on power systems and electric machines.

From August 1991 to August 1992 he served as the Program Director for Power Systems in the Electrical and Communication Systems Division of the National Science Foundation in Washington D.C. He is a cofounder of PowerWorld Corporation and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1996-2001. He is a cofounder of the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) and has served as the Illinois site director from 1996-2015. He retired from the Air Force reserves as a Lt. Col. In 1998.

He has authored/coauthored over 200 technical papers and the book with M. A. Pai, “Power System Dynamics and Stability”, published by Prentice-Hall in 1998. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and Illinois, a Fellow of the IEEE, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He is currently the Grainger Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering at Illinois.

Other Professional Employment

  • Program Director, National Science Foundation, ECS Division, August 1991 to August 1992
  • U.S. Air Force Reserve Individual Mobilization Augmentee, November 1982-August 1998. Current rank: Lt. Col. (Retired, August 15, 1998)
  • Teaching Assistant, Electric machinery laboratory instruction, Purdue University, December 1974 to August 1977
  • Electrical engineer on design assistance team, US Air Force, June 1969 to June 1973 (design of electric power distribution and airfield lighting systems)

Professional Registrations

  • Registered Professional Engineer - Virginia (since 1973) and Illinois (since 1979)

Teaching Statement

Students are candles to be lighted, not bottles to be filled -- paraphrased from Plutarch.

Research Statement

Power systems: Multi-machine dynamic modeling and simulation; Dynamic Security Assessment (DSA), Available Transfer Capability (ATC); Technical challenges of restructuring issues.

Electric machinery: Dynamic modeling and simulation; advanced control methods; design and performance analysis.

Research Interests

  • Cyber security of power system EMS
  • Power System Stability
  • Power System Dynamic Modeling and Simulation
  • Electric Machinery Modeling, Analysis and Control

Research Areas

Books Authored or Co-Authored (Original Editions)

  • P. W. Sauer and M. A. Pai, "Power System Dynamics and Stability," Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 1998.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Katherine R. Davis, Charles M. Davis, Saman A. Zonouz, Rakesh B. Bobba, Robin Berthier, Luis Garcia, and Peter W. Sauer, “A Cyber-Physical Modeling and Assessment Framework for Power Grid Infrastructures”, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, Vol. 6, No. 5, pp. 2464-2475, September 2015.
  • Yu Christine Chen, Alejandro Dominguez-Garcia, and Peter W. Sauer, “Measurement-Based Estimation of Linear Sensitivity Distribution Factors and Applications”, ”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 1372-1382, May 2014.
  • Hector A. Pulgar-Painemal and Peter W. Sauer, “Reduced-Order Model of Type C Wind Turbine Generators”, Journal of Electric Power Systems Research, Volume 81, Issue 4, pp. 840-845, April 2011.
  • Pablo A. Ruiz and Peter W. Sauer, “Spinning Contingency Reserve: Economic Value and Demand Functions”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 1071-1078, August, 2008.
  • S. Grijalva and P. W. Sauer, “A Necessary Condition for Power Flow Jacobian Singularity Based on Branch Complex Flows”, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, Vol. 52, No. 7, pp. 1406-1413, July 2005.
  • P. W. Sauer, G. T. Heydt, V. Vittal, “The State of Power Engineering Education”, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 5-8, February 2004.
  • S. Grijalva, P. W. Sauer and J. D. Weber, "Enhancement of Linear ATC Calculations by the Incorporation of Reactive Power Flows," IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 619-624, May 2003.
  • C. Rajagopalan, B. Lesieutre, P. W. Sauer and M. A. Pai, "Dynamic aspects of voltage/power characteristics," IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 990-1000, August 1992.
  • P. W. Sauer, "Constraints on saturation modeling in ac machines," IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 161-167, March 1992.
  • P. W. Sauer, C. Rajagopalan and M. A. Pai, "An explanation and generalization of the AESOPS and PEALS algorithm," IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 293-299, February 1991.
  • P. W. Sauer and M. A. Pai, "Power system steady-state stability and the load-flow Jacobian," IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 1374-1383, November 1990.
  • P. V. Kokotovic and P. W. Sauer, "Integral manifold as a tool for reduced-order modeling of nonlinear systems: a synchronous machine case study," IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 403-410, March 1989.
  • P. W. Sauer, K. D. Demaree and M. A. Pai, "Stability limited load supply and interchange capability," IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, vol. PAS-102, no. 11, pp. 3637-3643, Nov. 1983.
  • P.W . Sauer and B. Hoveida, "Constrained stochastic power flow analysis," Int. Jn. of Electric Power Systems Research, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 87-95, June 1982.
  • P. W. Sauer, "Explicit load flow series and functions," IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, vol. PAS-100, no. 8, pp. 3754-3764, Aug. 1981.
  • P. W. Sauer, "On the formulation of power distribution factors for linear load flow methods," IEEE Transactions on Power Apparatus and Systems, vol. PAS-100, no. 2, pp. 764-770, Feb. 1981.
  • P. W. Sauer and G. T. Heydt, "A convenient multivariate gram-charlier type A series," IEEE Trans. Comm., vol. COM-27, no. 1, pp. 247-248, January 1979.

Teaching Honors

  • IEEE Power Engineering Society Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award, 1997
  • Outstanding Advisors List, College of Engineering, 1989,97,98,99,2001,02,03,04,06,07,09,10,12,13
  • Ranked excellent teacher by students in 1978,79,80,81,82,86,87,90,93,96,97,98,99,2000,2001,05,06,08,09,10,12,13,14
  • Outstanding Young College Educator, CU Jaycees, 1982

Research Honors

  • UIUC College of Engineering, Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award, 2015
  • IEEE PES Prabha S. Kundur Power System Dynamics and Control Award, 2014
  • Alumni Achievement Award, University of Missouri-Rolla, 2006
  • Outstanding Electrical Engineer Award, Purdue University, 2004
  • Elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, 2003
  • IEEE Power Engineering Society Prize Paper Award, 1999.
  • IEEE Power Engineering Society Power Engineering Education Committee Prize Paper Award, 1998 (with T. Overbye, C. Marzinzik, and G. Gross)
  • Grainger Chair Professorship, 1998 - present
  • Academy of Electrical Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, 1996
  • Honorary Professional Degree in Electrical Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, 1995
  • IEEE Fellow, 1993
  • Grainger Associate, 1982 - 1998

Public Service Honors

  • IEEE/PES/PEEC Distinguished Service Award, 2006
  • IEEE Third Millennium Medal, March, 2000.
  • National Science Foundation Engineering Directorate Cooperative Team Effort Award, 1993.
  • U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, 1993
  • U.S. Air Force commendation medal, 1973 and 1988

Courses Taught

  • CS 591 - Advanced Seminar
  • CS 591 - Cyber-Infrastructure
  • CS 591 - Cyber-Infrastructure Seminar
  • ECE 330 - Power Ckts & Electromechanics
  • ECE 431 - Electric Machinery