Johanna Mathieu, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Ernest and Bettine Kuh Distinguished Faculty Award for her outstanding contributions to teaching, research, and service in the area of power and energy.
Since coming to Michigan in 2014 as an assistant professor, Mathieu has established a strong program in electric power systems. Her research is focused on ways to reduce the environmental impact, cost, and inefficiency of electric power systems through new operational and control strategies. She is particularly interested in developing new methods to actively engage distributed flexible resources such as energy storage, electric loads, and distributed renewable resources in power system operation. This is especially important in power systems with high penetrations of intermittent renewable energy resources such as wind and solar.
Among her current research projects are a collaborative effort to improve the overall efficiency and reliability of the power grid to make it easier to transition to renewable energy, funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and partnering with UC-Berkeley, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Pecan Street, Inc.
She also recently received a Sloan Foundation grant to study the “Price, Generation, Emissions, and Transmission Impacts of Energy Storage in PJM” in collaboration with Prof. Catherine Hausman in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. The PJM Interconnection coordinates electricity throughout 13 states along the East Coast as well as the District of Columbia.
Mathieu kickstarted research into using buildings as “batteries” with the MCubed grant, “Improving the energy efficiency of buildings participating in power system ancillary services.” She is also collaborating with faculty in Industrial and Operations Engineering to develop new algorithms for the U.S. electrical power grid that integrate renewable energy sources, electrification of transportation systems, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and other emerging contingencies.
Mathieu takes a global perspective in her approach to electric power and sustainable energy sources, stressing that most future energy growth is expected to occur in developing countries. Having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania (teaching high school math and physics) and conducting her M.S. thesis in Bangladesh, she understands first-hand the importance of working within a specific culture to produce positive change.
A gifted educator, Mathieu has already developed two new graduate courses: “Power Systems Markets and Optimization, and “Analysis of Electric Power Distribution Systems and Loads,” and taught the senior-level courses, “Power System Design and Operation” and “Grid Integration of Alternative Energy Sources.” She takes the time to include undergraduate students in her research group, giving these students an exciting glimpse into the area of energy and sustainability. One female student has become part of her group as a doctoral student.
Mathieu is active in the professional community, leading and organizing a wide array of conference workshops, sessions, and tutorials while participating in technical committees and serving as associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Power Systems and IEEE Power Engineering Letters.
About the Ernest and Bettine Kuh Distinguished Faculty Award
Ernest and Bettine Kuh established the Ernest and Bettine Kuh Distinguished Faculty Award in 2012 to recognize an outstanding young faculty member for their teaching, research, and service. The award includes an annual stipend.
Ernest Kuh (1918-2015) graduated from Michigan with his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1949. He then received his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. A pioneer in electronic circuit theory, he is widely considered one of the fathers of electronic design automation (EDA). Kuh was inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame in 2008 and has received numerous additional awards and honors, including the EDAC Phil Kaufman Award, the IEEE Education Medal, the Kirchhoff Award, and the ASEE Lamme Medal. He was a fellow of IEEE and AAAS, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Prof. Kuh also served as department chair and dean at UC-Berkeley, where he spent most of his career as a faculty member.