The Faculty of Engineering of the University of Talca along with the Power Electronics Society and the International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE organized the international SPEC conference for the first time in Chile.

More than 180 engineers, professionals, doctors and scientist participated in the The 3rd IEEE Southern Power Electronics Conference, SPEC 2017, organized by the Laboratory of Power Electronics and Energy Conversion of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Talca along with the Power Electronics Society and International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

This major scientific gathering was held for the first time in Chile, after previous editions in Brazil and New Zealand. Outstanding researchers from 29 countries came to Puerto Varas for the third SPEC conference, which presents the advances and emerging technologies of power electronics in the world.

The dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Claudio Tenreiro, highlighted this event as a consolidation of power electronics as a technological area. “This conference is a national and international recognition of the work systematically generated by the academics of the Faculty of Engineering in this subject. Therefore, the fact that the IEEE has trusted us means that we are in the big leagues of the field of power electronics. In Chile we are positioning ourselves in technological advances such as renewable energies, automation systems, robotization, or other areas that are users of power electronics. In addition, in the mining industry there is another field of applications of this system and now we play a fundamental role in this type of technology “.

From December 4th to the 7th a consistent program was carried out that began with ten tutorials given by experts from the United Kingdom, Germany, Chile, Denmark, the United States, Canada and Australia. On this first day, attendees were able to attend short tutorials on different areas such as the predictive control model of wind energy conversion systems, and optimization techniques for solar power plants.

On the other hand, the President of the Power Electronics Society of the IEEE, Alan Mantooth, highlighted the organization of this technical event in the Los Lagos Region. “I am very happy with the work that the University of Talca has led, because in addition to offering interesting lectures to the scientific community, they have developed dynamic activities to form social networks and connect with colleagues from around the world.”

In order to discuss current and innovative topics in the field of interest of the Power Electronics Society, nine keynote lectures were held where international characters such as Frede Blaabjerg from the University of Aalborg in Denmark, who is one of the most cited researchers in engineering, in the world.

The professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Marco Rivera, led the organizing committee of the SPEC 2017 conference in the south of the country. “We planned this event to provide the opportunity to expand the growth of the professionals that participate in the global power electronics society. SPEC had remarkable lecturers who delivered their knowledge and experiences in different areas, but we also captivated the audience with the beautiful landscapes, lakes and volcanoes of Puerto Varas and its surroundings. This type of meetings are also an opportunity to share with colleagues, therefore, we did entertaining events such as wine tastings and pairings to highlight the national wine culture, where we had the support of the Vinification and Enology career of the Colchagua Campus “.

In addition to the conferences, 147 papers were presented in poster sessions to transfer research results in this annual conference of the Southern Hemisphere, among which, the Power Electronics Society highlighted ten doctoral students who received a scholarship for their outstanding contributions .

The president of the IEEE Power Electronics Society in Chile, Samir Kouro, expressed his pride in the organization of the conference. “It’s fantastic because at the moment Chile is the world epicenter to have international experts who are discussing the new developments and show us what is developing in the world in this issue. So many things are happening in the area of energy, such as electromobility, a branch of power electronics that is one of the most enabling technologies. “

During the four days of SPEC 2017, there were also exhibitions of the conference’s official sponsors who displayed their new products and commercial services related to power electronics in industrial applications. There were also international sponsors such as the company Würth Elektronik eiSos, which manufactures electronic and electromechanical components for the electronics industry. And the company OPAL-RT, which designs systems that optimize the control and protection in electrical networks.

Innovating through engineering

Throughout the course of the conference, different activities were carried out to publicize the careers of the Faculty of Engineering among the community of the Lagos region. Beginning with the tour “Connecting Chile through science and technology”, this was carried out by TruckLab thanks to the invitation of the Secretarial Ministry of Education of Los Lagos. More than a thousand students visited the mobile science laboratory during their eleven-day tour of the truck through the cities of Osorno, Puerto Montt, Castro, Achao, Ancud, Frutillar and Puerto Varas.

In addition, the directors of the Civil Engineering schools in Bioinformatics; Electric engineering; Mechanical Engineering and Engineering In Videogames Development and Virtual Reality, made visits to establishments, meetings with regional authorities and radio interviews were some of the initiatives that were made, “we came to this conference because it is an opportunity to raise awareness of the differential educational model that promotes the UTALCA in the different disciplines of engineering, research, technology, innovation and continuous education are characteristics that we highlight in the promotion we carry out in multidisciplinary careers. In addition to visiting establishments, we were able to meet with the Mayor of Puerto Varas and the Director of the Municipal Education Administrative Department to invite students to the lectures that will be held during the conference”, said the director of the School of Civil Engineering in Bioinformatics , Gabriel Núñez.

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