Research Seminar: Advanced Battery Energy Storage Systems to Electrify the Future Skies

Event Date: April 10, 2024
Time: 9 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Location: FRNY G124
Priority: No
School or Program: College of Engineering
College Calendar: Show
Faculty candidate Huazhen Fang will present his work on maximizing safety, reliability and performance of lithium-ion battery systems in electric aircraft.


We stand on the cusp of a new revolution in aviation, which is marked by the replacement of fossil fuels with electricity to power aircraft. While electric aircraft are still in the early stages of development and commercialization, they promise to significantly cut greenhouse-gas emissions and enable sustainable advanced air mobility. Lithium-ion batteries are pivotal to this transformation, thanks to their high energy density, efficiency and improving cost-effectiveness. A critical question that emerges is how to maximize the safety, reliability and performance of lithium-ion battery systems for use in electric aircraft.

This presentation will show our recent explorations in pursuit of answer to the question. We will first discuss the development of new battery models and remaining energy prediction methods tailored to meet the uniquely demanding operating conditions of electric aircraft. The second part will focus on the design and optimal power management of large-size, fail-safe battery systems in the context of safety-critical aviation. The third section will provide insights into reliability-centered electric propulsion system design. To conclude, we will offer an outlook for the future directions of research in electric aircraft. Throughout this talk, we will demonstrate how the integration of systems and control theory with different engineering disciplines can overcome the challenges arising out of energy storage for electric aviation.


Huazhen Fang is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kansas. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 2014, M.Sc. from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 2009, and B.Eng from Northwestern Polytechnic University, China in 2006. His research interests lie in control/estimation theory and advanced battery management for electric aircraft and space energy systems, aiming to enhance aviation sustainability and space and multi-planetary exploration. Additionally, he studies autonomy and control of complex spatio-temporal systems for aerospace applications. His work has been sponsored by NSF, DOE, ARL, among others. He received the NSF Faculty Early Career Award in 2019 and the University Scholarly Achievement Award at the University of Kansas in 2024.