2022 Eaton Award in Design Excellence awarded to alumna Dr. Harshita Singh
Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering alumna Dr. Harshita Singh is the winner of the 2022 Eaton Award in Design Excellence. This unique award program recognizes outstanding work in the field of design by recent ECE alumni.
Singh is being recognized for work she did while a PhD student in Purdue ECE, part of which focuses on the design and construction of a new device, a “common-mode shorting network” (CMSN).
“I am delighted to have my work recognized through this award,” says Singh. “It encourages me to continue working in finding solutions to common-mode problems.”
Pulse-width modulated inverters act as a common-mode voltage source. The high-frequency components in this voltage excite parasitic capacitances in electric machine drive systems resulting in bearing currents, which causes bearing damage and leads to premature failure. A method to mitigate common-mode issues in such a system is to use ac and dc bypass capacitors along with an ac side differential-mode inductor. However, such an inductor has to be able to conduct rated machine currents. As an alternative, Singh’s CMSN is connected in shunt with the electric machine in the drive system. It acts as common-mode short-circuit and diverts the common-mode current away from the electric machine, thereby extending machine life. A significant advantage of this component over the ac side differential-mode inductor is that it does not have to conduct the rated machine current, allowing for reduced size and loss.
The Eaton Award program was established with a generous gift from Jim and Shirley Eaton. Dr. Eaton earned each of his degrees (BSEE '58, MSEE '63, and PhD '67) from Purdue, and his father was a well- known faculty member in the School from 1942 to 1967. The Eaton Award encourages promising young engineers to continue their work in design by recognizing their early achievements in the field.