FREEDM gives master’s and Ph.D. students in electrical and computer engineering, materials sciences and other energy-related fields the chance to work with world-class faculty and develop the professional and technical skills to succeed in the real world. One of five National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers in the energy, sustainability and infrastructure fields, FREEDM provides hands-on research experience with power electronics that puts students at the forefront of education and innovation.
The driving force behind FREEDM is the creation of the energy internet — a system that combines advances in power electronics and a network of distributed energy resources to develop secure communications for intelligent power management.
Students will focus on a variety of departmental research projects in the areas of System Technology, Enabling Technologies and Fundamental Science, including power electronics packaging, controls theory, solid state transformers, fault isolation devices and power systems simulation and demonstration. They’ll also have access to internships, fellowships and cooperative education experiences with industry partners.
Hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students have studied or done research at the FREEDM Center.
FREEDM offers opportunities for undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math fields to participate in renewable and electric power energy systems research at every partner university. Students can choose between semester and year-long research programs or take part in the FREEDM Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates, a 10-week program for peers from outside of the five center partnership universities.
The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at NC State also offers an undergraduate concentration in Renewable Electric Energy Systems within the Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering degree program. Students who choose this path will gain experience with renewable energy distribution in an interdisciplinary team-based environment.
Undergraduate research opportunities in partnering universities include an Electric Power and Energy Systems concentration at Arizona State University, a Renewable Energy Systems certificate program at Florida A&M/Florida State and a power emphasis at Missouri S&T.
Pre-College Students and Teachers
FREEDM partners with 14 middle schools and high schools in three states to recruit future students and increase awareness of the importance of renewable energy systems. Our summer programs give students a college-level research experience long before they’re ready to enroll. Students and teachers can apply to summer programs that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as hands-on research and the basics of clean energy.
The Pre-College Education Program aims to:
- Help teachers with professional development and engineering content knowledge
- Bring engineering concepts to K-12 classrooms
- Expose pre-college students to engineering research
- Increase enrollment of diverse domestic students in university degree programs