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Governor's Chair for Power Electronics Yilu Liu, sitting at a desk with "CURENT" hardware behind her.

A UT faculty member who is an expert on improving the power grid is being inducted as a 2016 fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Yilu Liu, the UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Power Electronics, serves as deputy director of the National Science Foundation–backed Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks—CURENT—which is housed in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering.

Through her role with CURENT, as a researcher, and as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UT, Liu has helped pioneer many of the advancements in the safeguarding of the nation’s power grid.

“I’m honored to be recognized by the academy for the work and research that I have done, but this also reflects well upon all of the researchers and students on our team,” said Liu. “The work we are doing here has a positive impact on people’s lives, and in a way this award serves to honor that work as well.”

Liu is the fourth NAI fellow at UT, joining Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Taylor Eighmy, John Fisher Distinguished Professor Mark Dean, and Professor Emeritus Doug Birdwell.

All four hold appointments in the Tickle College of Engineering. Dean and Birdwell, like Liu, are members of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In addition to his administrative post, Eighmy is on the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty.

“To have four members of the academy selected from our college in just three years is a reflection on the kind of faculty that we have,” said Dean Wayne Davis. “We’re proud of Dr. Liu for being the newest member, and for the work she has done with us.”

The honor caps quite the year for Liu, who began 2016 by being named a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

“On behalf of the 2016 NAI Fellows Selection Committee, we are very pleased to inform Dr. Liu of her election to the rank of NAI Fellow,” NAI President Paul R. Sanberg remarked in a letter notifying her of the award.

NAI noted that Liu was selected for demonstrating a “spirit of innovation” and for the impact her efforts have made on everyday life.

She and the rest of the 2016 class will be inducted on April 6 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston as part of the NAI’s annual conference.

Once the new class has been inducted, the NAI will house 757 fellows—including 28 Nobel laureates—across 229 institutions, and will account for more than 26,000 patents.

C O N T A C T :

David Goddard (865-974-0683,