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New research group on efficient energy converters for emission-free applications

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Efficient and intelligent power electronics are crucial for emission-free mobility solutions. A new research group at the Innovation Campus Future Mobility (ICM), headed by junior professor Dr.-Ing. Stefan Mönch, is dedicated to researching this.

Achieving the global sustainability goals requires a transformation of the electricity, heating and mobility sectors towards renewable energy sources and emission-free energy conversion.

In this context, the newly established research group “Smart converters for emission-free mobility of the future” explores ways to enhance the efficiency and intelligence of energy conversion through power semiconductor circuits and solid-state energy converters. As part of the ICM's joint research platform, new approaches for mobility solutions of the future are being designed and tested. Moreover, efforts are directed toward reinforcing regional cooperation, fostering innovation, and promoting technology leadership within Baden-Württemberg.

Efficient, emission-free and smart energy conversion

The research objective of junior professor Dr.-Ing. Stefan Mönch is to enhance the efficiency, sustainability, and intelligence of electrical energy converters and to demonstrate them in emission-free energy applications. The electrification of all applications using renewable energies is an approach that can already be implemented today for a sustainable future. A key technology here is power electronics, as it enables virtually lossless electrical energy conversion. The ultimate consumption of electrical energy in applications should also be as efficient and emission-free as possible, for example through the system integration of photovoltaics, battery storage and vehicles, the control of solid-state heat pumps or electric motors.

The research focuses on power electronics with wide-bandgap semiconductor components and intelligent, reconfigurable circuits for applications in mobility, such as smart DC charging, emission-free cooling and heating or energy conversion between batteries and electric motors with low consumption. The research spans semiconductor components ranging from 48 V to over 1200 V, aiming to develop and demonstrate innovative circuit technologies and topologies. Software-defined power electronics with intelligent, adaptable control technology and status monitoring are among the envisioned advancements.

The research will also be tested within the ICM in interdisciplinary, application-oriented demonstrators.

 

About the person

Jun.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Mönch © Colin Derks Fotografie

Dr.-Ing. Stefan Mönch starts as a junior professor at the University of Stuttgart in December 2023 and is setting up the research group "Smarter Converters for Emission-free Mobility of the Future" at the Institute of Electrical Energy Conversion IEW.

He received his doctorate in 2021 on gallium nitride-based and integrated power semiconductor circuits and has since been working as a scientist and project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg, where he continues to work on the efficient electrical control of electrocaloric heat pumps in the Fraunhofer lighthouse project "ElKaWe" and is project coordinator of the BMWK project "GaN4EmoBiL" on 1200 V GaN power semiconductors for electromobility and system integration through bidirectional charging.

Until 2017, he was an academic assistant at the Institute for Robust Power Semiconductor Systems ILH in the field of fast-switching GaN and SiC power electronics at the University of Stuttgart, where he had also previously completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in electrical engineering and information technology with a focus on power electronics and microelectronics.

His scientific achievements include highly efficient voltage converters and topologies with over 99% efficiency, findings on the influence of the conductive silicon substrate on the switching behavior of GaN-on-Si power ICs, fast-switching gate drivers and half-bridge circuits with sub-nanosecond switching edges as well as the functional proof of fully integrated GaN power converter topologies on a chip.

Dr.-Ing. Stefan Mönch has already supervised numerous student theses and is the lead author of more than 60 publications. He is a regular speaker at international events and is on the technical program committee of this year's IEEE Workshop on Wide-Bandgap Power Devices and Applications.

 

Further information

The unique combination and networking of expertise between the university and research locations of Stuttgart and Karlsruhe will strengthen scientific excellence and the training of young scientists in Baden-Württemberg. The Innovation Campus Mobility of the Future (ICM) is establishing several junior research groups and junior professorships at both universities for this purpose.

More about the junior professorships and junior research groups of the ICM

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