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Petros Karamanakos appointed as Assistant Professor for power electronics

Greek-born Petros Karamanakos started working at TUT’s Department of Electrical Engineering at the beginning of September. His expertise covers power electronics and motor drives, with a special focus on their control.

In the past few years, Petros Karamanakos has gathered versatile research experience in several countries: his native country Greece, Switzerland, Germany and South Africa. He moved to Finland at the beginning of September and now steps up the power electronics expertise at TUT’s Department of Electrical Engineering.

“My research area lies at the intersection of optimal control, mathematical optimization and power electronics. It covers model predictive control for power electronic converters and AC drives,” Karamanakos explains.

WHO?

Petros Karamanakos, born in 1984 in Athens, Greece

 

Degrees:

  • Diploma/M.Eng (5-year degree) in Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece (2002–2007)
  • PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece (2007–2013)

 

Key positions and appointments:

  • Researcher, Automation Devices Department, ABB Corporate Research, ABB Switzerland LTD. Baden-Dättwil, Switzerland (2010–2011)
  • PostDoc Research Associate, Chair of Electrical Drive Systems and Power Electronics, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München, TUM), Munich, Germany (2013–2016)
  • Visiting Researcher, Power Electronics Research Group, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa (4 months in 2015)

 

Family and hobbies: Single. Reading, music, movies.

What motivates Karamanakos in this area is its future potential.

“Our research extends beyond the traditional mindset and practices. What we pursue is operating converters to their fullest and thereby reducing the amount of hardware required and, ultimately, also expenses.”

In addition to universities, Karamanakos has worked as a researcher in the corporate world. He finds both environments to have their pros and cons.

“What I appreciate the most in the academic world is freedom. Freedom allows us to be creative and seek new answers. In the corporate world, the mentality is more conservative and restricted. The adoption of new technology is not as straightforward and welcome as it is in an academic setting. Academic research allows you to be your own boss – up to a limit, of course,” Karamanakos continues.

As for his goals for his new professorship, Karamanakos emphasises both teaching and research.

“One of my key aims is to communicate the subjects effectively to my students. I aspire high quality both in terms of teaching and research. In the longer term, I am hoping to perhaps establish a small research group that shares my special interests.”

New to Finland

Karamanakos has only stayed in Finland for a few weeks, but he has already come to like the place and the people.

“I came here with few expectations. I had only met a few Finns before coming here, but thus far, my experiences have been positive and I expect to enjoy my time here. Finns seem to be really level-headed and genuine,” Karamanakos says.

News submitted by: Tiina Leivo
Keywords: science and research, associate professor, power electronics