Nos membres à l'affiche

Olivier Trescases interviewed on CBC's "The National" on Tesla Powerwall

The unveiling of the Tesla Powerwall on April 30 got lots of electrical engineers talking, but for Dr. Olivier Trescases, an interview on CBC's "The National" provided more than just a water cooler conversation.

Amidst solar panels and lab equipment at the University of Toronto where he is Associate Professor, the Toronto Section
       Photo courtesy of CBC Licensin               member gave his vision of renewable energy: "In the '90s we spread information to the entire world. Now we're spreading clean energy to the entire world."

No recent convert, in 2010 Trescases spearheaded a group within the university to equip exercise bicycles to help slim down a campus gym's power requirements. The project received strong local support: a $10,000 Green Energy Award from the Toronto Community Foundation and a further $40,000 from Live Green Toronto. A youth education program on energy use was also part of the project. Speaking about the initiative in 2011, Trescases pointed out that a rider would have to churn away for thousands of hours to generate as much power as can be produced from a single barrel of oil. "My hope is that people will walk away and think differently about how they use electricity," he said.

Outreach seems to be a theme for Trescases. Currently IEEE Student Branch Advisor for the University of Toronto, he was Student Activities Chair for Toronto Section for 2013/2014; he is currently section Secretary and conferences/conventions committee chair. His research focus in power converters has strong humanitarian applications; two of his graduate students, Shahab Poshtkouhi and David Li (U of T Student Branch co-chair), were co-authors of a paper presented at the recent International Humanitarian Technology Conference in Ottawa, May 31 to June 4, 2015. Entitled "Intelligent AC Distribution Panel for Real-Time Load Analysis and Control in Small-Scale Power Grids with Distributed Generation," the paper was also co-authored by Solantro Semiconductor's Ray Orr (IEEE Ottawa Section) and Ben Bacque.

Trescases joined the University of Toronto in 2009. His research interests include distributed maximum power point tracking for solar applications, power converters for high-brightness LEDs, battery management for electric vehicles, integrated power converters and digital control schemes. He has served on the technical committee of various IEEE conferences, including the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC), the International Symposium on Power Semiconductor Devices & ICS (ISPSD) and the Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC).

For those interested in some of the technical details of the Tesla Powerwall, an IEEE LinkedIn posting estimates the 7 kWh unit (smallest) has the equivalent storage capacity of 2,333 AA batteries. Subsequent comments are mostly positive. Questions include the unit's ability to handle the large number of charge cycles needed for solar applications as well as its discharge rate when not in use.

Contributed by Bruce Van-Lane, IEEE Canadian Review

Newly elevated senior members in Region 7

Following members were elevated on May 2015. Congratulations on the achievement!

Canadian Atlantic Section    Yang, Laurence Tianruo
Hamilton Section    Dahrouj, Hayssam
Quebec Section    Bergeron, Eric
Cloutier, Jean-Francois
Toronto Section    Eckford, Andrew
Winnipeg Section    Wagner, Wayne
Zhou, Zheng

IEEE Canadian Foundation

The Personal

Engineering Institute of Canada

IEEE Job Site

IEEE Member Discounts


A non-profit organization, IEEE is the world's largest professional association for the advancement of technology.

© Copyright 2014 IEEE. All rights reserved. Use of this digital site signifies your agreement to the terms and conditions.