"ERVA enables all the partnering institutions and their engineering departments to work across disciplines, collaborate as one team, and solve engineering grand challenges by identifying, advocating, and implementing transformative engineering research initiatives."
Zhihua Qu is a Pegasus Professor at the University of Central Florida and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). He is a leader in the field of dynamic systems, nonlinear controls, electric power system, and autonomous systems who has excelled in teaching, research and service. He conducts interdisciplinary research in broad fields of energy and power, autonomous vehicles, and networked systems. In energy systems, his research interests include power system stability, wide-area controls and their modular data-driven designs, self-organizing microgrids, distributed energy resources, distributed optimization, and cooperative control. His citations ranked 183 out of 87,535 researchers worldwide in the field of automation, according to the 2020 study ranking career-long scientific impact of researchers from around the globe. For his technical contributions, he was elected a fellow of IEEE and a fellow of AAAS.
Qu has been a faculty member at the University of Central Florida since 1990. He served as the assistant chair of the ECE department and director/interim chair of electrical engineering. He has been a professor in ECE and the SAIC Endowed Professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He is the founder and director of the RISES university cluster, now a university research center whose federal research portfolio is currently over $14 million dollars.
Qu is the PI/director of FEEDER Center. Originally funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and afterwards by industrial/utility partners, it consists of 12 universities, 18 utility companies, 10 industry companies and two national labs. This intercollegiate and partnership team provides a full spectrum of collaborative research, development and educational activities, including its innovative multi-institutional course sharing, to better train the current and future workforce and to accelerate the deployment of distributed power systems technologies. Qu has been leading a DOE SETO team to design autonomous inverter controls for grid forming and resilient/secure grid operations. He has also led a DOE ENERGISE research team to design and implement highly scalable technologies for distribution systems to operate reliably and securely with 100% renewable penetration. A modular and plug-and-play grid platform has been developed for real-time operation and control of large-scale distribution networks, and self-organizing distribution operation and distributed control functions have been tested to manage distributed energy resources in a cost-effective, reliable, scalable and secure manner. As the co-director of the Electric Vehicle Transportation Center, he led the effort to develop smart interfaces between electrical vehicles and the electrical grid, as well as autonomous vehicle technologies. He has been a PI or co-PI on funded projects totaling $41 million.
Qu earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Fundamental advances of his recent work encompass plug-and-play operation of networked systems, distributed optimization, cooperative control and game-theoretical algorithms, and resilient networked controls against attack. In addition to smart grid, he has successfully pursued applications in autonomous vehicles, medical robotics, and missile guidance. He is also known for his earlier work on robust control of nonlinear uncertain systems. In his areas of expertise, Qu has published 183 archival journal articles and 302 conference papers. He is a co-editor of and contributing author to Smart Grid Control: An Overview and Research Opportunities and is one of the contributors to IEEE Vision for Smart Grid Controls: 2030 and Beyond. He is the author of four books, including Cooperative Control of Dynamical Systems and Robust Control of Nonlinear Uncertain Systems.
Qu served on the Committee of Visitors, a review panel of NSF ECCS Division; on IEEE Smart Grid Operational and Steering Committees; IEEE Educational Activities, University Resources Committee; as IEEE CSS Smart Grid TC Chair; conference chair of IEEE CSS TCAC; secretary, vice president, president of Southeast ECE Department Head Association; Board of Directors of ECE Department Head Association; chair of ECEDHA award committee; vice president, president and past president of ECEDHA; secretary and on the Board Of Directors, Southeastern Center for Electrical Engineering Education; Board of Governors, IEEE CSS; and as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. He has served as an associate editor for several journals, including Automatica, IEEE ACCESS, and IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control.