Campus: Chico -- May 11, 2006

Visiting Research Professor Receives Prestigious Franklin Award

Narain G. Hingorani, PhD, DSc, Visiting Research Professor at California State University, Chico, received the Bower Award for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute on April 27. Hingorani is an independent consultant from Los Altos Hills, Calif., who collaborates with Roy Crosbie, professor emeritus, College of Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management, on a project in real-time simulation.

The Bower Award, the most prestigious award given by the Franklin Institute, carries with it a cash award of $250,000. Hingorani received the award for the conceptualization and pioneering advancement of the flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS) and custom power in electric power systems, and for outstanding technical contributions in high voltage direct current (HDVC) technology.

This year is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin, and the Franklin Institute held a week of celebrations in Philadelphia during which Hingorani was honored, along with recipients of other awards. Hingorani presented a symposium titled, "Advancing the Application of Power Electronics to the Electric Power Infrastructure."

In materials from the Franklin Institute explaining the significance of his scientific research, Hingorani is described as "a modern-age pioneer of power electronics." He is considered "the father of flexible alternating current transmission systems and custom power innovations, and a leader in high voltage direct current." His developments are expected to "revolutionize" future alternating current (AC) power transmission and distribution systems.

Hingorani received his undergraduate degree at Baroda University in India, graduating with a BSc in electrical engineering. In 1953, after two years with the Bombay Electricity Board, he moved to England, where he earned his MSc and PhD at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He earned his DSc from the Institute in 1994.

He was a lecturer at England's Loughborough University and Salford University during the 1960s. It was at Salford that Hingorani and Crosbie met in 1963. Hingorani was establishing research in electric power and Crosbie, a junior faculty member, assisted him with computer expertise. In the mid 1990s, Hingorani contacted Crosbie and asked him to help with a power system simulation problem. They have been collaborating every since. For the last five years, they have received nearly $2 million in funds from the Office of Naval Research for their work on high-speed real-time simulation. Hingorani is subcontracted to the University Research Foundation as a consultant to the project. He visits CSU, Chico monthly.

After first working as a senior scientist with Bonneville Power Administration in the United States, in 1974 Hingorani began working at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, California. After 20 years at EPRI, five years as vice president of the electrical systems division, he retired to start his own consulting business. He consults in the development of power electronics and devices, and the application of power electronics to transmission, distribution, industrial power and marine power systems.

In addition to receiving the Bower Award, Hingorani has received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Lamme Medal and the IEEE Power Engineering Society's Uno Lamm Award. In 2004, in recognition of his pioneering of FACTS and custom power technologies, the IEEE Power Engineering Society decided to name its FACTS and Custom Power Awards as the "Nari Hingorani FACTS Award" and the "Nari Hingorani Custom Power Award." Hingorani is a life fellow of IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Although the Bower Award dates back only to 1988, the Franklin Institute has a long history of honoring leading individuals in science and the list of laureates includes Alexander Graham Bell, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and, more recently, Stephen Hawking. It is estimated that the 105 Franklin Science Laureates have a total of 107 Nobel Prizes between them.

Contact: Kathleen McPartland, 530-898-4260
Roy Crosbie, Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management, 530-898-4489

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