Alumnus Ted Brekken recognized for teaching excellence
ECE alumnus Ted Brekken has been awarded the Alumni Professor Award by Oregon State University (OSU) where he is currently professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The award recognizes excellence in teaching and service to students, and carries the same level of distinction as an endowed chair.
Reacting to the award, Brekken says, “As professors, we ultimately strive to positively influence our colleagues and students through research and teaching. I am extremely fortunate that I am in a position to share my passion for engineering with students, and to have the recognition that the connection I strive for is impactful and effective means the world to me. I’ve been so fortunate that my mentors—including foremost professor Ned Mohan—have been able to share that connection with me, and I am excited for each and every day I have the opportunity to pass it on."
Brekken earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees at the University of Minnesota, completing his doctoral work under the guidance of Regents Professor Ned Mohan. He had the opportunity to study abroad twice during his time as a student. He studied electric vehicle motor design at Postech in Pohang, South Korea, as an undergraduate student. Later as a Fulbright scholar during his doctoral work, he studied wind turbine control at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. The initial experience combined with guidance from Mohan helped direct and cement his interest in renewable energy.
According to Brekken’s mentor and doctoral advisor Mohan, "It's through serendipity that you come across people like Ted. In addition to being excellent in his technical knowledge and his willingness to work hard, what stood him out was his dedication to impart his knowledge to others. This inherent way of thinking and treating others with respect is now being recognized. However, knowing Ted, the satisfaction he gets in doing so is the highest reward."
As a professor of electrical and computer engineering, Brekken’s research interests include control, power electronics, and electric drives. He is particularly interested in advanced control techniques applied to renewable energy systems. He is also co-director of the Wallace Energy Systems and Renewables Facility (WESRF) at OSU. His other honors include the NSF CAREER award (2009) and the IEEE Power & Energy Society Outstanding Young Engineer award (2011).