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Obikwelu Tapped for GT FOCUS-Intel Diversity Award

Emeka Obikwelu has been chosen as a recipient of the 2019 GT FOCUS-Intel Diversity Fellowship Award. Obikwelu is a Ph.D. student in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

The fellowship was created as a means to support underrepresented minority graduate students in technology and engineering. The Fellows are students who display research excellence, persistence, leadership, and service.

Obikwelu has been in the ECE doctoral program since 2016, where he is advised by A.P. Sakis Meliopoulos, who holds the Georgia Power Distinguished Professorship. Prior to enrolling at Georgia Tech, Obikwelu held engineering positions at Xcel Energy, Pike Energy Solutions/UC Synergistic, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), and Consumers Energy. He is a 2005 B.S.E.E. graduate of Wayne State University and a 2008 M.S.E.E. graduate of Michigan Technological University.

Obikwelu's research focuses on using advanced statistical methods and device modeling to compensate for instrumentation channel errors in instrument transformer devices, and estimate primary or system-level quantities. Through instrument transformers, electric power system operators and engineers essentially obtain scaled-down representations or replicas of what's happening at the high-voltage system-level (in terms of voltages, via voltage transformers, and electric currents, via current transformers). These scaled down replicas are typically used by system protection and monitoring devices. 

Under certain undesirable system conditions, a current transformer may become "overwhelmed" and lose its ability to reliably scale down and correctly reproduce system-level electric currents at the connected device-level. This could pose significant reliability issues for power system protection and power system monitoring, potentially impacting local and/or Wide-Area Monitoring (WAM) systems adversely. Obikwelu's research could provide the means to counteract this problem by using a Dynamic State Estimation (DSE) process, and detailed device modeling, to correctly reconstruct the desired system-level quantities (voltages and/or current): thereby making them available for protection or monitoring functions, despite instrument transformer channel errors.