Meet EECS graduate student Juan Santiago


EECS graduate student Juan Santiago

Where are you from and where did you complete your undergraduate studies?

I was born on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico and had always lived there until last year. I did my undergraduate studies in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, majoring in electrical engineering.

What is your research about and why are you excited about your project?

My research project is the design of a high frequency power converter using phase shift control. Power converters are power processors, and, ideally, should only manipulate power but not consume any of it. Therefore it is very important that the efficiency of the power conversion process be very high. Also because these converters are power deliverers, they should be as small and low cost as possible. Power electronics is a very dynamic field that evolves hand in hand with other technologies, especially the semiconductor industry. My project consists of a small in size but highly efficient power converter that utilizes gallium nitride (GaN) transistors, one of the latest generation of transistors. I will be testing the capabilities of said devices and implement new control techniques. I believe that efficient power processing is very important to the advancement of technology, like smart phones, electrical cars, and renewable energy harvesting devices, to name a few.

What do you like to do outside of research and academics?

When I am not in the lab, I like watching soccer games, playing video games and swimming in the pool at the gym. I like to travel, experience other cultures and enjoy music.

What are your career goals and future plans?

After obtaining my PhD degree I want to continue in the field of power electronics, but am still unsure of whether to go to the industry or the academia. As I reach closer to graduation, I hope to come to a decision.

>> read about more EECS graduate students