Prof. Yue Cao


Yue Cao Yue Cao's CV  Professional Bio  Personal Bio

Assistant Professor
Energy Systems Group
School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

M.S./Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, 2011 - 2017
Concentration – Power and Energy Systems
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
MS/PhD Adviser: Prof. Philip T. Krein

B.S. (honors) Electrical Engineering, 2007 - 2011
Second Major – Mathematics
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Adviser: Prof. Leon M. Tolbert

Power electronics, motor drives, energy storage, power systems, modeling, control
Microgrids/nanogrids, energy efficient buildings, grid-tied renewables (esp. hydrokinetic, wave, solar)
Transportation electrification, eVTOL UAVs, more electric aircraft (MEA), EVs, locomotives, charging stations
Machine learning enabled design automation and optimization, electric-thermal Integrated Systems

Yue Cao and Prof. Krein
Yue Cao and Ph.D. adviser Prof. Philip Krein

Yue Cao is a sixth-year assistant professor in energy systems at Oregon State University (OSU). Before joining OSU, he was a research scientist in the propulsions team at Amazon Prime Air in Seattle, WA. He has been a power electronics or power systems intern with special projects group at Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA; Halliburton Company, Houston, TX; Flanders Electric, Evansville, IN; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN; and Memphis Light Gas Water – Utility, TN. His research interests include power electronics, motor drives, and energy storage with applications in renewable energy integration and transportation electrification. He has been a PI or co-PI of multiple projects sponsored by NSF, DOE ARPA-E, DOE EERE, NAVFAC, Portland General Electric, Amazon Prime Air, and Grainger Foundation. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.

Dr. Cao is the 2023 OSU Promising Scholar awarded by the faculty senate. He received the 2022 NSF CAREER award. He is selected into National Academy of Engineering Frontier of Engineering Class of 2022. He won the Oregon State Learning Innovation Grant for transformative education in 2020. He received the Myron Zucker student award from the IEEE Industry Applications Society in 2010. He was a national finalist of the USA Mathematical Olympiad in 2006 and 2007. Dr. Cao is currently the Vice Chair of IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) TC11 – Aerospace Power. He was the Special Sessions Chair of IEEE ECCE 2022 (Energy Conversion Congress Expo) and the Tutorials Chair of ECCE 2021. Since 2019, he has served as an invited panelist for multiple DOE and NSF proposal reviews. He is currently an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification and an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications.

I will use a first-person tone to write this section, as it is dedicated to a bio sketch of my earlier life events and other personal interests. I find these fundamentally attributed to forming who I have become.

I was born in China, raised in Dalian, and went to school until 10th grade when I said goodbye to my dear friends at Dalian Yuming High School and moved to the US. While in China I enjoyed math, science, and English, thanks to my academically-oriented family. I was involved with all sorts of academic olympiads and achieved several awards, most notably, 1st place individual in HuaLuoGeng National Math Cup in Dalian city (6M population), 1st prize (top 1%) in various Liaoning provincial Math, Physics, English, and Computer competitions. Pretty nerdy huh? Well that was the definition of a good student in China. I'm glad I learned playing the accordion starting at 5 years old and achieved 7/10 professional grade. That definitely helped me appreciate arts/music and relax in my spare time. It was not until I came to the US that I realized there could be much more to grow as a well-rounded person.

It was not an easy decision to come to the US during high school because I could have gone to a top university in China, and that time (2005) it was not yet popular for Chinese students to have high school or even undergraduate education in the US. It was more of a family reason at the beginning, when my mom was studying her Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee (UTK) and would want me to experience some US education. I attended West High School in Knoxville where I met many great friends, learned to speak better English, and discovered other interests in life. I utilized my math skills and helped my high school win 2nd team overall in the state-wide math competition, which was unheard of for this traditionally athletic oriented school. The 1st place individual award (and later US Math Olympiad finalist) led to a 4-year tuition-waiver scholarship to attend UTK.

I still liked math, but realized I was more interested in its application, so I decided to major in electrical engineering because it was a challenging subject where I could be part of advancing technology. I was fortunate that UTK has a top power engineering program, which aligned well with my interests in circuits, math, and control. I credit my undergraduate adviser, Prof. Leon Tolbert, who helped me bring onboard to power electronics and systems when I was looking for a summer research fellowship project. The rest about going to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and being advised by Prof. Philip Krein (also much credit of course) helped me grow stronger by standing on the shoulders of the giants.

During my American education, I found out the importance of being a well-rounded person. In this fast-paced society, a successful person not only is technologically savvy, but also demonstrates strong leadership, teamwork, communication, and visioning skills, while still has some professional and non-professional passions in life. To achieve these objectives, I was involved in and held leadership roles in several organizations, such as a conference organizing committee, a professional student chapter, an engineering professional fraternity, as well as several student team projects. The UTK's athletic environment greatly influenced me to pick up tennis my sophomore year and I fell in love with it. I still play regularly at a competitive level. Whenever there was a break, I would love to travel around, now having reached all 50 states and 13 countries. There is an old Chinese saying, "traveling thousands of miles is just as educating as reading thousands of books." I hope to educate my students to become experts in power electronics and systems and at the same time prepare them to succeed once out in the world.