Pragasen Pillay


Background information

Professor Pillay (Fellow of the IEEE, 2005) is the NSERC/Hydro-Québec Senior Industrial Research Chair at Concordia University entitled “Design and Performance of Special Electric Machines” focusing on electric vehicle and alternate energy applications. The Chair was established in 2009 at Concordia and renewed in 2014, this was the first Industrial Research Chair at Concordia. Dr. Pillay received the Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban, South Africa, in 1981 and 1983, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA, in 1987. From 1988 to 1990 he was with the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. From 1990 to 1995, he was with the University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, USA. From 1995 to 2007, he was with Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, USA, where he held the Jean Newell Distinguished Professorship in Engineering. From January 1999 to August 2016 he was an adjunct Prof at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. In 2017, Dr. Pillay was appointed as Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town, S.A. Dr. Pillay is a member of the IEEE Power Engineering, IEEE Industry Applications, IEEE Industrial Electronics, and IEEE Power Electronics Societies. He is a member of the Electric Machines Committee and the Past Chairman of the Industrial Drives Committee of the IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS), the Past Chairman of the Induction Machinery Subcommittee of the IEEE Power Engineering Society, and the Past Chairman of the Awards Committee of the IAS Industrial Power Conversion Department. He has organized and taught short courses in electric drives at IAS Annual Meetings as well as to the Government of South Africa. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, U.K., and a Chartered Electrical Engineer in the U.K. He is also a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario. Dr. Pillay is the recipient of the Order of Mapungubwe from the President of South Africa in 2008 for contributions to South Africa in the area of energy conversion. He is also the recipient of the 2015 IEEE IAS Outstanding Achievement Award. He was also a distinguished lecturer of the IEEE Industry Applications Society in 2012/2013. In 2015 he was the General co-Chair of the Energy Conversion Conference and Exposition, which is the largest and most important conference in his area of electric machines. Professor Pillay has published more than 160 articles in refereed journals and around 280 technical papers in major conferences and meetings in North America and other international conferences.