Graduate continues passion for sustainable energy as PhD student

Aug 5, 2013

Xuntouo (Nelson) Wang's team entered the MIT Clean Energy competition with a project centered on high-efficiency charging solutions for electric vehicles.

When Xuntouo (Nelson) Wang was forming a diverse business team made up of scholars and practitioners to compete in national energy competitions, he turned back to the people he knew the best at Kettering University. 

Xuntouo (Nelson) WangWang recruited Dr. Kevin Bai, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, to be his co-chief technology officer and Allan Taylor to be his chief scientist. He also brought in Alexander Balogh, a current Mechanical Engineering student at Kettering, to be his chief operating officer. Wang is currently a first-year doctoral student in Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is the president and co-chief technology officer for the team.

The team entered the MIT Clean Energy competition with a project centered on high-efficiency charging solutions for electric vehicles, an idea that Wang explored in Kettering’s Advanced Power Electronics Lab (APEL) for the past two years.

The competition was also an opportunity to showcase past and ongoing research work in APEL to a broader audience, build more connections with the United States Department of Energy and profile Kettering University’s research efforts in front of industry professionals who served as judges for the competition.

Wang’s team did not advance to the semi-finals in the MIT Clean Energy competition but the group has advanced to the semi-finals of the Cleantech Open (scheduled for November 2013) and are finalists at Ultra Light Startups this year.

“We gained invaluable experience drafting a business plan and exploring our business ideas through this process,” Wang said.

Wang was born and raised in Xi'an, China, and chose Kettering due to its well-known co-op program and well-established automobile connections. Wang graduated from Kettering in 2012 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. His co-op experience at APEL was sponsored by the United State Department of Energy, Magna Inc. and Tenneco Inc.

“Kettering has equipped me with a broad knowledge and insights in both hardware and software implementations, instilled a strong work ethic and provided professional experience and solid hands-on skills,” Wang said. “The most that I learned at Kettering was through the co-op program where I worked on various cutting-edge technology research projects.”

Wang’s primary focus at APEL was automotive research and development with a heightened emphasis on vehicle electrification, the theme of sustainability being one that he continues to explore at MIT under the guidance of Dr. James L. Kirtley Jr. at the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT.

“My current research work involves design, modeling, and test of the mid and large-sized electrical machinery for the next-generation wind turbine systems,” Wang said.

After completing his doctorate degree at MIT, Wang hopes to continue exploring start-up opportunities related to sustainable energy solutions to combat larger global problems.

“I would like to further work in the industry or continue being enthusiastic in technology start-ups,” Wang said.