Power Systems Engineering Research Center


As a National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Center, the Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) draws on university capabilities to creatively address the challenges facing the electric power industry. Its core purpose is to empower minds to engineer the future electric energy system. Under the banner of PSERC, multiple U.S. universities are working collaboratively toward:

  • engage in forward-thinking about future scenarios for the industry and the challenges that might arise from them
  • conduct research for innovative solutions to these challenges using multidisciplinary research expertise in a unique multi-campus work environment
  • facilitate interchange of ideas and collaboration among academia, industry and government on critical industry issues
  • educate the next generation of power industry engineers.

PSERC provides:

  • efficient access to experienced university researchers in an array of relevant disciplines and geographically located across the U.S.
  • leading-edge research in cost-effective projects jointly developed by industry leaders and university experts
  • high quality education of future power engineers.

The multidisciplinary expertise of PSERC's researchers includes power systems, applied mathematics, complex systems, computing, control theory, power electronics, operations research, non-linear systems, economics, industrial organization and public policy. PSERC partners with private and public organizations that provide integrated energy services, transmission and distribution services, power system planning, control and oversight, market management services, and public policy development.

How PSERC's Research Program Works

PSERC's projects are developed and selected through a collaborative process. PSERC's members pay annual membership fees that support PSERC's research program. Industry members and university researchers collaborate to identify important research needs and creative new ideas. After a solicitation is circulated, research teams, typically from two universities, develop proposals with industry project advisors. The proposals are reviewed by industry members and by academics. The reviews are then provided to PSERC's Director who works with the Executive Committee to develop a recommended set of proposals. After proposal presentations at the December industry-university meeting, industry members vote on the recommendation.

Sometimes industry members provide additional membership funds that can be used for targeted projects that still consistent with PSERC's research program. This funding often extends an existing line of research, supports demonstrations or use of data from a particular PSERC members, or simply broadens the scope of an existing project.