ECE Extern Tohid Khalili Uses ABQ as Case Study for PhD

ECE Extern Tohid Khalili Uses ABQ as Case Study for PhD

When ECE Ph.D. candidate Tohid Khalili became an extern for the City of Albuquerque last summer, he helped improve our city services while spicing up his dissertation.

Externs (and interns) both work outside their degree-granting institutions and are employed in national labs, research facilities, industry, and government agencies. Externs typically work shorter periods than interns and are generally unpaid.

The New Mexico Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research or NM EPSCoR sponsored Khalili's externship. His work focused on optimizing and smartening the power grid.

As an extern, he was introduced to the administrative affairs of real-world projects and performed research utilizing the City of Albuquerque as a case study.

"I helped City of Albuquerque energy managers in their efforts to achieve higher energy efficiency and renewable goals to reduce utility costs and CO2 emissions," said Khalili.

Khalili proposed a microgrid design for the City of Albuquerque's 911 center. This project provided a rough estimate for designing a microgrid for the City of Albuquerque's buildings. 

"I needed to be familiar with real-world test systems to be able to build realistic models for my papers to improve the reliability, resiliency, and robustness of the power system."  

The National Science Foundation funds NM EPSCoR and their research team leads include Michael Devetsikiotis (ECE Chair) and ECE faculty members Ali Bidram, Jane Lehr, and Manel Martínez-Ramón.

NM EPSCoR's current focus is the New Mexico Smart Grid Center which made Tohid Khalili a perfect fit for the job.

"I can use my unique experience of interacting with practical projects and ongoing projects of the City of Albuquerque in my current research!" said Khalili.

Tohid Khalili is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree as a research assistant at ECE under the supervision of Prof. Ali Bidram. He received a B.Sc. degree from Urmia University, Urmia, Iran, in 2016, and an M.Sc. degree from the University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran, in 2018, both in electrical engineering (power systems).

He is the author and co-author of several journals and conference papers. His main research interests include optimization, reliability, robustness, resiliency, and protection of power systems, power systems operation, demand response programs, renewable energy, energy storage systems, smart grid, evolutionary algorithms, and economic power systems.