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Cougar Spotlight: Hussain Sayed Named First UH Recipient of Noted Power Electronics Fellowship

By Mike Emery, 713-743-7197

In another first for the University of Houston, doctoral student Hussain Sayed became the institution’s inaugural recipient of the Joseph John Suozzi INTELEC® Fellowship Award in Power Electronics for 2022. 

Sayed, a Ph.D. candidate in the Cullen College of Engineering, is UH’s first student to earn this noted prize presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Power Electronics Society. He received this honor for his proposed study examining the underlying elements to enable monitoring of the health status and reliability of individual power converters used in data centers. 

The award carries a $15,000 grant, and according to Sayed, it will certainly assist his academic and professional journeys at the University of Houston.

“This fellowship will significantly contribute to my upcoming Ph.D. research work as well as to my long-term academic career pathway,” he said. 

This prize also complements Sayed's commitment to success as a researcher exploring real-world applications for the principles learned at UH and at the Cullen College of Engineering. 

Earlier this year, Sayed also received recognition from IEEE as he earned the Technical Session Best Presentation Award at the institute’s Applied Power Electronics Conference. 

Sayed arrived at UH in 2020, enrolling in the Cullen College’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He previously earned a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Technology, Iraq. 

A native of Iraq, Sayed always had a penchant for technology and conducted various experiments as a child. Those experiences inspired him to pursue a degree in engineering. 

“When I was a kid, I used to be interested in exploring electrical and electronics circuits and solving issues logically,” he said. “I remember trying to energize my radio from the sun’s heat that reflected on our home garage. Not only that, but I used to open and explore most of the defected appliances at our house.” 

His curiosity in STEM subjects fueled an academic journey that continues at UH. Since arriving on campus, he developed an appreciation for its diversity and the opportunities presented in the Cullen College of Engineering. At the college, he has focused his research on developing efficient, reliable power infrastructures supporting the operation of data centers. 

“The energy consumption required to run data centers has been rapidly increased, resulting in high operational costs. Because of the increasing energy demand, data centers require efficient and reliable power distribution infrastructure,” he said. 

Sayed’s work in this area has not only garnered awards but has made him a model scholar and student within UH’s Cullen College of Engineering. 

Both peers and professors have taken note of his commitment to quality research and his passion for engineering. 

According to his mentor Harish Krishnamoorthy, assistant director and associate professor in the Cullen College’s electrical and computer engineering department, Sayed’s persistence will yield more rewards for both him and the field of engineering, 

“Hussain is one of the most motivated, hard-working, and sincere Ph.D. students that I ever had,” Krishnamoorthy said. "He has a true passion for research in the field of power conversion and reliability, which I am sure will lead him to greater heights in the future. He truly deserves this prestigious IEEE PELS award.”