Electrical Engineer, Ergo Consulting Ltd
Doctor of Philosophy candidate
For his PhD research, Jun Su developed a smart charging strategy for electrical vehicles to help electric utility operators prepare for the growing popularity of these vehicles.
“There’s a growing interest in electrical vehicles as a replacement for conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. However, the increasing usage of electrical vehicles may result in congestion in electricity consumption, which means more investment needs to be made to upgrade our power system to accommodate this.
“My research aimed to develop a smart charging strategy that can charge as many electrical vehicles as possible without violating the system’s restrictions or put stress on distribution networks.”
About to complete his studies, Jun is already working as an electrical engineer for Ergo Consulting Ltd, focusing on engineering design in the power system area.
“In the third year of my PhD study, I chose to work full-time while researching. It is not easy to balance study and work at the same time, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. What surprised me is that AUT tries to ensure that researchers and students are in the best position to access digital resources, online learning and support, which makes balancing study with work possible. I’ve also received great support from my supervisors Professor Tek-Tjing Lee, Dr Ramon Zamora and Dr Gilbert Foo.”
Embracing new technologies
AUT plays an important role in supporting innovative technology, he says.
“In the first year of my PhD, AUT became the first university in New Zealand to launch an electric bus, travelling between the different campuses. I was so proud to have the chance to participate in this project, and research the potential impact of electric buses on the electricity grid and other key information related to electrical vehicle technology.
“The introduction of the country’s first electric bus made AUT a pioneer not only for encouraging low carbon practice but also for academic research on zero emission transport.”
His involvement in the launch of the electric bus also gave Jun the opportunity to meet electrical vehicle experts from a number of organisations including the Tranzit Group and the EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority).
“I really appreciate that they have provided me with lots of advice, industry knowledge and data for the publication of my first journal paper. With the help of my supervisors, I successfully published three SCI journal papers throughout three years of study, which has attracted some attentions from the industry, such as the National Energy Research Institute and Meridian Energy.”
Creating great graduates
He would highly recommend AUT’s electrical engineering programme, says Jun who came to AUT as an international student from China.
“It provides an easy pathway for the acquisition of knowledge, and offers a platform for me to present my research outcomes to gain industry attention. I also really enjoy studying in the new Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences building, which has an integrated automated lighting and ventilation system. This is a perfect example for students to see how engineering changes our lives.”
AUT’s reputation for creating sought after graduates was a key reason Jun chose to study at AUT.
“In comparison to other world-renowned universities, AUT graduates are highly favoured by employers. The reputation for graduate success in the industry demonstrates that AUT is doing excellent work when it comes to teaching and industry connections. For me, this was a significant reason for choosing AUT.”