Event Location
1230 EB

Tim Polom

Staff Scientist
Silicon Austria Labs
Southern Austria
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
1230 EB
“Leveraging Heat Transfer Dynamics for Power Semiconductor Module Structural Health Monitoring”

Abstract: Power semiconductor components and modules, universal in converter applications, are comprised of fatigue-sensitive interfaces. This presentation illustrates a methodology for designing power semiconductor products and converter systems to actively sense their own lifetime-varying properties, e.g. degradation, in situ.

It begins with theoretical frequency domain heat transfer modeling which leads into experimental, physical system study. Methods of system identification are developed to characterize heat transfer frequency response forced by semiconductor device loss dissipation. Modeling and experimental studies reveal a relationship between sources of degradation and sensitive dynamic response range.

In all, heat transfer frequency response characterizations of several test setups are contributed by the research. To that end, sensitivity analysis parametrically quantifies measurement errors and limits of system identification experiments. Results reveal the achievability of implementing system identification for state-of-health monitoring in actively switching converters.

A method for degradation sensing system design is finally developed. Real-time implementation in a converter embedding multi-chip power modules, a constrained application environment, is of focus. Concurrent analysis of circuit topology and modulation, spatially-varying properties of heat transfer, and temperature sensing constraints blend to specify performance of a degradation sensing system. 

Bio: Tim Polom earned a B.S. degree from Michigan State University in 2013, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016 and 2019, all in mechanical engineering. During his graduate studies, Tim worked within the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium, and spent time as a visiting scholar at RWTH Aachen University’s Institute for Power Electronics and Electrical Drives. During his undergraduate studies, he conducted research at IIT Madras and RWTH Aachen through programs of MSU. He has industrial experience from roles at General Motors, Detroit Diesel, Loc Performance Products, and Delta Electronics. Tim’s current research interests involve dynamic modeling, control, heat transfer, and power conversion. Starting in December, he will be a staff scientist at Silicon Austria Labs in southern Austria.

Faculty Host: Dr. Shanelle Foster (

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