The Power Electronics Group was established by Dr. Holmes to address this issue, and to extend his interest in applying power electronic principles and theory to the development of practical converter systems for Australian industry. The group comprises one academic, two research fellows, and post graduate students. The research fellows provide continuity and a skills base to operate at the leading edge of technology. The focus of the group is to undertake research and development into power electronic conversion systems, to advance knowledge in the area, to train new engineers to an adequate standard for industry, and to support industry in the development of new products using recent research developments. These objectives are pursued through a combination of academic research projects and commercial product developments, so that staff and students are continually developing and are exposed to new ideas, but also have to relate these ideas to the limitations and constraints of practical engineered products.
PEG currently offers capabilities ranging from investigations into equipment failure, independent testing and similar support services, through to working with a company on the design and development of completely new products using the latest state-of-the-art knowledge. In particular, the group offers the potential to undertake relatively low cost investigations into new product ideas, taking advantage of the strong in-house design, development and construction facilities that are available at Monash University.
This innovative approach to research and development used by PEG has been both academically and commercially successful. The group has grown to a stable critical mass of 10 or more staff and students, and undertakes a broad range of research and development projects funded almost entirely by outside sources. Furthermore, many commercial development contracts have led to professional publications and further academic research directions, illustrating the strength and advantages of the unique university/industry relationships that have been built up by the group.