Divan Named as GRA Eminent Scholar, Pippin Professor in ECE

Atlanta, GA

Deepak Divan has been appointed as the John E. Pippin Chair Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. In this new role, Divan will also serve as director of the Georgia Tech Center for Distributed Energy, which will focus on enabling the transition of the global electrical energy infrastructure from a fossil-fuel powered, top-down controlled system to a massively-distributed, resilient, smart, and sustainable system.

An ECE faculty member since 2004, Divan works in the areas of dynamic grid control, advanced and integrated power electronics, and sustainable energy systems. He is known for his seminal work in technologies that protect equipment against power disturbances that impact industries such as utilities, semiconductors, automotive, and food processing. He served as director for the Intelligent Power Infrastructure Consortium, a university-industry-utility consortium to foster and accelerate the development and adoption of early-stage, pre-competitive high-risk and high-impact technologies in power applications.

For the last several years, Divan has been on leave in order to establish and lead his third startup company, Varentec, which is funded by leading VCs Khosla Ventures and investor Bill Gates. Varentec, based in Santa Clara, California, builds distributed power management and monitoring solutions for the electric grid. Divan currently serves as the scientific founder and Chief Scientist for the company. He is also the scientific founder of two additional companies–Innovolt, based in Atlanta, which makes next-generation power protection and asset management devices and where he serves on the Board, and Soft Switching Technologies Corporation, where he served as CEO and developed a range of devices to help manufacturing facilities ride through power disturbances. At Soft Switching, Divan also conceptualized and helped to develop the I-Grid, the first publicly accessible Internet-based power monitoring network in the U.S., which allows industries and utilities to diagnose widespread power quality events and unsolved downtime events. Soft Switching was acquired by Rockwell Automation in 2012. Finally, his work at Georgia Tech has provided the foundation for another start-up company – Smart Wires, which is located in Oakland, California, and provides power flow control devices for the transmission grid.

Divan holds more than 60 issued or pending patents, with over half in use by industry, and he has published over 300 refereed journal and conference papers, including 12 outstanding prize paper awards.

In 2015, Divan was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He served as president of the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) in 2009-2010, and he was named as the first recipient of the IEEE Newell Field Medal, the highest honor given by IEEE in the area of power electronics “for leadership in the development of soft-switching power converters.” Divan also served as an IEEE Industry Applications Society Distinguished Lecturer in 2004 and 2005, and he was elected as an IEEE Fellow in 1998.

Last revised August 1, 2017