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Advanced Energy Technology Research Prepares Ākonga for High-Tech Careers

  • Advanced Energy lab

An advanced energy technology programme is training technicians for the electric, cryogenic and superconducting trucks, ships, trains and planes of the near future


It was a glimpse of the future for transport technology ākonga at a recent lecture and lab session held at Unitec as part of the government’s Advanced Energy Technology Research programme.

MIT, Unitec and Ara have been engaged in the programme to help develop new qualifications specifically designed for working with high-temperature superconductors and connecting ākonga with career opportunities.

The Unitec session forms part of the DE6410 High Power Electric Motors for Transport course, which lecturer Alireza Gheitasi says focuses on training ākonga to set up and programme variable speed drives, as well as mastering various fault analysis techniques through practical laboratory work.

Graduates of this course can pursue career opportunities as electrical engineering technicians in diverse industries, including manufacturing, transportation, food processing, and aviation.

“During the lab session, we delved into two fascinating experiments, says Alireza. “Firstly, we explored superconductivity and cryogenics, employing liquid nitrogen to induce superconducting states. Through this, we examined levitation phenomena within magnetic fields, crucial for applications in high-power, high-density electrical motors, such as those utilized in electric planes and levitation trains.

“Additionally, we conducted experiments on variable speed drives, utilizing equipment from Lucas Nueler's lab. The participants engaged with both MOSFETs and IGBTs, alongside hands-on experience with real industrial electrical motors and VSD drives. Their tasks included setup, programming, and operation of these motors under specified conditions, mirroring real-world scenarios encountered in industrial settings.”

Read more about the programme here