Short portrait about Professor Johann W. Kolar

Johann W. Kolar is a true visionary in the field of power electronics. Having developed several key innovations relating to inverters and energy saving. But his teaching has also had a big impact.

Professor Johann W. Kolar is an IEEE Fellow (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). And he is also holder of the professorship in power electronic systems at ETH Zürich. For two decades, he has been advancing the development of power electronics, especially rectifier technology.

Johann W. Kolar was born in 1959 in Upper Austria. He says he was lucky to have had a high school electrical technology teacher with industrial experience in power and micro-electronics. Although he initially wanted to study medicine, but his first dissection lesson quickly pushed him back towards the world of electrical technology. And ever since then power electronics has been his obsession.

His developments have included the Vienna rectifier, which combines high efficiency and high power density. Johann W. Kolar believes that a key challenge in power electronics is that different components have to be simultaneously researched, while also improving their interaction. Finally he introduced the principle of multi-objective optimisation as a fundamentally new research method in power electronics.

Climate change is an accelerator that demands urgent action, particularly in energy engineering.

In his teaching, Johann W. Kolar aims to pass on to his students his passion for creating new concepts as well as a solid basis of technical expertise, enabling them to contribute to transforming society into an “all-electric society”.

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