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Trends in Power Electronics with focus on wide-bandgap materials technology and applications

Orio Bellezza

President, Technology, Manufacturing, Quality and Supply Chain

ABSTRACT – The evolution of power electronics has been driven by the demand for more efficient, reliable and cost-effective power conversion and control. The need for power electronics has never been greater as we face the urgent global challenge of decarbonization. Power technologies enabled the development of high-efficiency power supplies, inverters for renewable energy systems. Electric vehicles rely on power electronics to control the motor drive, battery charging and other critical functions. Power electronics also enable he development of fast charging infrastructure, which is essential for making electric vehicles more practical and convenient. There are several types of power semiconductors used in electric vehicles and power conversion applications, including insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), based on traditional silicon technology. Today, power semiconductors technologies continue to evolve with the development of new materials, devices, and control techniques. Some of the latest developments in power electronics include wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors, such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), which have higher switching speeds and can operate at higher temperatures than traditional silicon devices. These new materials are enabling the development of more efficient and compact power converters for a variety of applications, from electric vehicles to power grids.

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHY – Orio Bellezza is STMicroelectronics’ President, Technology, Manufacturing, Quality and Supply Chain and has held this position since May 31st, 2018. He has been responsible for Front-End Manufacturing since 2008 and his mandate was expanded in 2018 to cover ST’s technology, manufacturing operations, supply chain, and quality. Bellezza is a member of ST’s Executive Committee. Bellezza joined SGS-ATES, a predecessor company to STMicroelectronics, in 1984 as a fab process engineer. He soon moved to ST’s Central R&D organization and participated in several key projects, including the introduction of process technology modules for manufacturing sub-micron non-volatile memories. In 1996, Bellezza was appointed Director of ST’s R&D facility in Agrate and led its upgrade and expansion into a manufacturing and development center for non-volatile memory and smart-power technologies. In 2002, he became Vice President of Central R&D, and in 2005, was appointed Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Front-End Technology and Manufacturing. Bellezza also serves as Managing Director of the ST Italy legal entity. He has published multiple technical papers and earned several patents in non-volatile memories. Orio Bellezza was born in Bergamo, Italy, in 1959, and graduated cum laude with a degree in Chemistry from the University of Milan, Italy.

Energy transition: electrification, digitalization, market, resilience

Marcelo Masera

Politecnico di Torino

ABSTRACT – The energy transition is a global trend firmly under way, going on now for several years for tackling environmental and climate-related concerns. In the last years, the acceleration of the climate related policies and initiatives has put electricity system at the centre of the debate concerning the decarbonisation of society.  While it is impossible to envisage the diminution of greenhouse gases emissions without an electricity-centred economy, there are many issues to be solved regarding technologies, investments, market regulation, and social equity at the national and global scales.
The speech will highlight the role and limitations of public policies in the promotion of electrification, and the synergies with the digitalization of the assets and systems. On the other hand, it will discuss the emerging problems about markets caused by the prevalence of renewable energy sources, and the need to rethink the resilience of systems for anticipating the set of capabilities that will be required for the reliable and secure supply of energy.

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHY – Marcelo Masera is since 1st September 2022 senior researcher at the Department of Energy, Politecnico di Torino in Italy. He is in charge of guiding research on energy systems, smart grids, and resilience.
He was Head of the Unit “Energy Security, Distribution and Markets” at the Directorate “Energy, Transportation and Climate” of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission from 2011 to June 2022. The unit has premises in Petten, the Netherlands, and Ispra, Italy, and its main mission is to provide support to European policy makers and national authorities in relevant topics. The main lines of activity are electricity systems and markets, natural gas systems and markets, digitalisation of energy, and interoperability.
Since 2000 he is officer of the European Commission, working at the Joint Research Centre. Between 2000 and 2010 he was responsible for the JRC group dealing with Critical Infrastructure Protection, theory of failures in cyber-physical systems and cybersecurity related aspects. His background is in Electronics and Electricity Engineering.