Roger Dougal

Leading the charge

Electrical engineering researcher Roger Dougal looks for ways to connect power grids

High-profile research, big-money grants, successful students, past and present — Roger Dougal, chair of electrical engineering department in the College of Engineering and Computing, has pretty much nailed it over the past 33 years at the University of South Carolina.

An expert in power electronics, Dougal has focused primarily on modeling the dynamic behavior of large, complex electrically driven systems. In 1996, he established the Virtual Test Bed, a computational environment for modeling, dynamic simulation and virtual-prototyping of interdisciplinary systems sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. He currently leads the university’s Power and Energy Systems research group.

Roger is an all-around star. (He is) a leading researcher, team player, team leader, and active in many aspects of university life.

Paul Huray

Dougal is also site director of the new NSF-sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Grid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems, a joint project between UofSC and the University of Arkansas that seeks to increase advanced power electronics into the utility power grid.

To date, Dougal has won several million dollars funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the UK Ministry of Defense, the National Science Foundation and the private sector. As a principal investigator, Dougal has pulled in grants totaling over $28 million over the last 12 years.

Dougal’s leadership, meanwhile, is evidenced by his dedication in the classroom, according to colleagues such as Michael Matthews, associate dean for research and graduate education at the College of Engineering and Computing. He also teaches the senior design sequence for students in his program.

“This is really amazing for a department chair because senior design is a very time‐intensive, full‐contact assignment,” says Matthews. “But Roger does this because of his passion that design be done right, with industrial relevance, and with ties to other disciplines.”

Dougal is also “leading a charge,” Matthews says, to develop facilities and curriculum that will increase collaboration on design projects between mechanical engineering and computer science and helping the college develop an interdisciplinary, long‐range hiring plan.

He also advises the Gamecock Sailing Club, has advised the university’s team in the FIRST Robotics League competition and has developed and taught a class on solar cells at the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Math.

“Roger is an all-around star,” says Paul Huray, professor of electrical engineering and chair of the electrical engineering awards committee. “(He is) a leading researcher, team player, team leader, and active in many aspects of university life.”

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