Thomas M. Jahns

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Thomas M. Jahns is recognized internationally as a preeminent researcher and innovator in high-performance permanent magnet (PM) machines and their adjustable-speed drives that reduce the world’s carbon footprint by achieving unparalleled levels of energy efficiency and power density. He is particularly known for his pioneering work to develop interior permanent magnet (IPM) machines and drives that have been adopted in practically all passenger electric vehicles manufactured since they entered high-volume production in 1997. The technical papers written by Jahns during the first half of his professional career at GE Corporate R&D provided the technology blueprint for the highly efficient IPM traction drives that propel these vehicles. More broadly, the PM machine drives that he pioneered at GE and later as a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison laid the groundwork for their broad adoption in a wide range of products including elevators, robots, air conditioners, and white goods that benefit from their unmatched efficiency and compact size. Jahns has continued to make cutting-edge research contributions focused on developing high-performance PM machine drives for some of the world’s most demanding motor applications including propulsor drives for future electrically propelled aircraft. To minimize the drive’s mass and volume, he has combined the electric machine and its electronic adjustable-speed drive inside the same housing to form an integrated motor drive (IMD), an advanced drive topology for which Jahns has earned an international reputation. He is also a renowned expert in the analysis and design of fault-tolerant electric machines and drives that are critical to achieving highly challenging reliability requirements. Throughout his professional career, Jahns has worked tirelessly to promote and share PM machine drive technology with students and engineers around the world via multiple book chapters and countless highly regarded lectures in classrooms and at conferences, invited seminars, and short courses.

An IEEE Life Fellow and member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Jahns is the Grainger Emeritus Professor of Power Electronics and Electrical Machines in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.