WSU Vancouver professor wins inaugural Electricity Industry Technology and Practices Innovation Challenge Award from U.S. Department of Energy

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Xuechen Zhang, assistant professor of computer science in the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University Vancouver, was named a Tier 2 Gold winner of the U.S. Department of Energy’s first Electricity Industry Technology and Practices Innovation Challenge.

The challenge was designed to tap into American ingenuity for ideas about how to make the nation’s electric grid stronger and more resilient. Through the challenge, DOE sought ideas from industry, academia and other innovators for concepts that include technologies or solutions that address existing or emerging vulnerabilities and threats to the electric sector or mitigate interdependencies between the electricity sector and other sectors.

The DOE awarded more than $300,000 to seven winning submissions in two tiers. Zhang and his research team were awarded $25,000 for “QoS-Aware Data-Driven Analytics for Next Generation Synchrophasor Workflows.”

“I am very proud of Xuechen for winning this award. It shows the significance and relevance of his research as recognized by the DOE in a nationwide challenge with only seven winners,” said Hakan Gurocak, professor and director for the School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Proposed technologies and solutions were reviewed on criterion including technical merit and viability, potential to mature and implement, innovation and transformation, and potential magnitude of impact.

About WSU Vancouver

As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations.

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Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communications, 360-546-9601,

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