Ned Mohan: Forever Young

July 17, 2013
Ned Mohan has been teaching at the University of Minnesota for nearly 37 years, but he stays young by being around young people with fresh, new ideas.

Ned Mohan has been teaching at the University of Minnesota for nearly 37 years, but he said he stays young by being around young people with fresh, new ideas. At the university, he enjoys working on exciting research projects and combining research with teaching.

Mohan joined the University of Minnesota in 1975, where he is Oscar A. Schott Professor of Power Electronic Systems and Morse-Alumni Distinguished Professor. He will be teaching a short course on Aug. 13-14 on Understanding Modern Power Grid at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This course, along with another short course also presented at the University of Minnesota (Power System Protection), is unique in that you can interact with instructors online and in person (your choice). Course recordings will be downloadable by all registrants after the course. CEUs/PDHs are available only upon passing 50% of the online quizzes; certificates require also passing the online exam above 50% grade.

Understanding Modern Power Grid will cover an overview of the power system, review of basic concepts, electric energy and the environment, modeling of transmission lines, power flow calculations, transformers, HVDC systems, distribution systems, loads and power quality, synchronous generators, to name a few.

“I teach power-related courses that are extremely timely for our energy independence in a responsible manner,” Mohan said.

Mohan brings his past experience and excitement of research into my teaching. He has 12 PhD students – “all working on exciting research projects,” he said. In addition to teaching university courses, he has given more than 20 tutorials at various international conferences. He has also organized more than 25 NSF-sponsored faculty/industry workshops (these are listed at The portal for the educational effort is

In his lifetime of research and teaching, Mohan has learned (and communicates to students) that “there is no substitute for hard work, and creativity ultimately gets rewarded.” He has certainly been rewarded for his hard work and creativity. He received the 2008 IEEE-PES Outstanding Educator Award, 2010 IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2010 UWIG Achievement Award from Utility Wind Integration Group, 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT-Kharagpur (India), and 2012 IEEE Power & Energy Society Ramakumar Family Renewable Energy Excellence Award.  Recently in 2013, he received the Innovative Program Award from the ECE Department Heads Association made up of over 250 U.S. universities.

Mohan knew he wanted to teach from the beginning. “Right after getting my PhD from University of Wisconsin in Madison, I knew that I wanted to go into teaching both undergraduates and graduate students, and give back what I have received,” he said.

He doesn’t have much spare time, or so his wife says. “However, that’s not entirely true – I think about spirituality and the purpose of life,” Mohan said.

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