Prof. Sangyoung Park PhD has held a Junior Professorship in Smart Mobility Systems at Technische Universität Berlin and the ECDF since October 16, 2018. Born and raised in Daegu, Korea, Sangyoung Park studied and completed his PhD in electrical engineering and computer science at Seoul National University.
His research dealt with the energy status and energy consumption of battery-powered mobile systems – so-called embedded systems – such as smartphones, tablets and also electric vehicles. Energy consumption and status not only directly affect user experience, but also the usage time and lifespan of embedded devices. “My research focuses on developing system-level approaches or management systems that measure, analyze and balance energy consumption,” he says. Among other things as part of his PhD, he developed a one-person electric vehicle on which he monitored key battery parameters such as voltage, temperature or charge. His aim was optimum management of such parameters using appropriate software. “A car battery today consists of hundreds of individual cells (usually lithium ion batteries) connected in series. If specific battery cells get hot or cold too fast or discharge at different rates, it has a huge impact on their lifespan. But if a single battery cell fails, that in turn affects the overall system,” says Professor Park. “So the key is to monitor all parameters individually for each battery cell and to balance them as ideally as possible.” In this context, he studied the management not only of lithium-ion batteries, but also of what are called hybrid energy storage systems consisting, for example, of a lithium-ion battery and a supercapacitor.
Park switched to Munich as a postdoc in 2014. “Germany is internationally renowned for its automotive industry, which is why I wanted to continue my research on battery systems here.”
“Among other things at the Technical University of Munich, I worked on a collaboration with Google with regard to energy management for smartphones. The goal was to reduce the energy consumption of the phone browser. This can be heavily influenced by how a smartphone is used. We also looked into the parameters involved in the battery aging process. One way to influence battery aging is what is known as a balancing strategy. That involves transferring energy from one battery cell to another so as to equilibrate differences in charge. My research objective was to coordinate such energy transfers for maximum efficiency and minimum impact so as to extend battery life.
At TU Berlin, his research will move towards mobility itself as the name of his new research group, “Smart Mobility Systems” suggests. He is especially interested in the new possibilities the “vehicle connectivity” offers. “Direct communication among autonomous vehicles allow them to be controlled in a way that no human drivers, or even isolated autonomous vehicles can. I will investigate numerous connected vehicle control scenarios where the connectivity could improve their energy efficiency, traffic flow and safety”
Meanwhile, he will continue to work on system architecture as regards energy management and so act as a kind of bridge between design engineers and the software engineers. “On the one hand, I am investigating a variety of energy storage systems in electric vehicles. That is, how the components – fuel cells, supercapacitors or indeed lithium-ion batteries – are to be interconnected and managed together. Increasing attention also has to be paid here to charging infrastructure – how this has to be designed, once again, for maximum efficiency and minimum impact in battery charging.” (kj)