FSU CAPS researcher to receive prestigious engineering award

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Michael “Mischa” Steurer, a researcher at FSU's Center for Advanced Power Systems.Michael “Mischa” Steurer, a researcher at FSU’s Center for Advanced Power Systems.

A Florida State University researcher is being recognized for his significant contributions to naval engineering through his groundbreaking work at FSU’s Center for Advanced Power Systems.

Michael “Mischa” Steurer will receive the Solberg Award from the American Society of Naval Engineers for significant contributions to naval engineering. The award is named for Rear Adm. Thorwald A. Solberg, who was president of ASNE in 1949 while also completing his tenure as the third chief of Naval Research.

Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander said the recognition of Steurer’s work demonstrates what an asset he is to the university.

“CAPS is a unique research institute with extraordinary researchers in engineering working on a number of different projects from helping the Navy build an all-electric ship to building a more sustainable power grid,” Ostrander said. “That Mischa should be recognized in this way is a confirmation of what we at FSU already know — that he is a world-class researcher tackling complex problems. He is a credit to the Center for Advanced Power Systems and Florida State.”

Steurer was nominated for the award by Stephen Markle, director and program manager of the Electric Ships Office.

“I am deeply honored and moved by receiving this prestigious award,” Steurer said. “It is such an exciting confirmation of the work we pursued over more than a decade at FSU-CAPS in developing methods and techniques for efficiently and safely executing power-hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) experiments at the megawatt scale.”

Steurer joined CAPS in 2001 after receiving his doctorate in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Since 2010, he has been the lead researcher of the power systems group at CAPS where he has worked extensively with the Office of Naval Research.

“Mischa is one of several exceptional researchers that we at CAPS are lucky enough to call our own,” said Roger McGinnis, director of CAPS. “His work, particularly in generating new real-time testing simulations that allow the Navy and industry to test actual hardware under a variety of conditions quickly and inexpensively, has enabled the Navy to come to CAPS when they are working on a challenging problem. The Solberg Award is a testament to his excellent work.”

The Solberg Award has been awarded since 1967.

Working closely with his colleagues at CAPS, Steurer developed the sophisticated scientific model called power hardware in the loop that allows real-world conditions to be simulated in the lab. Through this system, power equipment can be tested to see how it would respond to issues such as a power surge or overload scenario in a controlled environment.

This model led CAPS to become the first university test site accredited by the U.S. Navy to perform high-powered simulations as the center develops next-generation shipboard power technology.