Next-Generation Energy Systems Expert Joins UCLA Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Xiaofan Cui

Courtesy of Xiaofan Cui

Jul 25, 2023

UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Xiaofan Cui has been appointed as an electrical and computer engineering assistant professor at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, effective November 1. 

Cui’s research combines concepts from circuits, control and systems to address challenges in power electronics-dominated energy systems including high-frequency and high-speed power converters, batteries, microgrids and renewable energy grids. Since 2022, he has been a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, where he is working on data-driven modeling, identification and prediction of energy storage systems. In particular, he is involved in a project funded by the United States Department of Defense to address the aging and health estimation of lithium-ion batteries.

 An alumnus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Cui received a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering, two master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering and mathematics, and a graduate certificate in data science. He also obtained two bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and economics, respectively, from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

While at the University of Michigan, Cui designed and contributed to various projects on power converters and energy storage systems funded by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). During his graduate studies, Cui interned at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, where he worked on operating inverter-based resources to stabilize the renewable energy power grid for a DOE-funded project.

In 2021, a committee of transportation industry experts, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs selected Cui as one of six Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Program winners, awarding a team led by him a grant to turn one of his research projects into a real-world product. His hierarchical power-processing architecture enables retired batteries from electric vehicles to be repurposed for grid energy storage at a significantly lower cost.

As an instructor, Cui has mentored both undergraduate and graduate students. In 2021, he received a Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Prize for Distinguished Academic Achievement in honor of his accomplishments in research, and contributions to teaching and service at the University of Michigan. 

Cui has received many other awards and recognitions, including a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant in 2020, a travel grant from the American Automatic Control Council in 2019 and a University of Michigan Graduate Student Fellowship in 2016. He has authored 10 journals — four as first author — and 16 peer-reviewed papers in top-tier conferences, including eight as first author.