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Professor John Fletcher

+61 2 9385 6007


John Fletcher is a Professor (Energy Systems Research Group) with the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. John has been principal investigator on $4.2M of research grants and co-investigator on $20M+. He has supervised 32 students to PhD and has published 103 journal papers, 100+ conference papers, 3 book chapters and has made 6 patent submissions.

He joined UNSW in August 2010 and was previously a Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and Lecturer at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

His research interests include: 

  • Power Electronics
  • Electrical Machine Drives
  • Renewable Energy
  • Electric Vehicle, Traction and Propulsion

He has consulted for many global industrial companies in the UK, USA, China, Europe and Japan.

The following highlights the main research grants in the last 10 years which indicate the range of research he has conducted recently.

Electrical Machines and Drives:

ARC Discovery Project $281k              2015-2017                         CI1

Advanced, fault-tolerant electric drive systems for safety critical applications using novel permanent magnet machines (DP150102368)

The key aim is to develop an electrical drive system with enhanced tolerance to system faults. The research is significant as it will satisfy the demands of emerging high-reliability applications for electric drive systems utilising patented concentrated-wound permanent magnet machine. Applications for the research include the automotive and resource sectors which are growth sectors. A new high-quality model of the machine will be realised. This new model will then  inform the development of suitable control techniques for the machine driven by fault-tolerant inverter topologies. The research will be demonstrated on prototype research machines and the system performance compared with existing state-of-the-art technology.


ARC Discovery Project $380k              2013-2015                         CI3

Dynamic model and mechanical sensorless controller for a novel concentrated-winding interior permanent magnet machine for electric vehicles (DP130103760)

The FSCW IPM machine offers very high power density, efficiency and constant-power speed range; properties that are sought for electric vehicles. Its high performance control, which requires an accurate mathematical model, is still not available. This project seeks to develop this model and the sensorless controller for the FSCW IPM machine. The research work is undertaken collaboratively with CSIRO.

Proof of Concept          £195k                         CI1

Improved electrical generation systems for renewable energy and micro-generation (9-ENR-001)

I contributed to the research and development of five-phase permanent magnet generator technology and manage the efforts of a team which includes 1 Research Fellow, 2 Technology Entrepreneurs, and 1 a Commercialisation Officer from RKES. The technology is in the process of achieving a commercial outcome through spin-out and licensing opportunities.

Renewable Energy:

ARC Linkage Project $560k              2016-2019                         CI2

Optimising CDI Water Treatment for Ion Removal and Energy Recovery (LP150100854)

This project aims to develop capacitive deionisation (CDI) for the decontamination of water. The specific goals are firstly to identify applications where CDI could cost-effectively make brackish, contaminated water usable. The project then intends to optimise CDI design and operating conditions to remove particular ions of concern and to develop approaches to energy recovery. The main outcome is intended to be a photovoltaic-powered CDI unit that is capable of stand-alone operation with optimal energy recovery and inbuilt monitoring, and control technology enabling cost-effective and sustainable operation.


The Tyree Foundation $1.5M                     2017-19         Lead CI at UNSW

Collaborative PhD projects on Rural and Remote Microgrids (with University of Sydney)

This project will develop and experimentally implement algorithms for reliable and stable operation of microgrids that can be deployed to support communities in Australia. This will involve development of novel tools for modelling, analysis, communication and control of microgrid generation devices, and controllable loads, to operate in off-grid conditions. These algorithms must enable inputs from many sources and these sources are themselves in part, dynamic. Changes in fault levels, out of balance phases in 3 phase systems, and many other inputs, including effects of weather and changes in network impedances, will need to be considered.


ARENA $1M                                         2016-2019                   CI2

Addressing barriers to efficient renewable integration: frequency management, ancillary services and electricity market rules for achieving high renewables 

This measure aims to address barriers to the efficient grid integration of renewable generation in Australia.  The focus will be on system-wide integration issues (rather than distribution level issues), and on very high renewable systems that approach 100% renewable energy (far beyond the scope of analysis currently being conducted by industry).


The Tyree Foundation and ANSTO   $750k           2013-16         CI1

Collaborative PhD projects on Nuclear Engineering (Imperial College/ANSTO)


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council          £523k                         CI1

Multi-terminal dc transmission micro-grid system for interfacing multiple wind turbines (DT/F006381/1)

I managed and contributed to the research effort of three PhD students and 1 senior Research Fellow on a £1.5M collaborative research and development project with Proven Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy.  The aim of the research is to develop a novel current-fed multi-terminal DC link system for the capture of energy generated by wind turbines.

SEEKIT RENEW-NET   £800k                         CI1

Renewable Energy Electrical System Technology Transfer Network – RENEW-NET

I supervised 1 Research Fellow at Strathclyde and contributed to the management of the collaborative project which includes 7 other researchers and staff. The project was to develop a Technology Transfer network in the renewable area to assist small and medium sized enterprises access knowledge and expertise in the university sector. The project assisted over 30 local companies developing new technologies in the sector and levered in excess of £2M in research grants and associated support mechanisms.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council          £800k                         CI of 8

Techniques for Electric Power Systems with High Penetrations of Non-Thermal Generation (EP/G013616/1)

I was one of eight members of the research team managing this EPSRC project. The team facilitates new and emerging research themes, identifies funding opportunities, and approves the allocation of EPSRC funds for pilot projects. The projects enabled research fellows to dedicate time and resource to new and novel ideas in the generation sector.

Energy Technologies Institute                                                                  

‘Nova’ and ‘Helmwind’ Consortium Projects

I contributed to the power electronics and drives research theme in this multi-partner collaboration which had 2 Research Fellows employed at the University of Strathclyde. The two projects aim to develop novel wind turbine technologies for offshore wind applications.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council          £6.5M             

Doctoral Training Centre in Wind Energy Systems

I contributed to the delivery of a new Masters by Research programme to the 11 PhD students in the Doctoral Training Centre on Wind Energy Systems. The Doctoral Training Centre will support 50 PhD scholarships in the wind energy sector over the next 9 years.

Power Electronics:

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council          £330k                         CI1

High-temperature Silicon Carbide Electronics – HITSIC (TS/G000417/1)

I managed and contributed to the research effort of 1 senior Research Fellow on a £1.6M collaborative research and development project with Raytheon Systems. The research project developed a CMOS process for Silicon-Carbide that can operate at high temperatures.  

AWE                            £150k                         CI1

Modular MOSFET and IGBT pulsed-power systems

I supervised a PhD student on a project funded by the Atomic Weapons Establishment to develop power electronic-based pulsed-power systems for the next generation of X-ray generators liaise with applications in X-ray diagnostics and emerging medical applications.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council          £173k                         CI3

High Voltage Igbt Series Connection (GR/R19762/01)

This project developed active gate drive control for the series connection of power IGBTs. The technology enables multiple power devices to series connected together such that their voltages share instantaneously at all times including during rapid turn-on and turn-off.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council          £4.2M             

SUPERGEN HDPS Core Consortium (EP/G031681/1)

I contributed to the power electronics research theme in this multi-partner collaboration. The consortium includes 22 other university investigators.