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In Memoriam: Braham Ferreira

It is with great sadness that we inform you that our dear colleague and head of the Power Electronics and Electromagnetics Compatibility group at the University of Twente, prof. dr. Braham Ferreira, passed away on 16 May 2021. Braham was 62 years old. 

Braham started his academic career in South Africa, at the Rand Afrikaans University, where he received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD and stayed until 1997 holding the Carl and Emily Fuchs Chair of Power Electronics in later years. During 1998-2018 he held the chair in Power electronics and Electrical Machines at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, served as head of the Department during 2006-2010 and 2017-2018 as General Manager of the Delft-Beijing Institute of Intelligent Science and Technology.

In 2019, Braham joined the University of Twente, filled with a great enthusiasm and ambition to establish a leading power electronics group combining the power electronics expertise he brought, along with the existing strong EMC activities, and in this way create a unique power electronics and EMC research program that would contribute to addressing some of the key challenges of the energy transition: battery storage integration, power quality issues, universal energy access, increasing efficiency and reliability. Through the Shenzen-Twente Power Electronics joint program he continued to pursue his long-term research passion of electromagnetic integration and high power density packaging. He also envisaged an innovative education program, the Twente method to teach power electronics, that would equip young generations of students with the knowledge, skills and drive to work on the energy transition challenges.  

Braham had an impressive scientific career and made significant contributions to the field of power electronics. He authored and co-authored 130 journal and transactions papers, more than 400 conference papers and 15 patents. His contributions are highly valued by the scientific community. He was awarded 15 prize paper awards, was Fellow of the IEEE and recipient of the IEEE IAS Gerald Kliman Innovator Award, the IEEE IAS Outstanding Achievement Award. Braham served the power electronics community tirelessly over the years, including being the President of the Power Electronics Society, Chair of The International Technology Roadmap for Wide Bandgap Power Semiconductors, initiator of the Empower a Billion Lives, a global challenge for energy access solutions, and much more. He was honoured for this service by receiving the IEEE PELS Harry A. Owen Distinguished Service Award, handed over to him only a couple of weeks before his passing, with over one hundred of his colleagues from all over the world joining the virtual ceremony.

Braham inspired, mentored and challenged many colleagues and students. The biggest mark he has left over the years is undoubtedly on his PhD students, who after years of Braham’s guidance went on to have successful academic and industrial careers all over the world. Upon learning of his illness many reached out expressing their gratitude for his academic guidance and opportunities that it brought them, but more importantly for having profound impact on their lives, shaping who they are as people and showing an inspiring example to follow. We share in their sentiment that his kindness, genuineness and integrity will be a legacy that will exceed his amazing professional achievements. Braham genuinely cared for his PhD students and colleagues, provided support in difficult times, shared in the joy of the happy ones, all in his calm, unpretentious way.

With Braham’s passing our group has lost the leader, a brilliant scientist and creative engineer, but most of all we have lost a dear colleague, mentor and friend. He will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts are with his wife Rina, his daughters Alletta, Mea and Nina and the rest of his family.

Power Electronics and Electromagnetic Compatibility Group
Faculty Board EEMCS


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