yang cao

Yang Cao, PhD

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director, Electrical Insulation Research Center, Institute of Materials Science

Site Director, NSF Center on High Voltage/Temperature Materials & Structures

Tel: (860) 486-0915

Dr. Cao’s research has been focused on high voltage engineering and energy materials for power and medical devices. His main research interests include: (1) High electric field phenomena and devices; (2) Polymeric nanostructured materials with game changing characteristics for energy efficient power conversion and renewables integrations; (3) High voltage engineering in power and medical; (4) Grid asset management: diagnosis and prognosis of electrical degradation.



Wesley Zhong

Research Assistant, Lab Manager

B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology, Purdue University
Tel: (860)486-5594






Research Assistant Professors

Yifei Wang, PhD


Past Institute: Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

Research Interest: received his Ph.D. and B.E. degree both in electronic science and technology from Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China, in 2018 and 2013, respectively. His research focuses on polymer nanocomposites for dielectric energy storage applications.







Chao Wu, PhD


Past Institute: Tsinghua University, China

Research Interest: Chao Wu received the B.Sc. degree in 2013 and Ph.D. degree in 2018 from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Tsinghua University, China. He was a Ph.D. visiting student in the University of Leicester, UK, in 2017. His research focuses on dielectric response and breakdown of polymer composites.







Postdoctoral Fellows

Ningzhen Wang, PhD


Past Institute: Technische Universität Berlin, Germany; Tsinghua University, China; Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

Ningzhen Wang received her B.E. degree in 2013 from School of Materials Science and Engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Ph.D. degree in 2018 at Tsinghua University, China. She was a Ph.D. visiting student at Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, France, in 2017. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, from 2018 to 2019. Her research focuses on the characterization and properties study of foam materials.





Jing Hao, PhD


Past Institute: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden; Southwest Jiaotong University, China

Jing Hao received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Southwest Jiaotong University in 2014 and 2017 respectively, and Ph.D. degree from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in 2021 in electrical engineering. She was a visiting student at the Chalmers University of Technology in 2018. Her research interests focus on the alternative gas to SF6 and the characterization of dielectric materials.






Graduate Students


Mohamadreza Arab

Ph.D Candidate
Past Institute: University of Tehran, Iran

Research Interest: High voltage engineering, Partial discharge analysis and detection, Test, analysis and life assessment of insulators in harsh conditions, Insulation of HVDC grids, and  Fault current limiters.





Wenqiang Gao

Ph.D Candidate
Past Institute: Tsinghua University/Sichuan University, China

Research Interest: Wenqiang Gao’s research interests mainly include SF6-alternatives, gas insulation, high voltage engineering, and gas dynamics.








Peinan Zhou

Ph.D  Student
Past Institute: University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania; Shandong University, China

Research Interest:








Jierui Zhou

Ph.D. Student


Past Institute: Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

Research Interest: High electric field phenomena and devices.








Kerry Davis

Ph.D. Candidate


Past Institute: University of Connecticut

Kerry received her B.S. from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, in 2016. She has worked for Pratt & Whitney since 2016 and she has been pursuing her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Connecticut part-time. She primarily studies materials for aircraft electrification.








Antigoni Konstantinou

Ph.D. Student


Past Institute: University of Delaware, USA; University of Patras, Greece

Antigoni’s work was focused on polymer nanocomposite materials, as smart systems. Studying the dielectric and thermomechanical properties of low filler content polymer composites in her master and bachelor thesis. Her research in Epps research group involved synthesis and thermal characterization of bio-based polymers. Her research interest in EIRC is focused on the synthesis and the electrical characterization of nanostructured dielectric polymeric materials.





Undergraduate Students




Previous Members

30. Dr. Tohid Shahsavarian, PhD in Electrical Engineering, Graduated in 2022, currently with PG&E

29. Charlotte Cabrera, Visiting graduate student/intern, Jul.-Sep., 2022, Paul Sabatier University – Toulouse, France

28. Dr. Hiep Nguyen, PhD in Electrical Engineering, Graduated in 2022, currently with University of Memphis (Teaching Assistant Professor).

27.Moritz Ploner, MVisiting graduate student/intern, March-July, 2022, University of Bologna, Italy

26. Dr. Chuanyang Li, Postdoctoral fellow, 2019 – 2021, currently with The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

25. Michael Sotzing, ME Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2018 – 2021, currently with Purdue University.

24. Liam Connelly, BME/EE Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2019-2021.

23. Dr. Jindog Huo, PhD in Material Science, graduated in 2020, currently with SLAC.

22. Dr. Zongze Li, PhD in Electrical Engineering, Graduated in 2020, currently with ASML.

21. Qian Wang, Visiting scholar, Sep 2019 – Oct 2020, currently with Tsinghua University.

20. Alex Rontey, EE Undergraduate Research Assistant, June 2018 – May 2020, currently with Eversource Energy.

19. Dr. Makoto Chiba, Visiting scholar, April 2018 – Sept. 2019, currently with Komatsu Ltd.

18. Dr. Mattewos Tefferi, PhD in Electrical Engineering, Graduated in 2019, currently with G&W Electric.

17. Dr. Shamima Nasreen, Postdoctoral fellow, Feb. 2018 – Jan. 2019, currently with Intel.

16. Prof. Dr. Reimund Gerhard: Visiting scholar, July 2018 – Sept. 2018, currently with Potsdam University (Professor).

15. Dr. Boya Zhang: Visiting scholar, Aug. 2016 – Sept. 2017, currently with Xi’an Jiaotong University (Associate Professor).

14.  Zhengyu Li: Visiting scholar, Mar. 2016 – Sept. 2017, currently with Komatsu Ltd.

13. Justin Delarm, ME Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2017 – 2018, currently with Pratt Whitney.

12. Roberto Gambuti : Visiting scholar, Mar. 2017 – Aug. 2017, currently with University of Bologna.

11. Dr. Mona Ghassemi, Postdoctoral fellow, Nov. 2015 – Jul. 2017, currently with Virginia Tech (Assistant Professor).

10. Dan Wilbanks, EE Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2016 – 2018, currently with MITRE.

9.  Dr. Shilei Ma: Postdoctoral fellow, Feb. 2012- Aug. 2016, currently with Dwyer Instruments.

8.  Dr. Ming Ren: Visiting scholar, June 2015 – June. 2016, currently with Xi’an Jiaotong University (Associate Professor).

7.  Dr. Huamao Zhan: Visiting scholar, May 2015 – May. 2016, currently with North China Electric Power University (Professor).

6. Dr. Jingfang Yu: Postdoctoral fellow, Sept. 2015 – May. 2016, currently with Oxford University.

5.  Dr. Thinh H. Pham: Visiting scholar, Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2015, currently with USi.

4. Benjamin Barthier: Summer intern, Apr. 2015- June 2015, Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs de Recherche en Matériaux, France.

3. Qiuwei Yang: Summer intern, May 2015- July 2015, Cornell University/UMass Medical School (Med Dr. in 2022).

2. Dr. Hiroaki Uehara: Visiting scholar, Mar. 2014- April 2015, currently with Kanto Gakuin University, Japan (Professor).

1. Thomas Crollet: Summer intern, Apr. 2014- June 2014, Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs de Recherche en Matériaux, France.