The University of Southampton

Southampton professor honoured for outstanding contributions to electrical power engineering

Published: 12 March 2021
Professor Paul Lewin

Professor Paul Lewin has been awarded the 2021 IEEE Eric O Forster Distinguished Service Award for significant advancement of dielectrics and electrical insulation.

The prestigious honour from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society (DEIS) recognises outstanding contributions and sustained leadership in its field.

Professor Lewin is the Director of the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, an active centre on Highfield Campus for research and commercial testing. He is the Professor of Electrical Power Engineering and Head of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), having built an international reputation for his work in High Voltage Engineering across three decades at Southampton.

Professor Lewin says: "I am delighted to accept this award, I think it truly reflects the achievements of the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory and our standing internationally, especially in terms of our work in dielectric materials and electrical insulation.

"As we move towards a future with greater reliance on sustainable green electrical energy, there are real research challenges to be solved in order to ensure the reliability and long term performance of high voltage equipment and their electrical insulation systems. I am very pleased that our contributions in this area have been recognised."

The biennial award, which was first given in 1992, is named in honour of the late Eric O Forster for his distinguished service on behalf of DEIS.

Paul C Gaberson, President of the DEIS, says: "I have personally known Professor Lewin for several years and can attest to his dedication to the field of dielectrics, his students, his university, and to the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society (DEIS). Paul leads by example and is always willing to contribute his enthusiasm and energy when he is asked to participate in a project.

"He has supported the DEIS in many volunteer positions including AdCom Secretary, VP Technical, VP Administrative, and President. He has also taken a leadership role in the Society’s key conference (the Electrical Insulation Conference) where he acted as General Chair. The Society has benefited greatly from his contributions."

Professor Lewin joined Southampton’s Department of Electrical Engineering in 1989, before moving to Electronics and Computer Science in 1999. Across his career, he has received funding and grants in excess of £30m, supervised 50 graduate students to successful completion of their doctoral theses and published over 500 refereed conference and journal papers.

He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the IET and IEEE and was general chair of IEEE International Conference on Solid Dielectrics 2007 and IEEE Electrical Insulation Conference 2015. In 2016, he was appointed as Head of ECS.

The University of Southampton was ranked first in the UK for Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the Guardian University Guide 2021. The ranking marks Southampton’s eleventh consecutive year in the Guide’s UK subject top 10, having also been ranked first from 2011-14 and again from 2016-17.

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