The 2018 IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference (IPMHVC) was held June 3 to 7 in beautiful Grand Teton National Park, Jackson, Wyoming, USA. The venue for the event was the Jackson Lake Lodge, a historic resort lodge built near Jackson Lake at the seat of the Grand Teton mountain range and a short drive from Yellowstone National Park. Attendees enjoyed panoramic views of the great American West, as well as accommodations in forest cottages surrounding the lodge and lakefront. The 2018 IPMHVC had 337 total registrations with strong representation across industry, government, and academic institutions. Many attendees decided to stay a few extra days with their families to explore the nearby national parks and to create their own adventure along the American frontier.

The IPMHVC conference has traditionally been held every two years and is an applied and research-oriented conference concerning repetitive pulsed power and power modulator technology, as well as high voltage theory, components, diagnostics, and subsystems. A total of 258 abstracts were submitted to the 2018 IPMHVC, of which 185 presentations (oral and poster) were included in the final technical program. The conference plenary presentations represented multiple state-of-the-art topics including wide-bandgap semiconductor switch development, power modulator designs using solid-state technologies, and plasma applications of nanosecond pulsed discharges. The technical program included contributions from 23 countries, with the largest contributions from the United States (46%) and China (28%). The IPMHVC will produce peer-reviewed proceedings of papers presented at the conference, published online in early Spring 2019. On June 7 the IPMHVC held a half-day short course on the topic of power semiconductor devices, taught by Stephen Bayne, Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics, Texas Tech University, USA.

The 2018 IPMHVC also enjoyed a strong industry exhibition with 25 industry participants, representing state-of-the-art capabilities in a wide range of high voltage and power modulator technologies. The conference enjoyed additional financial support from five US government institutions, as well as eight industry sponsorships supporting student awards. The conference awarded 10 travel scholarships to students presenting papers at the conference.

The IPMHVC presented three professional awards and three student awards during the conference banquet. The 2018 Kenneth Germeshausen Award recipient is Weihua Jiang, Extreme Energy Density Research Institute, Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan, for “outstanding contribution and technical leadership in the area of power modulator and repetitive pulsed power systems.” The 2018 William Dunbar Award recipient is Tao Shao, Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, for “continuing contributions to high voltage technology, research into the domain of fast electrical breakdown phenomena, and engineering education.” The 2018 Sol Schneider Award recipient is Frank Hegeler, Naval Research Laboratory, USA, for “extensive and continuing contributions in service and leadership in the IPMHVC community and conference administration.” The 2018 High Voltage Association Student Excellence Award recipient is Landon Collier, Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics, Texas Tech University, USA, for “outstanding contributions in high voltage component evaluation for the development of modular, high-voltage, sub-microsecond pulse generators.” The first 2018 Tom R. Burkes Outstanding Graduate Student Award recipient is Hongyu Dai,  State Key Laboratory of Advanced Electromagnetic Engineering and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, for “outstanding contributions in the research and pulsed power application of high-current arcs.” The second 2018 Tom R. Burkes Outstanding Graduate Student Award recipient is Anton Gusev, Institute of Electrophysics/RAS, Ural Federal University, Russia, for “outstanding contributions in the research of fast thyristor switches triggered in the impact ionization wave mode.”

James Dickens of Texas Tech University delivers the opening plenary of the 2018 IPMHVC.

George Laity of Sandia National Laboratories, 2018 IPMHVC general conference chair, delivers opening remarks.

Haylie Orozco, a graduate student at the University of New Mexico, presents her poster to Miguel Hinojosa of the US Army Research Laboratory.

José Rossi of the National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos, describes his research.

Attendees enjoy the conference social event at the Diamond Cross Ranch.

The 2018 IPMHVC included a special tribute to honor Werner Hartmann, who passed away recently. Werner was a key member of the power modulator community who contributed to various conference and volunteer activities for many years to organize the IPMHVC events and was the recipient of the Kenneth Germeshausen Award at the 2012 IPMHVC.

The 2018 IPMHVC included a social “night out” event at the beautiful Diamond Cross Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming. Attendees enjoyed refreshments and a western BBQ buffet, along with an opportunity to experience a horse whispering event provided by world-famous ranchers Grant and Jane Golliher. The venue is an authentic horse ranch nestled in the valley with beautiful unobstructed views of the Grand Teton mountain range.

Attendees enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Grand Teton mountain range during the social event at the Diamond Cross Ranch.

This conference was fully sponsored by the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society and technically co-sponsored by the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society. The 2020 IPMHVC will be co-located with the 2020 Electrical Insulation Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.