Fluid Power Student Profile: Sangyoon Lee

We’ve written before about the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)—the network of fluid power research laboratories, academic faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at seven universities—that is making a difference in preparing a better-educated workforce for the fluid power industry. The CCEFP has created a 500% increase in the number of fluid power focused advanced degrees awarded in the United States, with almost half of its graduates going on to work in the fluid power industry. Here is one of its students.


Sangyoon LeeSangyoon Lee
, currently a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota, previously received a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Rice University in Houston, Texas. Sangyoon continues to consider which career path to pursue — academia or industry.  He believes it would be beneficial to earn industry experience in the field and to bring such wisdom to the academic environment as a professor.  Sangyoon believes this would enrich both his teaching and the learning experiences of undergraduate and graduate students.  Sangyoon is also considering bringing his knowledge of fluid power to Korea. Hydraulics is global!

Sangyoon’s current research initiative is System Configuration and Control Using Hydraulic Transformers. In this project, he has modeled competing designs of the hydraulic transformer to establish a quantitative comparison of transformer designs. This led Sangyoon to develop a prototype transformer based on the traditional design where the pump and motor are coupled together. How to control a system driven by a transformer has been virtually absent in research on transformers.  Sangyoon has demonstrated with trajectory control and human power amplifiers that control performance does not need to be sacrificed when using a transformer. He plans to demonstrate the efficiency benefits of using a transformer through efficient control methods as well.

Outside of doing research, Sangyoon has served as Vice President of the Student Leadership Council.  By nature of his position, he serves as the CCEFP Webinar Series moderator.

Sangyoon’s path into engineering was an outcome of his love for trains and curiosity about how those massive machines moved.  Engineering has shaped just about every facet of his life. Sangyoon believes, more than anything, persistence makes a great engineer – the challenge might take time, but nothing is unconquerable.

Sangyoon can be contacted at sylee@umn.edu.

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