Aimone wins best thesis in Undergraduate Research Scholars Program


Connor Aimone, a senior in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, won best thesis in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) category for the Texas A&M University Undergraduate Research Scholars Program.

Aimone, who is minoring in mathematics, completed his thesis work under the mentorship of Dr. Le Xie, an assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering.

Aimone chose to focus on developing and testing mathematical models for voltage source converter based DC lines for transmission and distribution of power. The motivation behind this work revolved around finding an improved method for integrating renewable resources, such as wind or solar power. Improper connection of these energy sources into the nation’s power system has the potential to cause stability issues that would “crash” the power grid and leave large swaths of the community without electricity. 

Aimone’s sophisticated mathematical representations allowed him to generate a detailed model that operators will be able to use to better understand the capabilities and limits of a particular system. He was also able to generate a simplified model that is easier and faster to use, allowing for modeling of systems over time. Both of his models are capable of standalone simulation or coupling with preexisting power system models.

A group of 170 students completed the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, which is open to any Texas A&M student with a 3.0 or better who is interested in undertaking a research project under the mentorship of a Texas A&M faculty member over the course of consecutive fall and spring semesters.

Undergraduate research scholars submit a proposal and timeline for their project in early fall, attend a series of events and workshops designed to support their progress over the two semesters, present their work publicly at Texas A&M’s Student Research Week or a professional conference in their field and submit a final scholarly piece (most commonly a thesis) by early April.

Honors and undergraduate research staff evaluate student engagement and accomplishment and select the two best thesis award winners —one in Humanities/Arts/Social Science and one in STEM.