Ali Abur

Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering
Northeastern Director,  CURENT


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  • 416 Dana Research Center
  • 617.373.3051

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Research Focus

Power system monitoring, estimation and optimization, fault location and identification in power grids


Ali Abur obtained his B.S. degree from Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi, Ankara, Turkey and both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ohio State University. He was a Professor at Texas A&M University until November 2005 when he joined the faculty of Northeastern University as a Professor and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. His research and educational activities have been in the area of power systems. He is a Fellow of the IEEE for his work on power system state estimation and IEEE PES Distinguished Speaker. He is the 2014 recipient of the IEEE Power & Energy Society Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award. He co-authored a book and published widely in IEEE journals and conferences.


  • B.S, Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi, Ankara, Turkey, 1979.
  • M.S., The Ohio State University, 1981.
  • PhD, The Ohio State University, 1985.
  • Joined Northeastern in 2005.

Honors & Awards

  • IEEE Power & Energy Society Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award (2014)
  • IEEE PES Boston Chapter Outstanding Engineering Award (2014)
  • Elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (2003)
  • American Electric Power Faculty Fellow, Texas A&M University (2003)
  • National Science Foundation, Research Initiation Award (1989)

Leadership Positions

  • Department Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Northeastern University, Boston (2005 – 2013 )

Research Overview

Power system monitoring, estimation and optimization, fault location and identification in power grids

Selected Research Projects

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

  • Khalili, R., and Abur, A., “Transmission Line Parameter Error Identification and Estimation in Three-phase Networks,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, (Early Access), 2022.
  • Donmez, B. and Abur, A., “Static state estimation without topology processor,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 4712–4722, 2021.
  • Khalili, R., and Abur, A., “PMU-Based Decoupled State Estimation for Unsymmetrical Power Systems,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 5359-5368, Nov. 2021.
  • Oner, A. and Abur, A., “Computationally efficient method for placing reactive power sources against contingencies,” International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems, vol. 133, p. 107253, 2021.
  • Angelos, E. W. S., Abur, A., Asada, E. N. and Saavedra, O. R., “External topology tracking based on state estimation,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 2623–2631, 2021.
  • Galvez C. and Abur, A., “Fault location in active distribution networks containing distributed energy resources (DERs),” IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 3128–3139, 2021.
  • Langner, A. and Abur, A., “Formulation of three-phase state estimation problem using a virtual reference,” IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, 36, no. 1, pp. 214-223, Jan. 2021.
  • Lin Yuzhang, Abur, A., and Xu, H., “Identifying security vulnerabilities in electricity market operations induced by weakly detectable network parameter errors,” IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 627–636, 2021.
  • Galvez, C. and Abur, A., “Fault Location in Meshed Distribution Systems Using a Minimum Number of Digital Fault Recorders,” 2021 North American Power Symposium (NAPS), College Station, TX, USA, 2021, pp. 01-06.
  • Khalili, R. and Abur, A., “Three-phase Linear State Estimation Based on SCADA and PMU Measurements,” 2021 IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe (ISGT Europe), Espoo, Finland, 2021, pp. 01-05.
  • M. Dorier, G. Frigo, A. Abur and M. Paolone, “Leverage Point Identification Method for LAV-Based State Estimation,” IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, vol. 70, pp. 1-10, 2021, Art no. 1008810.


Dec 23, 2021

COE Professors Selected in Stanford University List of Top 2% Scientists Worldwide

The following COE professors are among the top scientists worldwide selected by Stanford University representing the top 2 percent of the most-cited scientists with single-year impact in various disciplines. The selection is based on the top 100,000 by c-score (with and without self-citations) or a percentile rank of 2% or above. The list below includes […]


Nov 22, 2021

Best Paper Award at IEEE PES ISGT Europe 2021

Ramtin Khalili, PhD’23, electrical engineering, and Professor Ali Abur received the Best Paper Award at the IEEE PES Innovative and Smart Grid Technologies-Europe 2021 conference for their paper titled “Three-phase Linear State Estimation Based on SCADA and PMU Measurements”.

Ali Abur


Nov 16, 2021

Managing Power System Network Information

ECE Professor Ali Abur was awarded a patent for creating “Techniques for processing power system network information.”

Ali Abur


Aug 10, 2021

Addressing Future Distribution Systems Challenges

ECE Professor Ali Abur was awarded a $380K NSF grant for designing “A Comprehensive Approach to Monitoring Active Distribution Systems.”

Ali Abur


Apr 26, 2021

Abur Receives DOE Solar Energy Technology Office 2020 Award

ECE Professor Ali Abur was awarded a $750K DOE grant from the Solar Energy Technologies Office for “Graph-Learning-Assisted State and Event Tracking for Solar-Penetrated Power Grids with Heterogeneous Data Sources.”


May 01, 2018

Faculty and Staff Awards 2018

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2017-2018 academic school year.


Oct 06, 2017

Research to Help Add Solar to the Grid

ECE Professor Ali Abur was awarded a $792K grant from the Enabling Extreme Real-time Grid Integration of Solar Energy (ENERGISE) funding program.

Jul 28, 2016

$2.5M NSF grant for Critical Infrastructure Resilience

ECE professors Mario Sznaier, Octavia Camps, Ali Abur, & Edmund Yeh, MIE assistant professor Jacqueline Griffin, CEE professor Jerome Hajjar, COS professor Lisa Feldman Barrett, CCIS professor Stacy Marsella, and Kostas director Peter Boynton were awarded a $2.5M NSF grant for the “Identification and Control of Uncertain, Highly Interdependent Processes Involving Humans with Applications to […]

Professional Societies

Jan 20, 2016

Congratulations PES Scholars

ECE students Melissa Healy, Emily Pankosky, Elizabeth Amyouny, Alyssa Bezreh, Drew HasBrouck, and Sydnee Mizuno were selected as 2015/16 PES Scholarship Plus recipients.

Dec 03, 2015

Funding Clean Technology

ChE professor Laura Lewis and ECE professor Ali Abur are on a list of innovative cleantech inititatives that might be funded by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition led by Bill Gates.

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