Akira Chiba

Bearingless motor developments and introduction of magnetic levitation videos

Akira Chiba

In this lecture, some developments of bearingless motors in the laboratory will be reviewed.

Basic theory, principles, and variations of electric motors will be presented. In addition, current bearingless motor developments will be introduced.

In addition to the bearingless motors, some movies of magnetic levitation and suspension will be presented. These movies are fabricated for the lecture titled as “Magnetic Levitation and Suspension” for graduate students in Tokyo Institute of Technology. These are fabricated by Guilherme Cavalcante Rubio, who is a TIT student graduated from UFRJ in Brazil. These movies are uploaded in free internet service so that these may benefit students and tutors in magnetic levitation and suspension.

Best three short videos are below:

  1. A Magnetic Bearing Made with Permanent Magnets
  2. Electromagnetic Levitation: Magnetic Globe Suspended by a Vertical Electromagnet
  3. The Floating Spinning Top

You can find more short videos below, Chiba Laboratory’s YouTube channel:

The other videos from this series are available in the YouTube playlist:

Akira Chiba received the BS., MS. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in 1983, 1985 and 1988, respectively. In 1988, he joined the Tokyo University of Science as a Research Associate in the Department of Electrical Engineering in the Faculty of Science and Technology. Since 2010, he has been Professor in the School of Engineering in the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He has been studying magnetically suspended bearingless ac motors, super high-speed motor drives and rare-earth-free-motors for hybrid and pure electrical vehicles. He has so far published more than 1075 papers including the first book on “Magnetic bearings and bearingless drives” in 2005. He received the IEEJ Prize Paper Awards in 1998, 2005 and 2018. He also received First Prize Paper Award from the Electrical Machine Committee in the IEEE IAS in 2011 on a rare-earth-free motor. He has been served as Secretary, Vice-Chair, Vice-Chair-Chair-Elect, Chair and Past-Chair in the Motor Sub-Committee in the IEEE PES in 2007-2016. He was a member, Chair and Past-Chair in the IEEE Nikola Tesla Field Award Committee in 2009-2014. He served as Chair in IEEE-IAS Japan Chapter in 2010-2011. He was founding Chair in the Motor Technical Committee in Japan Society of Automotive Society in 2012-2018. He has served as a Secretary and Vice Chair in IEEE-IAS Electric Machine Committee since 2016. He has been ECCE Vice-Chair in technical committee since 2016. He has received the second and third place best paper awards in IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion in 2017 and 2016, respectively. He was one of Technical Co-Chairs in IEEE IEMDC 2017 held in Miami, Florida. He has served as Editor in IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion since 2013, and Associate Editor in IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications since 2011. He was the Department Head of Electrical and Electronics Department during 2014-2016 and led MOOC project of the Introduction of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, released in May 2017 through EDX. He has led active learning with internet Handbook application and fabricated open contents for lectures. He is IEEE Fellow and 2020 IEEE Nikola Tesla Field Award recipient.

Gerhard Schweitzer

Personal Impressions on 40 Years of Magnetic Bearings

Gerhard Schweitzer

Having dealt with magnetic bearings for a long time, there certainly are memories that come to mind. It is not only about facts and scientific results. It is more about the humans that are involved, about the emotions, about the feeling for the past as a breeding ground for innovations. Thus, not just history but stories will be the main body of the presentation.

Gerhard Schweitzer worked for several research institutes and universities (Deutsche Luft- und Raumfahrt Oberpfaffenhofen, Univ. Stuttgart, TU Munich, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville) for 16 years before joining, in 1978, the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) as a Professor of Mechanics.

In 1988, he chaired the First International Symposium on Magnetic Bearings and was cofounder of the magnetic bearings company MECOS AG.

He was a visiting professor at Stanford University, USA, at Campinas and at Florianópolis, Brazil, and at the University Bielefeld, Germany. During 2003/2004 he was appointed chair professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, at the Institute of Novel and Nuclear Energy Technology.

His research interests include the dynamics of controlled mechanical systems, mechatronics and interactive robots, and in particular, rotor-dynamics and magnetic bearings.

He is the main author and editor, together with Eric Maslen, of the textbook “Magnetic Bearings: Theory, Design, and Application to Rotating Machinery”, Springer, 2009.

Since retiring from official duties at the ETH, he is a private Mechatronics Consultant (

He has home and office in Brazil and Switzerland.

Jarir Mahfoud

Investigations of the dynamic behavior of turbomachinery supported by Active Magnetic Bearings

Jarir Mahfoud

The dynamic behavior of large turbomachinery should satisfy stringent requirements dictated by international standards and final users. Active Magnetic Bearings became widely used in different industrial applications. Several parameters influence the widespread use: the price, performances, stability and security. The cooperation between bearing manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers, end-users and research laboratories has led to significant advances. Research has enabled the development of suitable control algorithms, performant electronic devices and reliable simulation technics. Some advances in this field and some perspectives will be presented.

Jarir Mahfoud

  • PhD on Flexible Rotor Balancing in 1990.
  • Associate Professor at INSA Lyon since 1991.
  • Field of interest: Active Control, Active Magnetic Bearings, Rotor Balancing and Diagnostics.
  • Cooperation with GE Oil & Gas since 2006 on the development of efficient, safe and secure turbomachinery on AMBs.


Eric Hélène

Eric Hélène

Eric Hélène was born in Paris, France, on April 14 1960. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Ecole Nationale des Arts et Métiers in 1983 and in Electronic Engineering from Sup’Elec in 1985. From 1986 he went through different position in S2M, as R&D Engineer and Director of Industrial Sales in the Maurice Brunet’s team, and developped applications of the magnetic bearings to vacuum pumps, refrigerant compressors and other industrial or oil&gas applications. Eric is Director of Business Development in S2M, part of SKF. His interests include the strategy of development of new magnetic bearing application.

Jin Zhou

The Progress and Challenge of Magnetic Bearing Technology in China

Jin Zhou

Magnetic levitation bearing technology has gone through dynamic evolution in the last one century. Recently, the applications of magnetic bearing technology are undergoing a quick expansion in industrial, transportation, residential, utility, aerospace, and military environments primarily due to the elimination of cost, size, and enhancement of performance. It appears that the role of magnetic bearing technology on our society in the future may tend to be as important and versatile as that of information technology today. Compared with the global magnetic bearing technology, the age of local magnetic bearing technology in China is much younger and in fact, the exploration of magnetic levitation bearing technology in China was initiated in the 1980s. In this presentation, the history, development and achievements in Chinese magnetic bearing technology will be described. Particularly, the recent technological advancement and technological core, i.e. unbalance compensation and identification, will be presented. Also, a critical evaluation of barriers impacting current magnetic bearing technology in China will be discussed and insights into the future outlook of the field will be explored.

Jin ZHOU received her Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT) in 2001. From 2012 to 2013, she was a visiting scholar in the rotating machinery and control laboratory (ROMAC) of the University of Virginia. She is currently a full professor in the college of mechanical and electrical engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA). Her research focuses on magnetic bearings, rotor dynamics and vibration control. She was the Program Chair of the 16th International Symposium on Magnetic Bearings (2018) and elected as ISMB International Advisory Committee in 2018.

Oswaldo Horikawa

Achievements in Single Axis Controlled Magnetic Bearing

Oswaldo Horikawa

Magnetic bearings are relatively new machine elements that present same functionality of traditional bearings such as sliding and rolling bearings, enabling only the rotation of a rotor and retaining other motions. In magnetic bearings, this retention is made by magnetic forces. Although magnetic bearings do not present load capacity comparable to mentioned traditional bearings, present the unique advantages such as the absence of solid contact between moving and stationary parts, that is, the absence of friction forces. Besides, they can operate even in vacuum ambient.

Such characteristics, makes de magnetic bearing suitable for special applications such as energy storing flywheel, ultra-centrifuges, gyroscopes, MagLev high speed trains, artificial hearts and others.

Each year, new applications for magnetic bearings are presented. There are many possible ways for achieving a magnetic bearing, through the use of various physical effects such as the superconductivity, the use of magnetic fields of permanent magnets or electromagnets or the electrodynamic induction. This work describes efforts in the development of hybrid magnetic bearings that combine permanent magnets and electromagnets. Using these elements, a rotor is levitated in the radial directions by a pair of magnets in attraction mode and, only in the axial direction, the active control is executed. These are bearings known as single axis controlled bearing which have the advantage of constructive simplicity, especially concerning the control system.

Starting with the first version presented in year of 2000, this work shows the evolution in the topology of such bearing, showing at the same time, a practical application of the bearing on sustaining the rotor of a blood pump, that is, an artificial heart. This application showed to be particularly interesting since the immersion of the levitated rotor in a liquid, minimized the major limitation of this type of magnetic bearing: the absence of vibration damping capability in the radial direction. Next, this work presents a single axis controlled bearing in which the damping in the radial direction is achieved by using an electrodynamic bearing. The electrodynamic effect attenuates vibration when rotor is at relatively high speeds, enabling the rotor to overcome critical speeds. Finally, aiming still simple magnetic bearings, this work presents possibilities of achieving rotor retention in the radial directions through permanent magnets and, replacing active control in the axial direction by sliding type thrust bearings.

Oswaldo Horikawa was born in São Paulo, Brazil, on October 22, 1960. He received the B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Escola Politécnica of the São Paulo University (EPUSP, Brazil) in 1984 and received the PhD degree in Precision Machinery Systems from Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITech), Japan, in 1991. From 1991 to 1992, he was Assistant Professor at TITech.

Since 1992, he has been Professor at the Department of Mechatronics Engineering at EPUSP. His research interests include motion control, mechatronic systems and metrology.

Paul Allaire

Magnetic Bearings – Some Highlights

Paul Allaire

There have been many changes in magnetic bearings since their invention in the 1930s at the University of Virginia. Perhaps this is a good time to review some of the major trends we have seen and ones that continue to evolve. I have been lucky enough to see many of these advances as well as participate in some of them during my career, as well as be a major player in ISMB for it’s entire history. These changes include the transition from analog to digital amplifiers and controls hardware, from decentralized PID to modern controls, modeling of uncertainty, optimized actuator configurations, improved sensing, remote operation, advanced rotor drop modeling, advances in auxiliary bearings, artificial hearts, nonlinear controls, surge control, and many other topics. In his keynote, Prof. Schweitzer will concentrate more on the people involved, where I will concentrate more on the technology.

Paul Eugene Allaire


Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Engineering Department
Professor – August 2019 – present


Charlottesville, Virginia 22901
Co-Founder– June, 2013 – present
Chief Technology Officer


  • B.E. (mechanical engineering) Yale University, 1963
  • M.E. (mechanical engineering) Yale University, 1964
  • Ph.D.(mechanical engineering) Northwestern University, 1971

Previous positions:

  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Mac Wade Chaired Professor – 1972 – Retired 2014.
  • Founder and Director of Rotating Machinery and Controls Lab – 1980 – Stepped Down 2012.
  • Director of Jefferson Wind Energy Institute – Stepped Down 2012.
  • United States Peace Corps, Haile Selassie University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Lecturer in Mathematics and Engineering, 1964-1966.
  • Engineering Department, Memorial University of Newfoundland,
    St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, Assistant Professor, 1971-1972.

Recent Awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, International Society of Magnetic Bearings, 2004.
  • Outstanding Researcher, International Society of Magnetic Bearing, 2014.