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

AMB in the Oil and Gas Industry

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.


Alexandre Kral

Alexandre Kral has been working since 2009 for SKF Magnetic Mechatronics (S2M). He began by promoting the after-sales activities of the magnetic bearings in the oil and gas Industry in the Middle East and Europe. During 2 years he learned not only the magnetic bearing technology but also the specifics of the oil and gas industry and the needs of the End-users. Then for 6 years, he promoted the magnetic bearing technology to the end-users and EPC in Europe, Asia Pacific and North America convincing rotating engineers in the benefits of AMB in the Turbomachines. Since 2017, he established a strategy for the S2M service campaign on the end of life of the 1st standardised magnetic bearing control cabinet and the retrofit solution to the next generation control cabinet. And, in parallel continued to promote the magnetic bearing solution in Europe, North and South America. Alexandre Kral has promoted and presented the Active magnetic bearing in different technical Symposiums around the world.

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.

Paul Allaire

Artificial Heart Pumps – A Perspective on Technological Innovation

Paul Allaire

The technological landscape in artificial heart pump technology has changed radically in the past 50 years since the first temporary, crude pump plastic and dacron pump was implanted by Dr. Denton Cooley in 1969. The patient survived for 3 days until a transplant replaced it. The next phase was the University of Utah Cardiovascular team with Dr. William DeVries who implanted a Jarvik 7 pulsatile pump coupled to a 400 pound compressor, developed by Dr. Robert Jarvik, in Barney Clark in 1982.   Now we have LVADs (Left Ventricular Assist Devices) – such as Heartmates II, III and other rotating devices used primarily as bridge to transplant. Also, we have TAHs (Total Artificial Hearts) such as the Syncardia pulsatile TAH that has been adapted to use outside of hospital settings and the relatively new Bivacor non-pulsatile (rotating) double side impeller supported in combined motor/magnetic bearing support system by Texas Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic.

Paul Allaire was the technical leader of the University of Utah/University of Virginia team that developed the world’s first magnetically suspended centrifugal flow LVAD in the 1990s teaming with the Utah Artificial Heart Institute. This talk presents some of the challenges and solutions in the development of the world’s first magnetically supported heart pump. He has 9 heart pump design patents. This group obtained major NIH grants and manufactured the first pumps for animal testing.  Later, the Medquest company was formed in Utah to commercialize the pump using the same technology. Eventually, this LVAD was purchased by World Heart and implanted in humans in Europe and Asia under the name Levacor.

Another significant device in artificial hearts is the total artificial heart. In total artificial hearts, the native heart is removed and both parts of the heart are replaced. The original total artificial hearts have been pulsatile. This type of heart has had numerous problems to develop a portable device for out of hospital use. These days, there has been a development of a two-chamber magnetic bearing suspended total artificial heart. The progress and new device is discussed in some detail.

Paul Allaire, Co-Founder of ISMB

  • Chief Technical Officer and Owner of Rotor Bearing Solutions International
  • Founder and Director of Rotating Machinery and Controls Laboratory, University of Virginia
  • Part Time Professor, Engineering Department and Physics Department {Nanomaterials Lab), Wake Forest University