High School Student Wins Award for Novel Electric Motor Which Uses No Rare Earth Materials

An article in the Smithsonian magazine reports about the work of 17-year-old high-school student Robert Sansome, who won the $75,000 first prize at the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for a novel electric motor design.

He wanted to build an electric motor that did not require rare earth materials, and came up with a motor that did not use permanent magnets. These types of motors exist — e.g. synchronous reluctance motors (SynRMs) — but do not perform as well as ones that do use rare earths. The motor that Robert built performed 39 per cent more torque than traditional SynRMs, and with 31 per cent greater efficiency. He incorporated an additional magnetic field into his motor, and included other components which are currently confidential because he plans to patent the motor.

Here is a link to the magazine article: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/this-17-year-old-designed-a-motor-that-could-potentially-transform-the-electric-car-industry-180980550/

And a short interview with the inventor: