Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Hybrid Powertrain Program: Electric, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research

Prof. Ali Emadi

Professor Ali Emadi
Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain
Director, McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO)
Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
McMaster University

Short Biography

Ali-Emadi_1_200x250Ali Emadi (IEEE S’98-M’00-SM’03-F’13) received the B.S. (1995) and M.S. (1997) degrees in electrical engineering with highest distinction from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. He also received his Ph.D. degree (2000) in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. He is currently the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Hybrid Powertrain and Director of McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The CERC appointment receives up to $10 million in federal funding over seven years in addition to significant support from the university. The appointment also includes a new hybrid vehicle research facility that is part of the new 80,000 square-foot McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) at McMaster Innovation Park. Before joining McMaster University, Dr. Emadi was the Harris Perlstein Endowed Chair Professor of Engineering and Director of the Electric Power and Power Electronics Center and Grainger Laboratories at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, where he established research and teaching facilities as well as courses in power electronics, motor drives, and vehicular power systems. In addition, Dr. Emadi was the Founder, Chairman, and President of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc. (HEVT) – a university spin-off company of IIT.

Dr. Emadi is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. He has been named a Chicago Matters Global Visionary in 2009. He was named the Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer of the Year 2003 (single international award) by virtue of his outstanding contributions to hybrid electric vehicles by the Electrical Engineering Honor Society. He also received the 2005 Richard M. Bass Outstanding Young Power Electronics Engineer Award from the IEEE Power Electronics Society. In 2005, he was selected as the Best Professor of the Year by the students at IIT. Dr. Emadi is the recipient of the 2002 University Excellence in Teaching Award from IIT as well as the 2004 Sigma Xi/IIT Award for Excellence in University Research. He directed a team of students to design and build a novel motor drive, which won the First Place Overall Award of the 2003 IEEE International Future Energy Challenge for Motor Competition. In addition, he was the advisor of the Formula Hybrid Teams at IIT and McMaster University, which won the GM Best Engineered Hybrid Systems Award at the 2010 and 2013 Formula Hybrid Competitions, respectively.

Dr. Emadi is the principal author/co-author of over 300 journal and conference papers as well as several books including Vehicular Electric Power Systems: Land, Sea, Air, and Space Vehicles (Marcel Dekker, 2003), Energy Efficient Electric Motors (Marcel Dekker, 2004), Uninterruptible Power Supplies and Active Filters (CRC Press, 2004), Modern Electric, Hybrid Electric, and Fuel Cell Vehicles: Fundamentals, Theory, and Design, Second Edition (CRC Press, 2009), and Integrated Power Electronic Converters and Digital Control (CRC Press, 2009). Dr. Emadi is also the editor of the Handbook of Automotive Power Electronics and Motor Drives (Marcel Dekker, 2005).

Dr. Emadi was the General Chair of the 1st IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC’05), which was co-located under his chairmanship with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International Future Transportation Technology Conference. He was also the General Chair of the 2011 IEEE VPPC. He is currently the Steering Committee Chair of the IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference and Expo (ITEC). In addition, Dr. Emadi was the inaugural General Chair of the 2012 ITEC. He has served as the Chair of the IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Steering Committee, Chair of the Technical Committee on Vehicle and Transportation Systems of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, and Chair of the Power Electronics Technical Committee of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. He has also served as the Chair of the 2007 IEEE International Future Energy Challenge.

Dr. Emadi is the Editor (North America) of the International Journal of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles. He was the Guest Editor-in-Chief of the Special Issue on Transportation Electrification and Vehicle Systems, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. He has also served as the Guest Editor-in-Chief of the Special Issue on Transportation Electrification and Vehicle-to-Grid Applications, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid and Guest Editor-in-Chief of the Special Issue on Automotive Power Electronics and Motor Drives, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics. He has also been the Guest Editor of the Special Section on Hybrid Electric and Fuel Cell Vehicles, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology and Guest Editor of the Special Section on Automotive Electronics and Electrical Drives, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics.

Read Profile

Ali-Emadi_3_250x450Professor Ali Emadi, Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Hybrid Powertrain and director of McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO), is an award-winning expert, who has developed one of the best transportation electrification programs in North America at McMaster University. While exceptionally passionate about educating and empowering the next generation of engineers and leaders for the energy industry, he has established a solid research program focused on pioneering sustainable energy-efficient solutions from advanced power electronic converters and electric motor drives to electric, hybrid electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Emadi’s research group is a leader in electric-hybrid vehicular research. According to him, “One of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of our time is in the area of energy and sustainability. Transportation is at the heart of this challenge (and opportunity) and electrification of vehicles is the best sustainable solution to move forward. We should increase the electrification level of vehicular systems as much as possible and as fast as possible.”

Hybrid electric cars have been on the market for years and are steadily becoming a sought after high-tech commodity in showrooms. Although consumers can help the ecosystem by shopping for hybrid cars, the vehicle in your driveway is not the only environmental offender that can be improved by hybrid technology.

Public transit, military vehicles, and private transportation providers account for a sizeable portion of the world’s fossil fuel use and pollution. By conducting research including retrofitting sport utility vehicles with electric hybrid systems and hybridizing transit and school buses, Emadi’s team is transforming some less glamorous “working” vehicles that are in desperate need of change.

Emadi believes plug-in hybrid technology is the best practical solution to move forward. His proposed long-term sustainable solution includes (1) integrating the transportation industry with the electric power industry, (2) using electricity as the carrier, and (3) generating electricity from renewable energy sources: solar, wind, hydro, etc.

The CERC in Hybrid Powertrain Program research is done under four major research thrust areas: (I) hybrid and electric powertrain configurations, (II) plug-in vehicles and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) interface, (III) components (including power electronics, electric machines, and motor drives) and energy storage systems, and (IV) control and power management.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Power electronics and electric motor drives;
  • Electric and hybrid powertrains;
  • Electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles;
  • Transportation electrification;
  • Transportation energy conversion and vehicular power and propulsion systems;
  • Renewable and efficient energy systems; and
  • Energy and sustainability

Selected Honors and Awards

  • 2013 First Place GM Best Engineered Hybrid Systems Award and IEEE Engineering of the Future Award (McMaster University’s Student Team Advised by Dr. Emadi), 2013 International Formula Hybrid Competition.
  • 2013 IEEE Fellow; citation: for contributions to electric power conversion and control for electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • 2013 Named as a 2013 Highly Cited Researcher in Engineering, Thomson Reuters.
  • 2012 IEEE Vehicular Technology Society’s Best Vehicular Electronics Paper Award (single award) for the paper titled “Advanced integrated bi-directional AC/DC and DC/DC converter for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles,” published in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 58, no. 8, pp. 3970-3980, Oct. 2009.
  • 2010 Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Hybrid Powertrain (one of the only 18 CERCs and the only CERC related to the transportation industry and electric power engineering in Canada), 2010.
  • 2010 First Place GM Best Engineered Hybrid Systems Award (Illinois Institute of Technology’s Student Team Advised by Dr. Emadi), 2010 International Formula Hybrid Competition.
  • 2009 Named as a Chicago Matters Global Visionary for helping to make Chicago a center for hybrid technology research, development, and application. In its 19th year, Chicago Matters is a public-information series broadcast on WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago Public Radio and WTTW Channel 11, 2009.
  • 2006 First Place Award for the Interprofessional Project titled “Hybrid Electric School Bus” (Student Team Advised by Dr. Emadi), Illinois Institute of Technology, Dec. 2006.
  • 2005 Richard M. Bass Outstanding Young Power Electronics Engineer Award (single award), IEEE Power Electronics Society, 2005.
  • 2005 IEEE Vehicular Technology Society’s Paper of the Year Award in Automotive Electronics (single award) for the paper titled “Comparative assessment of hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles based on comprehensive well-to-wheels efficiency analysis” published in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 54, no. 3, May 2005.
  • 2005 Best Professor of the Year Award (single award voted by students), IEEE Student Branch, Illinois Institute of Technology.
  • 2004 IEEE Vehicular Technology Society’s Paper of the Year Award in Automotive Electronics (single award) for the paper titled “Hybrid electric sport utility vehicles” published in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, vol. 53, no. 5, September 2004.
  • 2004 Sigma Xi/IIT Award for Excellence in University Research (single award), Illinois Institute of Technology, 2004.
  • 2003 Eta Kappa Nu Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer of the Year (single award) for outstanding contributions to hybrid electric vehicles, Eta Kappa Nu Association, the Electrical Engineering Honor Society, 2003.
  • 2003 First Place Overall Award (Illinois Institute of Technology’s Student Team Advised by Dr. Emadi), 2003 IEEE/DOE/DOD International Future Energy Challenge for Motor Competition.
  • 2002 University Excellence in Teaching Award (single award), Illinois Institute of Technology.
  • 2002 Recognition Award for Exceptional Team Performance of the Interprofessional Project titled “Hybrid Electric Vehicles” (Student Team Advised by Dr. Emadi), Illinois Institute of Technology, Dec. 2002.
  • 2002 Overall Excellence in Research Award (single award), Office of the President, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2002.
  • 1995 Ranked 1st in the entire B.Sc. Program of Sharif University of Technology, 1995.