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

Diego Fernando Valencia

Ph.D. Student

Short Biography

Diego Valencia received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 2012 and his master’s degree in Engineering in 2015 from the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente (Colombia). During his master, he worked as a junior researcher with the Energies Research Group (GIEN), where he developed his problem solving, writing and presentation skills. In 2015, Diego was awarded a scholarship to pursue his studies in the Erasmus Mundus Master Course on Sustainable Transportation and Electrical Power Systems (STEPS) and worked on design and control of hybrid and electric vehicles. He received his joint M.Sc. degree in 2017 from Sapienza Università di Roma (Italy), University of Nottingham (UK) and University of Oviedo (Spain). After that, he joined the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) in September 2017 to pursue his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at McMaster University. His areas of interest include analysis and control of electrical drives, permanent magnet (PM) motors, synchronous reluctance motors (SynRM) and switched reluctance motors (SRM) for hybrid and electric vehicle applications.

Read Profile

Diego has always been passionate about science, technology and continuous learning, especially in all related to electricity and magnetism. This, along with the constant support of his parents to dream higher, encouraged him to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering and dream about a sustainable world, which would be the prime mover of his future achievements.

Throughout his undergraduate, he was awarded multiple times for his academic performance as well as for his participation in extracurricular activities such as debate tournaments and conference logistics. During his second year, Diego joined the Energies Research Group (GIEN) to work on electrical machines through projects about power quality analysis on induction motors and energy efficiency management. After he obtained his bachelor’s degree and participated in several national and international conferences, he joined the GIEN as a junior researcher and master’s student in Engineering, sponsored by the Colombian Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Colciencias).

In 2015, Diego was awarded a scholarship by the prestigious Erasmus Mundus program to pursue a joint master’s degree sponsored by the European Union. He was accepted in the Master Course on Sustainable Transportation and Electrical Power Systems (STEPS), which is promoted by the University of Oviedo (Spain), University of Nottingham (UK), Sapienza Università di Roma (Italy) and Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra (Portugal). Throughout next two years, Diego learned not only the basics of transportation electrification but also enriched his ability to adapt to international, intercultural and interlanguage environments. Moreover, he enhanced his passion towards a new objective: electric vehicle technology, considering how important this technology is for a sustainable future and how he could help to contribute with this goal based on his knowledge and experience. He also had the opportunity to join as a master thesis intern at the Instituto de Telecomunicações and Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal), where he worked on self-commissioning and predictive control of synchronous reluctance motors (SynRM). This experience allowed him to direct his attention towards motor and drives control as a more specific research area.

Diego is dreaming now to follow a career in automotive industry and transport electrification aimed at improving the performance and efficiency of electric drives and their control techniques for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and electric vehicles (EV). Therefore, he joined the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) in September 2017 to pursue his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Ali Emadi. His areas of interest include analysis and control of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM), SynRM’s and switched reluctance motors (SRM) for electric and hybrid electric vehicle applications.