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

Elizabeth Rowan

Ph.D. Student

Short Biography

RRSF1729Elizabeth Rowan received her B.Sc. in Honours Physics and her M.A.Sc. in Materials Science from McMaster University, in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Upon completion of her Master’s, Elizabeth worked with CanmetMATERIALS, a branch of Natural Resources Canada, in Hamilton, Ontario. Canmet is the largest materials laboratory of its kind in Canada.

In September 2015, she joined the McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO) research group where her focus is on thermal management techniques for Switched Reluctance Motors.

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RRSF1794Elizabeth loved all aspects of science and technology from an early age. She frequently changed her answer to the question “What would you like to be when you grow up” from Palaeontologist, to Marine Biologist, to Astrophysicist depending on the Discovery channel documentary of the week. Her parents shared and fostered her love of discovery and innovation. During the summer months of many school years she worked with her father on a variety of technical challenges, getting a feel for how research and development worked.

In 2011, she graduated from McMaster’s Honours Physics undergraduate program on the Dean’s Honour Roll. She worked as a co-op student researching the design of wind turbines. She came to recognize the importance of material science in mechanical engineering through the sail and generator design. As a senior research project for Honours Physics, she worked on computational interfacial thermodynamics with Dr. Nikolas Provatas. Until that point she had specialized in Astrophysics however – while the study of the cosmos will always be a passion of hers – she was quickly, and happily enraptured by microstructrual modelling.

In 2011, she joined Dr. Provatas’ and Dr. Jeffery Hoyt’s team and achieved a Master’s in Applied Science in Material Science and Engineering in 2013. In her Master’s thesis, she programmed a numerical model to explore the interfacial microstructure of metals. She worked in a fantastic team of graduate and postdoctoral students who had a great scope of multidisciplinary knowledge. The group fostered critical thinking and offered many opportunities to learn quickly through in-depth impromptu discussions. She pursued studies in polymer science, phase transformations and numerical methods to get a wider grounding in Material Science.

In 2013 she came to work for Natural Resources Canada at CanmetMATERIALS, as Scientific Research Support. Canmet provided the opportunity to grow an incredible amount – both allowing her to learn skills like project management, and procurement and also increasing her knowledge of how large laboratories function. Elizabeth has participated as a mentor through a program at McMaster to share her experiences of working in government to other women in science and engineering wishing to pursue careers outside academia.

Joining Dr. Emadi’s group in September 2015, Elizabeth is pursuing a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering. She is excited to add her knowledge of Material Science to the study of electric motor design.