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

Jack Gillies

Master’s Student

Short Biography

Jack Gillies received his B.Tech. in Automotive and Vehicle Technology from McMaster University in 2017. During his undergraduate degree, he worked for several co-op terms with Siemens Mobility on transportation electrification projects across Ontario. He first joined the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) program in 2015 as a research assistant for a Ph.D. student. In 2018 he returned to CERC to pursue his M.A.Sc in mechanical engineering. Jacks field of research is high-speed applications of switched reluctance machines.

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Born in Toronto, Ontario, Jack grew up with a keen interest in how things work. As a child, Jack would amuse himself by playing with circuits, riding and fixing his bicycle, taking apart his parents’ electronics and occasionally conducting experiments with fire. During his summer breaks from school, Jack would work as an assistant for a contractor, helping with home renovation projects in his neighbourhood. As a young adult, Jack was a part of many different extra-curricular activities such as theatre, rugby and student council.

After many applications and consideration of other options, he joined the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology program in 2013, studying Automotive and Vehicle Technology. The hands-on component and the application-based learning is what attracted Jack to the B.Tech. program, where he found the perfect balance between engineering theory and specific industry training. After his first year in the program, Jack spent the summer in Shanghai, China where he was given the opportunity to work as an intern at ABB Robotics. During this internship he worked with engineers to produce robotic welding systems for automotive manufacturers. For the following co-op terms, he went on to work for Siemens Canada. At Siemens, Jack was responsible for the testing and commissioning of traction power substations for light rail systems in Ottawa and Waterloo. In his spare time at McMaster, Jack helps run the McMaster Sumobot club, which organizes tutorials and tournaments for building wrestling robots.

Jack joined the research team at MARC in 2018, pursuing his M.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests surround high-speed switched reluctance motors and their applications to energy storage systems and vehicle propulsion. When he is not busy with life as an engineering student, Jack enjoys playing and listening to music, kayaking, cooking and hiking. One day, Jack hopes to have a space where he can work on his own electric vehicle projects. Wherever he goes, Jack will always be driven by his love for problem-solving and innovation.