Jianing (Joanna) Lin
The dreams of a child are often whimsical, but Joanna had a different imagination. She had dreamed of being a female engineer for a long time, dating back to her early childhood. A favourite quote of hers is “Cease to the struggle and cease to the life” by Thomas Carlyle. It has continued to motivate her to pursue her dreams, and it continues to keep her focused on furthering her research.
Although her undergraduate major is Electrical Engineering, she has delved deeper over the years and learned more, becoming increasingly fascinated with electric vehicles (EVs), especially with their motor design and controllers. In particular, she likes the interdisciplinary aspect of EVs, which perfectly combines the research of electrical and mechanical engineering. She is focused to become a specialist in this area and make contributions to electric-vehicle development, benefiting people’s lives, if even a little bit. Helping improve the human condition has a lot to do with why she chose electrical and mechanical engineering for her graduate work at McMaster University, in the newly established Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Hybrid Powertrain Program.
Currently, she is focused on switched reluctance motor (SRM) design and control, which is a high quality motor with many advantages. The first application for her is for an electric bicycle or E-bike. The benefits of applying an SRM to an E-bike are cost savings and greater performance. Both of these factors will certainly contribute to the popularity and acceptance of E-bikes in regions outside the Pacific Rim, like in North America, where the electric two-wheel market is largely untapped. At the same time, she is also working to apply high-speed SRM to different kinds of home applications.
Joanna has thoroughly enjoyed her time in Canada, citing it as the best place she has traveled to so far, because of the clean, fresh air and water, especially when compared to her homeland China. She explains, “in addition to the beautiful physical environment in Canada, I have a deep love for the friendly people and multi-cultural makeup.” Her favorite thing about McMaster is the study environment. She explains that it offers more freedom, as well as more challenge. She especially appreciates the cultural diversity of everyone in her research team. “It is our team that gives me a chance to collaborate,” she says, “and they all teach me a lot because they have unique and interesting perspectives.” Her five-year plan is to continue studying and researching in the CERC in Hybrid Powertrain Program because “it is such a good place to learn and put all my electrical and mechanical knowledge to practice.”