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

Kavya P. Divakarla

Ph.D. Student

Short Biography

Kavaya-Divakarla_1_200x250Kavya Prabha Divakarla graduated with distinction from the Bachelor of Technology degree program (Process Automation) in 2012 from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She received the International Society of Automation Scholarship and the Canadian Process Control Association Scholarship in 2009 and 2010, respectively. She also received the University Senate Scholarship in 2010 as well as 2012. She completed a four-month summer work term at Ontario Power Generation, Nanticoke Generating Station in 2009. In addition, she completed a four-month and an eight-month co-op work term at ASCO Power Technologies (Emerson Network Power), Brantford, Ontario, in 2010 and 2011, respectively. In addition, she worked as a summer research assistant under Dr. Saiedeh Razavi at McMaster University in 2012. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster University. She received the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Scholarship for the first and second year of the master’s program. Her research interests include optimization of the hybrid electric vehicle drive cycle prediction with the use of civil and geographical data.

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Kavaya-Divakarla_3_250x450Kavya graduated with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Process Automation, with distinction, from McMaster University in December 2012. The unique combination of technical as well as management courses taken in the program, not only helped her develop a keen academic interest, but it also helped her develop strong time-management and project-management skills. Additionally, the various projects she completed during her bachelor’s program amplified her interest in leadership roles within team settings. Not surprisingly, Kavya received various scholarships during her undergrad for her excellent academic performance, such as the University Senate Scholarship, Canadian Process Control Association Scholarship, and the International Society of Automation Scholarship.

Kavya definitely understands the importance of working in the field, which is evidenced by the improvement to her critical thinking and problem solving skills while working at Ontario Power Generation and ASCO Power Technologies (Emerson Network Power).  This work experience also helped her understand the practical applications of the knowledge she had gained in class. In addition, her summer research assistantship under Dr. Saiedeh Razavi, broadened her interest in research and motivated her to pursue graduate studies. Kavya feels very inspired working under the distinguished supervision of Dr. Ali Emadi and Dr. Saiedeh Razavi. Moreover, working with such a wonderful team makes her feel even more prepared for the competitive job market that awaits her.

Kavya’s current research is focused on optimizing the energy management of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) in different drive cycles based on various conditions such as road or terrain characteristics, traffic, and weather. This project will be beneficial in improving the quality of the drive overall, by accurately predicting the various drive cycle parameters. This will also indirectly help with anticipating various factors such as fuel consumption and alternative routes, which might be helpful during traffic congestions.

Besides her keen interest in music and dance, Kavya enjoys playing chess and badminton in her free time. She also loves travelling to places full of natural beauty, such as waterfalls, beaches, and parks. Other than electrical engineering and automation, Kavya has special interest in the fields of medicine and astronomy. When it comes to a strong work ethic, regardless of the field, Kavya believes that hard work is the only true key to success. With her own hard work, in addition to her strong willpower, Kavya would like to successfully complete her research and then proceed to work in the industry, within the span of the next few years.