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

Dr. Ran Gu

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Short Biography

Ran-Gu_1_200x250Ran Gu received his B.S. degree in automation from Beijing Information Science & Technology University, Beijing, China, in 2010 and M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 2012. He served as a research assistant of electrical engineering at IIT from June 2011 to May 2012. He joined the McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO) at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in September 2012. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering. His main areas of research interests are battery management systems, battery modeling, and hybrid energy storage systems. 

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Ran-Gu_3_250x450Born in Beijing, Ran has had an interest in engineering since he was a child, due in part to his father who was a rocket and computer engineer. He was curious about his father’s work, which was full of magic-like graphics and sophisticated chips and equipment. Although Ran could not fully understand at the time, his father passed on a great deal of knowledge to him, influencing the way he looked at the world. These teachings inspired him to continuously learn more.

During his undergraduate studies, Ran learned the fundamentals of various control methods. His goal was to use his previous knowledge and focus on power electronics and motor drives. For his master’s studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Ran focused on power and control. In May 2011, Ran joined Dr. Mehash Krishnamurthy’s Electric Drives and Energy Conversion Laboratory at IIT. During the two years of his master’s studies at IIT, he developed a deeper understanding of power electronics. For his master’s thesis, Ran researched an energy storage system that would store energy from a solar panel and wind turbine. In Sept. 2011, Ran volunteered for the 2011 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC’11) in Chicago. This experience inspired his desire to further his research and studies in power electronics. After attending various presentations and tutorials, he was able to expand his knowledge of the state-of-the-art trends, and from there, he decided that he wanted to be a Ph.D. student.

Now a Ph.D. student at McMaster University, Ran is happy that he can combine his control and power knowledge. At the McMaster Institute of Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO), not only is he able to focus on academic research, but he is also able to apply his knowledge. “I get a great opportunity to realize my knowledge of real products and learn about the latest trends.” he boasts. His current research is focused on physics-based modeling, which can demonstrate the most essential changes in batteries.

When he has spare time, Ran enjoys creating various forms of art, including sketches, oil paintings, traditional Chinese paintings, and calligraphy. Such artistic abilities have deepened his understanding of the philosophy of life. Moreover, Ran is better able to enjoy his life. “When I am painting, I like to find the feeling in what I am drawing.” This love of art has carried over into his academics as well. He enjoys the design process, where he is able to ask questions and then uncover the solutions. More specifically, after he completes a system and looks at how it can operate normally as he originally designed, he feels a sense of accomplishment. In the future, Ran hopes that he can continue his research in the area of electric vehicles and energy management systems.  He believes that his experience at MacAUTO will provide a great opportunity for his future path.