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McMaster's leading hybrid electric vehicle research

Ali Emadi is the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Hybrid Powertrain Program, a research group at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., Canada. He is one of the world’s leading academic research programs in transportation electrification focused on pioneering sustainable energy-efficient solutions from advanced power electronic converters and electric motor drives to electric, hybrid electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Ali Emadi’s greatest joy is witnessing his students translate their research into products that help make the world a better place.

Emadi is internationally recognized for his expertise in transportation electrification and smart mobility, but he didn’t achieve this reputation alone. With the help of his research team, the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain Program is developing the next generation of smart energy systems and electrified and autonomous vehicles at the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC).

Emadi takes great pride in working with a diverse collective of undergraduate, Masters and PhD students and Post Docs who specialize in various areas of engineering including electrical, mechanical and computer software.

“I work for my students. They don’t work for us,” says Emadi. “We have a really good support system and we help one another create new knowledge every day. Together, we apply practical, multi-disciplinary research.”

Emadi and his research group have successfully transferred their research to industry with several corporate-sponsored projects including, The Leadership in Automotive Powertrain (LEAP) project. Sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and NSERC Automotive Partnership Canada, more than 100 researchers are working closely with engineers and managers at FCA to build more environmentally friendly electrified vehicles.

“The industry projects students work on is the best education they can get. We have students who can point out something they did for a car to make it safer, more reliable or efficient. You cannot place a value on this kind of achievement.”

As a mentor, Emadi hopes to inspire students to reflect on the meaning of their work. “I try to help them focus on the big picture. They know the technical details but I help them think about how their work is relevant to society.”