EMERF Foundation

EMERF Liaison with Academia and Students

EMERF sponsors an engineering student to attend and present at the A3 Technical Conference each year.

To foster communication and collaboration between industry, academia and students, EMERF sponsors an engineering student to attend and present at the A3 Technical Conference. Students are selected from a large pool of applicants based upon the relevance of their research to the motor and motion control industry.

EMERF Student Presentations


Damien LawhornMotor Drives for Electric Aircraft and Solar Electric Race Cars
Damien Lawhorn, PhD Student, Research Assistant, NASA KY GF, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Damien Lawhorn is a PhD student under the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Kentucky, where he also received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering. Damien woked as a modeling intern in the Simplorer development team at ANSYS headquarters in Canonsburg, PA. There he developed power electronic models that are used in various applications such as aircraft power systems. Damien was awarded a graduate fellowship from NASA KY in 2018 funding research into electric aircraft technologies. Most recently, Damien worked as an electric aircraft research and development intern at NASA's Glenn Research Center where he contributed to developing flight quality motor drives for NASA's first all-electric aircraft, the X57 Maxwell. His current research interests are power electronics and drives for electric traction and propulsion in aircraft and racecars. Additionally, Damien studies renewable energy generation and integration.

Where is he Now? Dr. Lawhorn is an Electronics Design Engineer, Space Exploration Electronic Systems at Jacobs.


Zhao WanTransverse Flux Machine with Ferrite Magnets
Zhao Wan, Research Assistant, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina

Zhao Wan received his Bachelor’s degree in 2011 from Yanshan University in China, and his PhD degree in electrical engineering in North Carolina State University, under the advisement of Dr. Iqbal Husain, in 2018. Since 2014, he has been working on a NSF sponsored project to design novel direct drive motors. In 2015, he worked as an R&D intern at ABB US Corporate Research Center. His main research interest is design of permanent magnet machines for electric vehicle traction applications.

Where is he Now? Dr. Wan is a Senior Engineer at BorgWarner Inc.


Andrew KashaMulti-Objective Design Optimization of a Surface-Mounted Hetergeneous-Pole Permanent Magnet Machine
Andrew Kasha, PhD student, School of Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Andrew Kasha is studying power magnetics and machine design under the guidance of Professor Scott Sudhoff. He received his BSEE with highest distinction from Purdue in 2013 and his PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2017. He has experience in electric utility distribution, power converter hardware development, magnetic materials testing, and motor design and construction. His research interests include modeling of electric machinery and the integration of renewable energy sources for distributed generation.

Where is he Now? Dr. Kasha is a Product Design Development Engineer at Ford Motor Company.


Tausif HusainDC Assisted Bipolar Switched Reluctance Machines
Tausif  Husain, PhD candidate, ECE Department, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio (2015 information)

Tausif Husain received his BSc degree in electrical engineering from American International University Bangladesh (AIUB), Dhaka Bangladesh, and his MS from the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio in 2010 and 2013 respectively. In 2016 he received his PhD in electrical engineering at The University of Akron where he focused on the design and control of electric machines.

Where is he Now? Dr. Husain is a Research Scientist Electric Propulsion at Amazon Prime Air.


Chandan SikderCogging Torque Reduction in Flux-Switching Permanent Magnet Machines by Rotor Pole Shaping
Chandan Sikder, PhD candidate, Department of ECE, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina

Chandan Sikder received his BSc in Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and was previously in the PhD program at Akron University. His areas of interest included electric machines, motor drives, power electronics, electromagnetic and structural analysis of electric machines, and special machines. In 2016 he received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Where is he Now? Dr. Sikder is a Motor Design Engineer - Motor R&D and Product Development at Turntide Technologies.


Rational Asymmetrical Electric Machines
Jamal Alsawalhi, PhD Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

The objective of this work is to increase the torque density of electric machinery using a rotationally asymmetrical rotor. The main idea behind this design is to favor torque density in one direction at the expense of torque density in the opposite direction. The first asymmetrical machine considered is an asymmetrical reluctance machine, which is compared to a symmetrical reluctance machine using the concept of Pareto-optimal front. Next, the application of an asymmetrical rotor is applied to a surface-mount permanent magnet synchronous machine that is currently under study. Dr. Alsawalhi received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA, in 2009, 2011, and 2014, respectively.

Where is he Now? Dr. Alsawalhi is an Assistant Professor at Khalifa University.


Yateendra DeshpandeComparison of Core Loss Models for Motor Design Optimization
Yateendra Deshpande, PhD Student, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University

Genetic Algorithms (GA) define system design parameters as genes and use an evolutionary approach for optimization. This method generates a population of designs which are evaluated in each generation. Traditionally, the system evaluation is based either on Magnetic Equivalent Circuits or analytical equations that describe the motor magnetics. With the decreased computing costs and advent of distributed computing systems, numerical evaluations based on (Finite Element Analysis) FEA can also be performed. With increasing energy costs, efficiency optimization is an important aspect of the design process. If the system model gives an inaccurate description of the system behavior, the GA leads to a false optimum. Hence it is necessary to study the accuracy of loss models. One aspect of core loss models that is peculiar of motors is “vector hysteresis” which has been of interest for a very long time. My study presents the trade-offs between using computationally intensive models versus simplified but less accurate Steinmetz equations for the purpose of design optimization. Dr. Deshpande received his B.S. and M.S. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2014.

Where is he Now? Dr. Deshpande is a Senior Technical Specialist, Motor Controls at Lucid Motors.


Notable Differences between Current Source and Voltage Source Excitation
John Tatarchuk, Graduate Student, The University of Texas at Austin

The distinction between the use of a current waveform or voltage waveform to excite dynamic hysteresis loops for the characterization of soft magnetic materials is often vaguely defined in industry standards and publications. Since for all magnetic materials, the differential permeability (dB/dH) is not constant, there can be significant differences between dynamic hysteresis loops and magnetization curves that are generated with periodic voltage and current waveforms. My work shows that this is particularly true at higher frequencies due to the effects of eddy currents. Amplifying and buffering circuits were created to study these differences in three different magnetic materials. Analysis of the collected data reveals significant and methodical variation in dynamic hysteresis loops and permeability curves. Additionally, the prediction that a square voltage wave should have a lower core loss at any specific peak flux density than with other voltage waveforms was tested and verified.


Machine Optimization Using Population Based Design
Jacob A. Krizan, Graduate Student in Electrical Engineering (PhD candidate), Purdue University

Machine design processes have evolved considerably over the past few decades due to advancements in computing power. Numerous new applications have also been found for machines from the widespread use of power electronics and improvements to battery technology. These developments have driven the desire to optimize machine drives for specific applications and have given engineers the computational tools to achieve this goal. Dr. Krizan received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell University in 2008 and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 2012.  My research focuses on the theory and technical description of techniques developed to optimize machines using population-based algorithms. Designing in this fashion allows machines to be optimized for each application over large design spaces all while saving engineering time.

Where is he Now? Dr. Krizan is a Technical Expert - Electric Motor Design at Ford Motor Company.


Development of an Educational Engineering Workshop on Electric Vehicle and Motor Technology
Shane Colton, Graduate Student in Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Shane Colton describes the development of an educational program centered on electric motor and electric vehicle technology at the MIT Edgerton Center. The program, called the Summer Engineering Workshop, has matched students from local high schools with MIT undergraduate and graduate students sharing a common interest in electric vehicles, their propulsion systems, and their controls. Past projects included the creation of a “do-it-yourself” self-balancing scooter and an electric go-kart with a novel regenerative braking system. In the summer of 2009, the Summer Engineering Workshop developed a compact electric kick-scooter powered by two 500W brushless in-wheel motors. This project provided opportunity for the group to go beyond integration of existing components and into the field of electric machine design. We developed an understanding of the theoretical and practical considerations through many avenues: research of prior art, design from first principles, integrated magnetic and mechanical computer-aided design, and ultimately the real-world construction and testing of these motors. In the process, academic and industry professionals provided insight that benefited both the educational and the technical objectives of the project. The final product will become a valuable research and teaching tool, and the success of the program highlights some strengths of combined technical and educational development.