Trainees

Vahid Amani, M.A.Sc. Student

Vahid Amani

Research Interests: Biomass fuels 

My research consists of both biomass energy use in remote communities as well as thermodynamic modeling of Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power systems to improve the overall energy efficiency and reduce the need for high emission diesel generators. The focus of the energy utilization studies is on identifying existing sources of waste heat that utilize biomass fuels and retrofitting them with ORC power generation units.”

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Amanda Chou, M.A.Sc. Student

Research Interests: Sustainable design, natural language processing 

My current research involves natural language processing for extracting and examining product affordances from online reviews. The aim is to help designers predict how users can interact with their product, in both desired and undesired ways.

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Mohammadreza Fazeli, M.A.Sc. Student

Research Interests: Fuel Cells

The focus of my research is on improving the energy efficiency and durability of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells using effective water management strategies. Development of new water management strategies requires a strong understanding of transport mechanisms within the gas diffusion layer (GDL) of the PEM fuel cell. I use numerical models to visualize liquid water percolation and oxygen diffusion in various GDL materials, where the 3D microstructure of the GDLs is generated by reconstructing x-ray tomography images of these materials. The results of this research will help to identify desirable GDL material characteristics, which will be used to create improved GDL materials.

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Pablo Gutierrez Sanchez, Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Fuel cells

I’m investigating the optimal exploitation of local energy resources for electrical energy supply of remote communities. My research focus is on exploitation of wind and solar resources, combined with battery energy storage systems to reduce dependence on diesel fuel. My work will involve integrating meteorological data into a small scale power systems optimization framework

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Abbas Hazer, M.A.Sc Student

Research Interests: Organic Rankine Cycles

I study the utilization of Organic Rankine Cycles (ORCs) in the development of combined heat and power (CHP) generation systems. I thermodynamically model and experimentally evaluate the efficiencies of the different cycle components; however, I focus mainly on analyzing the performance of various types of expanders in an ORC system. Upon validating their feasibility, these systems can be used to generate heat and power in remote communities where electricity is either expensive or scarce.

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James Hinebaugh, Ph.D. Student

James Hinebaugh

Research Interests: Fuel cells

I work on increasing the power output of a specific hydrogen fuel cell, the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. I use synchrotron X-ray radiography to visualize catastrophic flooding events in fuel cells, and then I model the events using a variety of specifically developed simulation tools. In the end we plan to design fuel cell materials that can passively manage the product liquid water at high power outputs, preventing such flooding events.

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Weiguan Huang, Ph.D. Student

Weiguang Huang

Research Interests: Fuel cells

My current research is using lattice Boltzmann method to model water-gas transport in gas diffusion layers (GDL) of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC).

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Ahmed Huzayyin, Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Interests: Electrochemical Energy Storage

My research focuses on quantum mechanical modeling of interfacial phenomena in electrochemical energy storage devices, such as batteries and supercapacitors. Tracking phenomena on an atomic scale can help answering many questions about what happens at the electrode/electrolyte interface. This should ultimately lead to better lifetime models as well as pushing the limits of design with an atomic level perspective. Better performance of energy storage devices is essential for renewable energy applications.”

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Ali Kalantarian, Postdoctoral Researcher

Ali Kalantarian

Research Interests: Fuel cells

My research focuses on the wettability measurement of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and the flow fields of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and PEM electrolyzers. The outcome of this project will help to optimize water management in PEMFC and PEM electrolyzers and therefore increasing their performances.

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Parisa Karimi, Ph. D. Student

Parisa Karimi

Research Interests: Fuel cells

I started my PhD program at Queen’s University from September 2012. In my phD thesis I probably will evaluate various materials as electrode substrates and I will develope methodes and materials for coating which keep electrical conductivity at the surface. I Also will use various testing methodes to study the impedance characterisation of electrodes and their durability under anodic conditions. In parallel, sophisticated methodes for evaluting the electrode performance in PEM electrolyzer will be developed.

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Sanaz Ketabi, Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Electrochemical Capacitors

In Flexible Energy and Electronics Lab (F.E.E Lab), we work on developing high performance, thin, and flexible electrochemical capacitors (EC). My focus is on polymer electrolytes which are enablers for high energy and power density, and flexible energy storage technologies. I have investigated and developed new environmentally safe polymer electrolyte systems employing ionic liquids (ILs).  In particular, we are optimizing the material system to improve the conductivity and structural stability of polymer–ILs to achieve high performance ECs under extreme weather conditions. The polymer–IL systems with optimum performance can be extended and contribute to the improvements of other energy‑related systems such as batteries and solar cells.

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Chung Lee, M.A.Sc. Student

Research Interests: Water Electrolyzers

My research is focused on improving gas elimination inside a gas diffusion layer (GDL), specifically for polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyzers (PEMWEs). A microfluidic platform is utilized to visualize the multi-phase flow inside the GDL, to understand and to identify the optimum operating conditions.

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Jongmin Lee, Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Fuel cells

Jongmin Lee graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science (Energy Systems Major). Jongmin joined the MESTP lab as an undergraduate summer research student, and continued with his 4th year thesis, during which he investigated the water accumulation and distribution in operating PEMFCs using synchrotron x-ray radiography. He is currently studying the impacts of GDL microstructure on water management using synchrotron-based visualizations.

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Jaimilla Motay, M.A.Sc. Student

Research Interests: Fuel cells

My research will focus on the study and modelling of heat transport in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEFC) air electrodes. Eventually, I plan on devising strategies to dissipate the heat generated due to the formation of local hotspots “pinholes” in the membrane so as to reduce the degradation rate and; therefore, improve the overall durability of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel cells.

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Katie Pelletier, M. Eng. Student

Katie Pelletier

Research Interests: Clean Energy Systems

My research involves a detailed energy assessment of a remote northern community. This will create a basis on which to develop and integrate effective clean energy systems into these communities. I will be focusing on Fort Severn, Ontario; looking at the current energy landscape and the energy needs of the community.

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Cassandra Rosen, Undergraduate Student

I am developing a design process that assists remote off-grid communities in selecting and sizing energy technologies for their electrical needs. This process will incorporate tools such as heuristic optimization methods and design decision matrices. I passionate about integrating social factors into such a design tool. This design process will be validated through a case study application with Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug.

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Jayesh Srivastava, Ph.D. Student

Jayesh Srivastava

Research Interests: Product design

I am a first year PhD student in the MIE department and my research looks into helping people reduce their domestic energy and water usage through product design. I am interested in studying Northern communities’ approach to using resources like energy and water, collecting insights and developing products that enable mainstream users to reduce their resource consumption.

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Weixiao (Fred) Xiao, M.A.Sc. Student

Fred Weixiao

Research Interests: Electrochemical Capacitors

My research objective is to develop state of the art electrode materials for Electrochemical Capacitors (EC). Specifically, I would like to increase the energy and power densities (capacity and charge/discharge rate) of EC’s by applying electrochemically active coatings to carbon nanomaterials. EC technology has already shown significant promise in hybrid/electric vehicles, telecommunications, portable electronics, distributed power generation, and various other applications. At the Flexible Energy and Electronics Laboratory (F.E.E. Lab), we study advanced materials and processes to develop high-performance devices that are also scalable and affordable. If successful, our work can contribute greatly to the future of energy storage.

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David Yan, Ph.D. Student

Research Interests: Mathematical modeling, batteries

I’m currently in my third year of PhD. For my MASc thesis, I created a mathematical model for thermoelectric devices, and for my PhD thesis, I am working on developing PDE models and simulation tools for electrochemical devices.

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Peter Yun Zhang, M.A.Sc. Student

Peter Zhang

Research Interests: Wind farm layout optimization

Peter’s main research focus is the optimization of wind farm layouts.  He is interested in incorporating wind resource uncertainty in the optimization, as well as developing models for the optimization of multiple objectives, such as noise minimization and energy maximization. On a higher level, he is interested in exploring the trade-off between “accuracy” and “precision” in wind farm layout optimization models. Accuracy refers to how closely the mathematical model resembles the physical reality, and precision refers to the tractability of the mathematical model. As a result, the optimization tools he uses span from genetic algorithms to mixed integer linear/quadratic program solvers.

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