Jerry C. Ku received his PhD degree in mechanical engineering from State University of New York at Buffalo. He is an Associate Professor and Director for two multidisciplinary graduate programs in Electric-drive Vehicle Engineering and Alternative Energy Technologies at Wayne State University. He also serves as the Faculty Advisor for Wayne State’s EcoCAR hybrid electric vehicle team, a premier student design competition in North America. His current research interests include numerical and experimental analyses of electric and hybrid vehicle battery thermal characteristics, modeling and simulation as well as controls development and testing of hybrid electric vehicle powertrain design and optimization, and numerical analysis of VOC (volatile organic compound) abatement for energy regeneration and waste management. Doctor Ku has received research funding from the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, NASA, National Science Foundation, national labs, NextEnergy and Michigan Corporate Relations Network. Some of Doctor Ku’s published works in the area of flame soot radiative properties have been included in graduate-level radiative heat transfer textbooks. Doctor Ku has a strong dedication and commitment to student academic and professional development, and has been heavily involved in curriculum development and program accreditation at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Miriam Di Russo was born in Gaeta, Italy. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of L'Aquila. She first joined the EcoCAR team when she was an exchange student at Wayne State, as part of the Control Team. She came back in Detroit in January 2014 to pursue her PhD in mechanical engineering. Her current research work includes the computational fluid dynamic study of VOC abatement systems for energy recovery. She is currently serving as the Engineering Manager for the Hybrid Warriors EcoCAR 3 team, coordinating and supervising the work of the different technical sub-teams.
Ali Hussein, born in Saudi Arabia and moved to live in Jordan for almost a decade before moving to the U.S. He came to Wayne State University in 2014 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Wanting to be part of an activity that would challenge and help develop his technical skills, as well as, creating friendships with people from different backgrounds, Ali joined the WSU EcoCAR3 team when he was just a freshman. His future goal is to complete his undergraduate studies and then work in the industry as he pursues a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering.
Amanda Hercula, born and raised in Metro Detroit, is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Communication Studies. Amanda came to Wayne State in the fall semester of 2015 and joined EcoCAR3 in September of 2017. Her academic interests include gender and LGBTQ+ communication and the study of rhetoric, especially surrounding women's rights. Amanda joined EcoCAR3 because of her life long interest in cars and her childhood growing up in the Motor City.
Lester Benedict Pinto, born in Mangalore, India, is a graduate student pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. His education at Wayne State began at in August of 2016 and joined the EcoCAR3 team shortly after in January of 2017. Lester's academic interest is in automobiles, particularly in controls and dynamic of the vehicle. Lester's interest in EcoCAR3 is deeply rooted in his academic interest in automobile dynamics which led to his choice to work with the Controls Team.
Zongzheng Li is in his second year of his Master's degree pursuing Electrical Engineering. Born in Shandong, China, Li came to Wayne State University in Spetermber of 2016. His interest in EcoCAR stems all the way back to his childhood, because having an automotive engineer as a father peeked his interests in cars at a young age. EcoCAR provides Li with hands-on experience as well as a deeper understanding of what's going on inside of a car and how he can control every component of a car. Li enjoys being able to work with his team and put their own individual ides into the car.