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 was born in Saudi Arabia, but moved and lived 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 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.
Mike was born and raised in Metro Detroit. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University and is a master’s student in electric-drive vehicle engineering at Wayne State University. He was the Electrical Team lead during EcoCAR 2 and is currently working on HIL in EcoCAR 3. Mike hopes his time on the team will give him an understanding of the development of hybrid electric vehicles and lead to a career path that complements his lifelong interest in cars.
Sebastian Briones is from Azogues, Ecuador. He is a master’s student in the electric-drive vehicle engineering program at Wayne State University. Prior to WSU, Sebastian earned his B.S. in electronics and control engineering at the National Polytechnic School in Quito, Ecuador. His love for vehicles ever since he was little and his interest in technology lead him to join the EcoCAR3 team. Sebastian’s many experiences in electronics and his recent job at Road Track SA as a validation engineer brought him to be the head of the EcoCAR 3 electrical team. He doesn’t see hybrid vehicles only as a career; it is his passion and hobby as well. In the future, he hopes to contribute to the growing future of the automotive industry and inspire others to step into a greener Earth.
Sajjan Balakrishnan is from Coimbatore, India. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechtronics from Anna University and then worked as a mechanical design engineer at Synetics Automation Solutions Pvt. Ltd. before coming to Wayne State University in 2015 to pursue a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. As an automotive enthusiast, Sajjan joined EcoCAR3 to develop a better automobile and to acquire the skills required to pursue his interests. He looks for extremely challenging opportunities to best utilize his knowledge and skills to develop innovative and sustainable technologies for the future.