Ali Emadi

Ali Emadi

Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain

McMaster University

“Dr. Emadi's appointment elevates Canada another notch as a global leader in hybrid technology development, and expands McMaster's automotive research leadership in the critical area of electric powertrain technology.”

― Patrick Deane, president and vice‑chancellor, McMaster University


Before joining McMaster University, Ali Emadi was the Harris Perlstein Endowed Chair Professor of Engineering and director of the Electric Power and Power Electronics Centre and Grainger Laboratories at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He also founded and served as president of the spin‑off company Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies.

Emadi is internationally recognized for his in‑depth research on hybrid electric vehicle powertrains and electric drives. He holds a PhD in electrical engineering, with a specialization in power electronics and motor drives, from Texas A&M University. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran.

An extremely active researcher, Emadi has authored over 250 publications and conference papers, as well as several books, and has served as guest editor‑in‑chief on several publishing committees for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has been awarded several patents, including one for a energy‑efficient, digitally controlled electric motor that is available to appliance manufacturers at a lower cost than earlier motors.

Building the Next Generation of Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The harmful effects that vehicle emissions have on both human health and the environment are leading to major shifts in the global automotive industry. Engineers around the world are competing to build the next generation of cost‑effective, energy‑efficient cars.

At the forefront of this competition are plug‑in hybrid and electric vehicles. Responding to the needs of a growing population of energy‑conscious consumers, plug‑in vehicles are expected to become one of the main forms of transportation in Canada and across the globe by 2030.

One of the keys to engineering the next generation of hybrid electric cars will be improving their powertrain, which transmits propulsion power. Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain Ali Emadi is at the leading edge of new developments in transportation electrification, including advanced electrified powertrains; the vehicle‑to‑grid interface of plug‑in vehicles with Smart Grid technology; powertrain components; hybrid battery/super‑capacitor energy storage systems; and adaptive vehicle control and power management systems.

Emadi’s research provides solutions for industry and environmental policy‑makers alike: it meets the current demands of the automotive sector and will further the growth of Canada’s economy, while maintaining a strong position for the future of Canada’s green technology industry.

A rising star in his field, Emadi's work has already had exceptional impact. His experience and knowledge aligns well with the existing engineering expertise at McMaster University, where hybrid automobile research and development is already heavily supported.



Release date

October 11, 2011

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Read the Transcript

I am Ali Emadi. I am the Harris Perlstein Endowed Chair and full professor of engineering and the director of the Electric Power and Power Electronics Centre at Illinois University of Technology, Chicago. I am also the founder and president of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies which is a university spin‑off company of Illinois Institute of Technology. I am the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain at McMaster University.

The goal of my research is to help create a paradigm shift in transportation. Our current transportation systems are simply not sustainable. The sustainable solution for transportation includes electrification, generating electricity from carbon‑free and renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydro, and use electricity in transportation. Electricity is cleaner, greener, more affordable and domestically produced.

A great research accomplishment of my research team has been the development of hardware and software for the car of the future, which is electrified. Through multidisciplinary research reaching electrical and mechanical engineering we have developed advanced electro‑mechanical hybrid powertrains and control techniques for the next generation of vehicles. Further research we need to superior hybrid power trains and components and controls for the car of the future.

McMaster University has a very strong automotive program. MACAuto, which is the McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology, is one of the best such institutes in North America. I am confident with the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain and significant additional resources from the university, we will be able to develop one of the best University programs in hybrid and electric power trains.

I believe the biggest challenge at the same time the biggest opportunity of our time is in the area of energy and sustainability. Transportation is at the heart of it. Current transportation systems are not sustainable. The visionary initiative of the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain at McMaster University provides a very unique and excellent opportunity to lead the way internationally toward more environmentally friendly vehicles and more sustainable transportation systems.

I am really excited to join the great many outstanding researchers at McMaster University and help to position Canada as a global leader in hybrid and electric powertrains.