Research: “Probabilistic Learning and Game Theory in Trajectory Planning of On-Road and Off-Road Automated Vehicles”
My Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering was obtained from University of Tehran. Immediately after I received my Bachelor’s degree, I moved to United States and started my Master’s program at Western Carolina University located in North Carolina. I obtained my Master of Science in Engineering and Technology in the field of Mechanical Engineering from this school in 2016. The skills and knowledge that I accomplished in my M.Sc. and B.Sc. programs made me highly interested in the combination of Control theory with application of mathematical Optimization. My excessive passion for employing computational methods in optimal control motivated me to begin pursuing my Ph.D. at Clemson University in Dr. Vahidi’s research group. My current research project focuses on vehicle dynamics modeling and optimal control of off-road connected vehicles utilizing dynamic programming method. I am passionate with music, sports and traveling. In my spare times, I play the piano or make specific genres of music, work out or play basketball, or take road trips.
Tyler Ard (Ph.D., since S18) – E-mail: email@example.com
Research: Impact of Connected and Automated Vehicles on Traffic Flow, Safety, and Energy Use
Tyler Ard received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University in the fall of 2017. Extracurricular work in the dynamic modeling and embedded control integration of the locomotion of robots, and the viewing of professionally developed robots, such as the work done by Boston Dynamics, inspired him to further pursue studies in applied dynamics and controls. Current research is being conducted to simulate real vehicle behavior in the presence of an automated vehicle as a means of supporting results of increased energy efficiency, as well as examine the car-following and lane change behavior of automated vehicles.
Viranjan Bhattacharyya (Ph.D., since F21) – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Research: Motion Planning for Automated Vehicles Interacting With Humans
Prior to joining Dr. Vahidi’s group, I received my M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA and B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from AKTU, India.
My current research focuses on developing autonomous vehicle predictive control strategies which capture the stochastic and interactive nature of driving. An emphasis is placed on energy efficiency and mobility of vehicles. To achieve this, I exploit ideas from game theory, probability theory, and optimal control.
Rob Smith (M.Sc., since Summer 2021) – E-mail: email@example.com
Research: Motion Planning of Automated Vehicles
“I graduated with my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University in Spring 2021. A Mathematical Sciences Minor and a co-op involving virtual reality systems and haptics at Electrolux Home Products inspired me to pursue control theory to engage with a more strictly mathematical field in mechanical engineering. My research specialty will be determined in the coming semester as I learn more about control schemes for improving the fuel efficiency and safety of automated vehicles. When I’m not working, I can often be found gaming on my PC, playing Dungeons and Dragons, or reading a book. “
Undergraduate Student Researchers
Graduated: August 2021
Research: Optimal Control Applied in i) Pacing athletes considering dynamics of their fatigue and recovery ii) truck platooning iii) Coordinating intersections with automated vehicle platoons
“Growing up in a scientific-minded family inspired me early on to become an engineer and provided me with the nurturing environment to progress towards my dream. My studies at University of Tehran, reaffirmed in me my commitment to pursue a career in applied science and engineering. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Tehran. I am currently a Masters student in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. I have a great passion for medicine besides my engineering background. Therefore, I found out that the best way to satisfy my passion for these fields is to combine them and work on a Bioengineering project. My research focuses on Muscle mechanics and force generation. The objective of this research is to measure indicators of muscle fatigue in the laboratory, and develop dynamic models that can track muscle fatigue and recovery in humans during physical activity. In order to keep a balance between all key aspects of life and pursue my passion for Music, I have been playing Piano and some traditional Persian instruments with dedication and have the unique experience to be instructed by maestro Anoushiravan Rohani, one of the outstanding masters of Persian music in recent times.”
Completed MS: 2019, Ph.D.: May 2021
Now at: GM Motor Sports
Dissertation: “Efficient Automated Driving Strategies Leveraging Anticipation and Optimal Control”
“A passion for automobiles together with an awareness of our world’s environmental and energy challenges inspired me to pursue a career in engineering. I graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2014. During my time as an undergraduate student, I completed four cooperative education terms at General Motors in southeast Michigan in the areas of active safety controls, gasoline engine controls, and turbocharging. I also worked with Dr. Gregory Shaver at Purdue’s Herrick Labs on a project related to internal combustion engine modeling. After graduation, I continued at GM in controls and calibration of a new high tech family of gasoline engines. This work acquainted me with current controls engineering problems and deepened my interest in the specialty. In order to study such problems in further detail, I traveled to Clemson University and joined Dr. Vahidi’s research team in the fall of 2016. My current research is in anticipative control of autonomous on-road vehicles. Outside of academics, I enjoy modifying my project car, target shooting, and playing guitar.”
Graduated: December 2016
Postdoctoral Fellow: 2016-2019
Now at: Ridecell
PostDoc Research: “Vehicle-in-Loop Testing and Verification for Experimental Connected and Automated Vehicles; Integrating Motion-Control, V2X Communication, and Energy Measurement Systems into Autonomous Test Vehicles via ROS interface”
Ph.D. Research: “Connected Vehicles at Signalized Intersections: Arterial Eco-Driving and Traffic Signal Optimization”
Alireza Fayazi received his B.Sc. from K. N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran and his M.Sc. from University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran both in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA under supervision of Dr. Ardalan Vahidi. He was also part of a research team in BMW Information Technology Research Center (ITRC) in Greenville, SC, USA. In 2012-2013, he was a research engineer at the University of California, Berkeley and was also working as a visiting researcher in BMW Group Technology Office located in Mountain View, California. Before joining Clemson University, he was a research engineer at Kerman Tablo Corp. for three years where he worked on discrete control systems and digital control for embedded applications.
Graduated: August 2016
Hired: Assistant Professor, University of Detroit Mercy
“I received my Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and University of Tabriz; respectively. My research during my studies in Iran included designing and control of hybrid electric powertrains and experimental investigation of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) in dual fuel ICEs. Joining Clemson University I will be working on system integration and control of hybrid vehicles utilizing ultra-capacitors as an energy storage module.Since August 2012; I am a visiting researcher at University of Michigan to conduct collaborative research with mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering departments. During this one year we will be characterizing ultracapacitor and battery in both cell and module levels addressing the sizing problem, power electronics and also different chemistries such as pseudo-capacitors.I enjoy playing Soccer in my spare time.
Common research interests! Feel free to discuss.”
Graduated: December 2015
Now: Ford Motor Company
Research: Improving Efficiency and Mobility of Off-Road Connected Fleets via Route Preview and Cooperative Control
“Upon completion of PhD degree in 2015 in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, I joined Dr. Vahidi’s group to conduct research on off-road connected fleet motion planning. I received my M.S. degree from Clemson University and B.E. degree from University of Mumbai, both in Mechanical Engineering. My research interests are on vehicle dynamics modeling, simulation and control, motion planning, modeling and control of linear and non-linear systems. As a technical research intern at IAV GmbH on DAAD scholarship in 2010, I worked on air suspension systems and hybrid vehicles. Before joining Clemson, I worked at Infosys Technologies for a year. You can find me enjoying the great outdoors or playing some sports on weekends and sunny evenings.”
Graduated: May 2016
Now: Mercedes Benz Research & Development North America Inc
“I have obtained my master and bachelor degree in Shanghai Jiaotong University and Tianjin University, China, in 2005 and 2010 respectively. Also as a visiting student, I have studied in Toyota Technological Institute, Japan for 6 months in 2011. Joining Dr. Vahidi’s group, my research covers developing machine learning and control technologies to improve energy efficiency and mobility of connected/autonomous vehicles and the traffic. My research is mainly sponsored by BMW Information Technology Research Center Greenville . I was a visiting student researcher at U.C. Berkeley from 2012 to 2013. At UC Berkeley, I was working with California PATH on freeway travel time prediction.
During spare time, I enjoy basketball and photographing.”
Graduated: December 2013
Research: “Connected Vehicle: Role of Information and Computing in Enhancing Efficiency of Vehicles”
I graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering in June of 2008. My research is focused on utilizing traffic information to enhance vehicle efficiency, for example by using a probabilistic framework to predict traffic signal phase and timing information. To that end, I have followed Dr. Vahidi on his sabbatical, to continue my research in collaboration with colleagues at the BMW Technology Office USA in Mountain View, California.
In my spare time I enjoy training my Belgian Shepherd, and sailing.
Graduated: December 2011
Dissertation: “Optimization-Based Power Management of Hybrid Power Systems with Applications in Advanced Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Wind Farms with Battery Storage”
“I received the B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, in 2000, and the M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2003. In August 2011, I have also completed my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University in the area of control and dynamics. In summer 2010, I was a research intern at the Research and Advanced Engineering of Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI. Since October 2010, I have been a visiting researcher at the University of Texas at Dallas under supervision of Prof. Mario Rotea.
My current research focuses on the application of optimal control and model predictive control in the optimization-based energy/power management of hybrid systems including hybrid electric powertrains and wind farms with battery storage systems.”
Graduated: December 2010
Now: Ford Motor Company
Dissertation: “Predictive Energy Management in Connected Vehicles: Utilizing Route Information Preview for Energy Saving ”
“I graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University and Chongqing University, China in Mechanical Engineering for master degree and bachelor degree respectively in year 2006 and 2003. Before I came to Clemson University, I worked as an application engineer and project manager respectively in Bosch gasoline and diesel system (UAES and RBCD) in China. I have been here for PhD study in Mechanical Engineering since fall 2007. My research topics are in the application of optimization control methods in dynamic systems. I like jogging and swimming in my spare time. You can contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to communicate about the research, or other issues.”
Project: “Motion planning and autonomous control for the automated off-road vehicles”
Now: Ph.D. student, Purdue University, AAE
“I received my MS degree from Clemson University in Mechanical Engineering in 2020. And from F2020 to F2021, I worked as a research fellow on the project “motion planning and control for the off-road vehicle” for the energy-saving purpose, under the supervision of Dr. Ardalan Vahidi and Dr. Mohammad Naghnaeian. My research interests focus on fields of optimization, control theory, motion planning, and reinforcement learning.”
Graduated: December 2017
Now at: Autonomous Driving, ZF
Research: Off-road autonomous driving
My interest in automobiles was ignited in high school. Besides working of the engine, what intrigued me was the fact that such a large powerhouse was controlled with the help of a tiny computer (the ECU). My interest took real shape as an undergraduate student when I got the opportunity to join National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, India and work under Dr. Ameenur Rehman Siddiqui on analysis of fuel spray pattern. I joined VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd. (part of the VOLVO group) and worked for 5 years in engine controls and calibration. I had lead the development of a 4 cylinder light duty Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Euro IV OBDII engine and was the part of the team which developed the first Euro IV commercial vehicle engine in India with Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) and only Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC). With a long term vision of making feasible and cost effective solution for the automotive market of the developing world, I joined Dr. Vahidi’s research group in Clemson University in 2015. Currently I am working on off-road autonomous driving using connected vehicle technology. I am also working on a robot equipped with Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), camera and ultrasonic sensors, developing algorithms for point cloud terrain mapping and autonomous driving. In my leisure time, I love reading on global politics, history, astronomy, latest tech trends, watching football and cricket.
Graduated: August 2010
Thesis: “Ultracapacitor Heavy Hybrid Vehicle: Model Predictive Control Using Future Information to Improve Fuel Economy”
Now: Controls Engineer at Proterra (Greenville, SC)
After pursuing undergraduate research on the Electric Bicycle project where I investigated the bicycle’s regeneration capabilities and control functions, I continued my graduate studies here under Dr. Vahidi working on modeling and simulation of hybrid vehicle powertrain. This research is concerned with the improvement in the fuel economy of heavy transport vehicles through the use of high power ultracapacitors in a mild hybrid electric vehicle platform. Among all hybridizing energy storage technologies, ultracapacitors pack extraordinary power capability, cycle lifetime, and ruggedness and as such are well suited to reducing the large power transients of a heavy vehicle. The control challenge is to effectively manage the very small energy buffer (a few hundred Watt-hours) the ultracapacitors provide to maximize the potential fuel economy. The optimal control technique of Dynamic Programming is first used on the vehicle model to obtain the ”best possible” fuel economy for the vehicle over the driving cycles. The Model Predictive Control (MPC) method is an optimization-based receding horizon control strategy which has shown potential as a powertrain control strategy in hybrid vehicles. An MPC strategy is developed for the hybrid vehicle based on an exponential decay torque prediction method which can achieve near-optimal fuel consumption even for very short prediction horizon lengths of a few seconds. A critical part of the MPC method which can greatly affect the overall control performance is that of the prediction model. The use of telematic based “future information” to aid in the MPC prediction method is also investigated. Three types of future information currently obtainable from vehicle telematic technologies are speed limits, traffic conditions, and traffic signals, all of which have been incorporated to improve the vehicle fuel economy.
Upon receiving my Master’s degree in August 2010, I took some time off and traveled the world in my personal catamaran(not really). I am currently working for Proterra as a Controls Engineer, where I am contributing to the design and validation of the vehicle control systems, as well as further process improvements as Proterra prepares to ramp up production. More information on Proterra, a leader in breakthrough battery-electric (and hybrid) vehicle technologies in the transit industry, can be found at www.proterra.com
Graduated: August 2009
Hired by: Opera Solutions, LLC
Thesis: Predictive Energy Management in Smart Vehicles: Exploiting Traffic and Traffic Signal Preview for fuel saving
“I received my B.S. from Sharif University of Technology – Tehran, Iran (2006). I have also done my M.S. at Clemson University (2009), and my PhD at the University of California San Diego (2013). My research has spanned over several fields from Solid Mechanics to Control, and Data Science/Machine Learning. At Clemson University I introduced Predictive Cruise Control technology for the first time within industry. Currently my field of expertise is focused on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence within the world of finance and more generally economy.
Of my hobbies are traveling and playing piano!”
Thesis: Eastimation of vehicle mass and road grade: Theory and experiments
Graduated: July 2008
Hired by: Caterpillar
“I have done my undergraduation in Mechanical Engineering from M. S. University of Baroda, India. I joined Clemson University in Fall-2006 for graduate study in the same area. My areas of interest are Dynamics and Controls. I am working on the project ‘Online estimation of heavy vehicle parameters’. This project is focused on estimation of heavy vehicle mass and road grade.”
Thesis: Stability analysis and decentralized control of coupled oscillators with feedback delays: Theory and Experiments
Graduated: July 2008
Hired by: Caterpillar
“I graduated in May 2005 with my Bachelors of Engineering (B.E) in Mechanical Engineering from Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune University, Pune (India).
Thereafter, I worked for one year (July 2005 – July 2006) as a Graduate Engineer Trainee (Design Engineer) in Larson & Toubro Ltd., Mumbai (India). I worked for the Marine Works Business which was part of their Heavy Engineering Division. I have worked on a special project for the Indian Navy and was also involved in few other smaller projects also for the Indian Navy.
I am currently (enrolled in fall 06) doing my MS in Mechanical engineering in Clemson University. My research is in the area of dynamics and controls. Highlights of my research are as follows:
- Stability analysis of coupled time-delayed system and Optimization of gain-delay combinations for performance improvement.
- Experimentation to verify optimal operation using dspace interface hardware for real-time simulation.
- Model predictive control and its application in decentralized control.
- Study of actuator technologies for automotive applications (sponsored by BMW).”
Thesis: Ultracapacitor assisted powertrains: modeling, control, sizing, and the impact on fuel economy
Graduated: July 2008
Now: U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground
“My name is Dean Rotenberg. I studied mechanical engineering at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology for four years, and I am continuing in that area here at Clemson. I am currently researching characteristics and control methods of electric motors for use in hybrid electric vehicles.
My academic interests include controls, dynamics, and design methods. I also have an interest in computer programming, and playing the piano.”
Research: Implementation of Dynamic Programming for HEV.
Graduated: July 2008
Hired by: Caterpillar
“I graduated with my B.S in Mechanical Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum, Karnataka (India). Currently i am doing my M.S in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University.
“Life can only be understood going backwards, but it must be lived going forward…”
This is what my research is related to.I am working on a project to implement Dynamic Programming for Hybrid Electric Vehicles. This optimization approach will help us to provide some insight into ways of reducing the fuel consumption for Hybrid Electric Vehicles and basesd on its results we can develop Optimum Rule Based Control which can be implemented in real time.
My academic interest includes Vehicle Dynamics,Robotics and Controls systems.I also have interest in Formula One Car Racing ,Drawing and playing Cricket.”
Thesis: Real-time powermanagement of a fuel cell-ultracapacitor hybrid
Graduated: May 2008
Hired by: Michelin USA
“Wes Greenwell received the B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University in 2006. He is currently working toward the M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. Since August 2006, he has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Dr. Ardalan Vahidi. His research interests include PEM fuel cells, power management in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), automotive power electronics, and ultracapacitors as power source for EV.”
Research: Identification of main parameters influencing performance and durability of PEM fuel cells
Graduated May 2007.
Hired by: Husky, Luxembourg
“Since August 2005, I am a Clemson University student pursuing a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I obtained my undergraduate degree “Diplom-Ingenieur Maschinenbau (FH)” with an emphasis on Automotive Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Trier, Germany. Meanwhile, I already had the opportunity to study abroad at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France. Among other things, this positive experience and an interest for the United States and their high educational standards encouraged me to come to Clemson.
Currently, I am working on the field of Fuel Cells, focusing on durability and lifetime of low temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC). I want to gain knowledge in the important field of alternative power plants and vehicle engines. My goal is to work for a car manufacturer or in the automotive related industry.
I am a member of the Society of German Engineers (VDI e.V.).
In my free time I enjoy travelling and doing a lot of sports like running and Mountain Biking.”
Research: Traffic Microsimulation
David is currently a senior mechanical engineering major who is seeking admission into a Master’s/PhD program focusing on controls and dynamic systems or robotics. His goal is to work on projects concerned with the connection of unmanned aerial machines with autonomous vehicles that would aid in search and rescue operations during times of natural disaster or war. Currently, David’s research focuses on optimal lane change for connected and automated vehicles and how lane closures and disruptions effect travel time, energy efficiency, and the flow of traffic. Outside of the classroom David enjoys participating in intramural sports, leading campus tours, and watching sports.
Research: Scaled autonomous car
“David Geyer is a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in computer science with plans to graduate in May 2019. He is interested in the aerospace and defense industries, and has an interest in designing and programming robotics and mechanical systems. David is working under Dr. Vahidi to develop a scaled down model of an autonomous vehicle with networking capabilities, a continuation of Berkeley’s Autonomous Race Car Project, that will allow opportunities for future research in connected vehicles.”
Research: Electric Bicycle Efficiency
I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. Currently, I am exploring the possibility of integrating recent physiological and sports science research to improve the efficiency of an electric bicycle. My academic interests include: control of dynamic systems and sustainable design.
While in high school, my family moved to Paris, France, where I became interested in the sport of cycling. I have racing experience in both the collegiate and amateur leagues.
Research: The Mouse Project
I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University and will be graduating in December of 2009 with a Bachelors of Science. I am currently working on my senior honors thesis in which our team is modeling, designing, and testing an energy harvesting wireless mouse. The mouse must overcome many obstacles, such as the size constraint and the low frequency input, in order to harvest a sufficient amount of energy.
Research: Electric Bicycle Haptics
“I am currently a senior working on my bachelors of science in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. My research is currently focusing on the integration of haptics into an hybrid electric bicycle and improving the user interface of the bike. I will be graduating in May 2009.”
Research: Human Vital Signs and Wireless Sensors
“I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering, and will be graduating in the Fall of 2009. I am doing research on the human vital signs and what information can be obtained about the state of health of a person from this information. Also, I am research on how wireless sensor devices can be implemented to record and communicate the vital signs of the individual to others, such as hospitals and rescue crews.”
Research: Ultracapacitor hybrid bicycle
“I am a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Environmental Engineering. Since January 2007 I have been working on the Ultracapacitor Bicycle Project. We are currently focusing on how to charge the ultracapacitor, as well as integrating the motor and the ultracapacitor. My interest in Mechanical Engineering lies in renewable/alternative energy.
I am currently working as a co op student for Dow Chemical. I enjoy traveling and in my free time running, biking, and playing sports.”
Research: Survey of actuation mechanisms for control of lightweight structures
Graduated May 2007
Now: Graduate Student, Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
“Amir Matlock is currently a senior in mechanical engineering, and is seeking admissions into a master’s degree program in the field of aerospace engineering, concentrating in flight systems and controls. After obtaining a master’s degree, he would like to pursue a PhD, where his motivation is to make flight vehicles safer for future NASA operations as well as commercial transportation. His research focuses on surveying active vibration control technology in aerospace systems to determine if they can be transferred into alternate industries. He would like to take the time to thank his friends and family for their support and inspiring him to pursue his aspirations.”
Research: Ultracapacitor hybrid bicycle
Now: Graduate student, Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder
Research: Ultracapacitor hybrid bicycle
“Tim is a senior in Mechanical Engineering and is working for Dr. Vahidi on the ultracapacitor bicycle project. Tim is an avid cyclist and a stanch energy conservation supporter. Tim will be graduating in May 2007 and continuing his education at the University of Colorado in a graduate Mechancial Engineering program.”