SELECT Research Faculty

The SELECT center’s faculty are leading strategic efforts that drive wide-scale adoption of electric transportation. SELECT faculty collaborate to develop innovative and relevant technologies, create collaboration spaces, secure funding from diverse sources, and form mutually beneficial relationships with industry, government agencies, research labs, and other organizations.

SELECT Center Leadership

Regan Zane

SELECT Founder and Director
Professor, Electrical Engineering

Dr. Regan Zane is the Founder and Director of the Center for Sustainable Electrified Transportation. Through innovative research and development, Regan’s vision is for SELECT to make revolutionizing contributions to the future of electric vehicle drivetrains, power electronics, grid integration, charging infrastructure, and renewable energy integration and storage. His passions include seeing the world with his family as well as seeing his former graduate students make big marks in the world.

Regan received his PhD at the University of Colorado Boulder, and his professional and academic appointments include a stint at General Electric’s Global Research Center, University of Colorado, and Utah State University. He is the co-author of more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and has received multiple significant funding and recognition awards, including the National Science Foundation’s Career Award. His unique ability to work with government and industry is crucial in developing and transitioning technologies into the marketplace.

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David Christensen

SELECT Executive Director

Dr. David Christensen coordinates SELECT’s strategic direction, member relations, and commercialization activities in addition to facilitating research projects and membership activities among the center’s industry members and university partners. David has worked closely with SELECT’s founding director, Dr. Regan Zane, since 2012, and he began serving as the center’s executive director in May, 2016, shortly after it was established.

Prior to his position in the SELECT Center, he was a Senior Director of Development, Commercial Enterprises Research Development Director (where he helped secure funding for the USU Electric Vehicle and Roadway–EVR–test track and facility), and Research Development Director in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Over the past seven years, he has been involved in bringing more than $20M in funding to USU. David received his PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from Utah State University and enjoys teaching an Honors Connections class, an occasional professional editing class, and any time he can get outside in Utah’s mountain paradise.

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Utah State University

Marv Halling

USU Campus PI
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Marv Halling focuses on structural health assessments, is active in multiple design communities, and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in California and Structural Engineer (SE) in Utah. Marv is the division head of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State University; directs the Systems, Materials, and Structural Health (SMASH) lab; and is the associate director of the Utah Transportation Center at Utah State University, which is a member of the Tier I UTC Consortium led by CAIT. In addition to being a hard-core trail runner, he earned his master's degree in civil engineering at Stanford University and his doctorate in applied mechanics from the California Institute of Technology.

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Zeljko Pantic

EVR Facility Associate Director
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Zeljko Pantic is recognized for his invention of the bi-directional receiver that eliminates major Wireless Inductive Power Transfer (WIPT) limitations. He was a Research Assistant at the NSF-funded Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Zeljko joined the Utah State University Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2013 as an Assistant Professor. His research includes electric and hybrid electric cars, motor drive trains, and power electronics.

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Ziqi Song

Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, TIMElab Center Director

Dr. Ziqi Song optimizes charging infrastructure deployment in transportation systems and improves transportation system modeling of electric vehicle users. He also helps transportation agencies collect road inventory data more efficiently using emerging technologies. Ziqi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State University. He is also the Director of the Transportation Infrastructure Management and Engineering Laboratory (TIMELab) and the faculty advisor of USU’s Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) student chapter.

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Paul Barr

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Head, Utah Transportation Center Director

Dr. Paul Barr’s research focuses on the nondestructive evaluation of bridges due to earthquake loads, live loads, changes in temperature, and prestress losses. Projects include forensic testing of prestressed concrete bridge girders and steel girders and live-load testing of bridges in California, Minnesota, and Utah. Paul received his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington in 2000. Barr is a licensed professional engineer in Utah.

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Nicholas Flann

Associate Professor, Computer Science

Dr. Nicholas Flann leads a team of talented computer science researchers devoted to advancing biological models that bridge gaps between regulatory network dynamics and morphological outcomes. Their multi-scale modeling techniques emulate the simplicity and realism of living systems, despite the demanding intricacy involved for search-based intelligence, data expression, and analysis. Nicholas’s active collaboration with Vanderbilt, University College London, and multiple labs at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle are being developed and applied to these specific domains as pilot systems. Nicholas studied his Computer Science Ph.D. and M.S. at Oregon State University, finishing in 1992 and 1986 respectively. His work with SELECT will commence in Fall 2017; his experience in grant writing and synthetic bio-manufacturing will be useful in advancing projects related to complex computational modeling and nano-structures.

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Vladimir Kulyukin

Associate Professor, Computer Science

Dr. Vladimir Kulyukin’s research in wavelet algorithms, computer vision, and sensory fusion is key in development of assistive technology, blind navigation, service robotics, and biosensors. Vladimir teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, while conducting significant research in software development.

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Nick Roberts

Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Nick Roberts improves photovoltaics through his experimental and computational research in electrical, optical and thermal properties of nanostructured materials. He has improved the hybrid thermoelectric, thin film photovoltaics systems, and direct energy storage using paraffin based phase change materials. Nick’s post-doctoral research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory through the University of Tennessee led to development of Laser-assisted direct-write processing of nanostructures and development of patterned and self-assembled nanostructures using pulsed laser techniques.

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Tianbiao “Leo” Liu

Assistant Professor, Inorganic Chemistry

Dr. Tianbiao “Leo” Liu is an electrochemist and director of the Liu Group. Leo’s research in new battery technology extends beyond traditional Li-ion and lead acid batteries, increasing application for renewable energy integration, portable electronic devices, and electric vehicles. His research group strives to achieve environmentally sustainable and economical energy through electrochemical transformations. Leo’s postdoctoral studies in the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are preceded by research as a staff scientist in the Division of Energy and Materials Process at PNNL.

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University of Colorado Boulder

Dragan Maksimovic

SELECT Campus PI
Professor, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Dr. Dragan Maksimovic’s innovative research applies power electronics to renewable energy sources and maximizes energy efficiency. Wide bandgap semiconductors help achieve high frequency power conversion; switched-mode, analog, digital, and mixed-signal power converters are key in integrating circuits for power management applications. Dragan collaborates with Bob Erickson with whom he is the co-founder and co-director of the Colorado Power Electronics Center (CoPEC), which is recognized by numerous industrial sponsors and agencies for research in smart power electronics. Dragan is an established voice for power electronics and digital controls, has published over 250 papers in journals and professional conferences, holds over 30 U.S. patents, and has co-authored multiple textbooks. He is a Charles V. Schelke Endowed Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Robert W. Erickson

Professor, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Dr. Robert Erickson conducts research to model and control power conversion systems and modular/multilevel converter systems, analysis that has useful applications to electric vehicles, wind and solar energy sources. In collaboration with Dragan Maksimovic, Dr. Erickson is the co-founder and co-director of the Colorado Power Electronics Center (CoPEC), which is recognized by numerous industrial sponsors and agencies for advancing smart power electronics technology.

Bob is a Caroline and Wilfred Slade Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering at the University of Colorado, where he also served as Department Chair from 2002-2006 and 2014-15. He is a Fellow of the CU/NREL Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, is author of more than 100 hundred journal and conference papers in the area of power electronics, and received recognition as the CU-Boulder Inventor of the Year in 2015.

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Khurram Afridi

Assistant Professor, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Dr. Khurram Afridi’s experience in electrical engineering has been key in Wireless Power Transfer research. His developments in high-frequency power electronics and energy systems controls advance wireless charging and power transfer to electric cars in motion as well as to portable electronics. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder, Khurram was a visiting faculty at MIT’s EECS Department from 2009-2013. He led the development of the LUMS school of Science and Engineering and was COO of startup Techlogix from 2000-2010. He is co-author of two IEEE prize papers and received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2016.

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Zoya Popovic

Distinguished Professor, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Dr. Zoya Popovic is the Director of the Microwave Antenna and Circuits Group, which was organized to design new antennas and circuits that work in micro- and millimeter-wave range, revolutionizing wireless communications, radar, and optical communications and processing, a field in which she holds several patents. She is a Distinguished Professor holding the Hudson Moore Jr. Professorship in Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering Department. Twice, Popovic won the IEEE Microwave Prize for best paper of the year and is the recipient of numerous teaching and research awards including the National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow Award, American Society for Engineering Education, and Frederick E Terman Gold Medal. Zoya earned her Ph.D. at Caltech in 1990.

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University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Greg Plett

SELECT Campus PI
Professor, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Dr. Greg Plett’s cutting-edge research in lithium-ion dynamics, physics based reduced-order modeling of lithium-ion dynamics and estimation of cell degradation and internal state is key in state-of-health and state-of-life estimation. His research further advances battery technology through current-voltage input-output data and system identification of physics-based model parameters. He is joint holder of 24 US patents, has taught courses in various institutions including Stanford where he received his Ph.D., and has published in Wiley, Elsevier, and IEEE. Greg collaborates with Scott Trimboli at UCCS in efficient energy transfer and storage and control of high-capacity battery systems for hybrid and electric vehicles.

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Scott Trimboli

Assistant Professor, Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Dr. Scott Trimboli’s research uses model predictive control and other advanced techniques to extend battery life and battery fast pack charging. His interests include control theory, robust multivariable control, model predictive control, and system modeling identification. He collaborates most frequently with Greg Plett, professor at UCCS, in efficient energy transfer, storage and control of high-capacity battery systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. Scott was previously Director of the Center for Space Studies at UCCS and Senior Program Manager at WILCOR. He was an Associate Professor of Astronautics at the US Air Force Academy after completion of his Masters in Engineering of Mechanics at Columbia University in New York.

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Olin College of Engineering

Christopher Lee

SELECT Campus PI
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Christopher Lee’s research explores structural health dynamics, stability and vibration analysis, and the mechanics of biopolymers. Current and past projects include energy harvesting devices, grasping landing gear for UAVs, structural health monitoring devices and the mechanics of DNA. Prior to his assignment at Olin, Chris was a lead engineer for the New Technologies Engineering Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and was responsible for supporting lab programs through computational analysis and vibration measurements. He earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Purdue University

Steven Pekarek

SELECT Campus PI
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Steven Pekarek’s research focuses on analysis, design and control of electric machines, power electronics and power electronic based systems. His main focus is power and energy systems, and he is the college’s committee chair in that focus area. Other noteworthy research consists of automatic controls and systems modeling. Steve also earned his Electrical Engineering B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees at Purdue University, though he loves to visit SELECT partner universities in Utah and Colorado where the fly fishing is inspirational.

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Dionysios Aliprantis

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Associate Editor for IEEE

Dr. Dionysios Aliprantis researches electromagnetic energy conversion and electric machinery, power electronics, and power systems analysis. He is a member of the Power and Energy Devices and Systems group and also serves as an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion. Dionysios received his PhD from Purdue University. He worked as a Research Scientist at Purdue's ECE department during 2006–2007, and prior to joining Purdue’s faculty, he was an Assistant Professor of ECE at Iowa State University.

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Scott Sudhoff

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Scott D. Sudhoff currently focuses his research on electric machinery, power electronics, marine and aerospace power systems, applied control, and evolutionary computing, which has application in hybrid and full electric vehicles, aircraft power systems, and marine power systems. The challenging design of these systems requires numerous constraints including time-domain specifications, frequency-domain specifications, power quality specifications, and the desire to minimize mass and loss. The innovative use of metamodels of scale-independent design algorithms has been key to increasing efficiency.

Scott received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1991 and subsequently worked for P.C. Krause and Associates and later University of Missouri – Rolla. In 1997, he joined Purdue University where he is the Michael and Katherine Birck Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Power and Energy Technology System Journal.

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John Haddock

Professor, Civil Engineering

Dr. John Haddock’s specialty in Materials Engineering has been key in non-destructive pavement testing and pavement design research. Through bituminous materials and mixture design and constructive management, Haddock has significantly improved the understanding of civil and structural concept engineering of infrastructure. John received his Ph.D. from Auburn University. He serves as the Director of the Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program and is a tenured professor at Purdue University.

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Jan Olek

CIVIL ENGINEER, PROFESSOR, DIRECTOR OF SUPERPAVE CENTER

Dr. Jan Olek is a Professor of Civil Engineering and the Director of the North Central Superpave Center focused on durability of construction materials and structures.

Dr. Jan Olek’s key to research of construction materials is the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement, low-temperature behavior of asphalt, life-cycle modeling, high performance concrete, supplementary cementitious materials, mixture optimization, and tire-pavement noise mitigation. Jan received his Ph.D. from Purdue University. He is the Director of the Superpave Center, is a registered Professional Engineer in Indiana, and serves on the Transportation Research Board, American Concrete Institute, and other academic committees.

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Rebecca McDaniel

Dr. Rebecca McDaniel is the Technical Director of the North Central Superpave Center and has held that position for more than 20 years. Prior to that appointment, she served for 10 years as a research engineer and manager with the Indiana Department of Transportation, specializing in pavements and materials. Her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering is from Purdue University. Rebecca is a member of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists; TRB Committees A2D03, Characteristics of Asphalt/Aggregate Combinations to Meet Surface Requirements, and A2J03, Mineral Aggregates; various research project panels; and the Long-Term Pavement Performance Materials Data Analysis Expert Task Group (ETG).

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Nadia Gkritza

Associate Professor, Civil Engineering and Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Dr. Konstantina “Nadia” Gkritza centers her research on safety and efficiency in energy and transportation. Before joining Purdue, Gkritza was an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University and director of the Sustainable Transportation Systems Program (STSP) at the Institute of Transportation. She has successfully led several federally-, state- and industry-funded projects/programs, totaling more than $3.5 million in awards focused on economic analysis of highway investments and modeling, transportation and energy interdependencies, highway safety and sustainability. Nadia Gkritza received her her Ph.D. in civil engineering at Purdue.

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Affiliate Faculty

Jason Quinn

Colorado State University
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Jason Quinn’s research is centered on energy, with current work focused on system evaluation of electric transportation, spider silk, microalgae biofuels, and fission power systems. His research efforts are dedicated to the development of engineering system models validated through experimentation and leveraged for techno-economic feasibility, life cycle assessment, and resource demand of emerging technologies. Results from his modeling work are used to focus research and development efforts to high impact areas. Jason completed his Ph.D. at Colorado State University. Prior to joining the CSU faculty, he was an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Utah State University.

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Ryan Gerdes

Virginia Tech University
Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering in the Virginia Tech Research Center

Dr. Ryan M. Gerdes' recent research has highlighted the securing of automated transportation systems, exploring ways to identify devices based upon their electrical signatures, and finding ways to exploit and secure cyber-physical systems. Ryan’s research interests include signal and data authentication, hardware and device security, computer and network security, transportation security, engineering education, and applied electromagnetics. He joined Virginia Tech as an assistant professor specializing in computer and network security in 2016. Prior to working with the Virginia Tech Research Center, among his numerous honors and awards, Ryan received the Teacher of the Year Award from Utah State University's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the National Science Foundation's Creating Effective Future Faculty in Engineering Award. He earned his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University.

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Rajnikant Sharma

University of Cincinnati
Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Dr. Rajnikant Sharma advances research in navigation technology, defense, and organization of development. His primary research interests are guidance, navigation, and control of unmanned aerial vehicles and multiple vehicle coordination, control, and localization. Raj was formerly an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Utah State University and postdoctoral fellow at the Academy Center for UAS research at the US Air Force Academy. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

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Masood Parvania

University of Utah
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Masood Parvania’s research includes cyber-physical power and energy systems, modeling and integration of distributed renewable energy resources, applications of mathematical optimization methods, calculus of variations, and scientific computing to the operation and planning of interdependent critical infrastructure. Prior to serving on the University of Utah faculty, he was a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Arizona State University (2015), and the University of California Davis (2014). He is also affiliated with the Center for Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG). Masood is the Chair of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Utah Chapter. He is also a member of IEEE and INFORMS, and serves as a reviewer for several international journals.

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John Salmon

Brigham Young University
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. John Salmon’s multi-disciplinary research includes systems engineering, design and integration, operations research, multi-agent multi-objective decision making, and uncertainty analysis. As a Research Engineer at the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory for four years he worked with a variety of industry partners and government agencies including Lockheed Martin, General Electric, FedEx, UTRC/Sikorsky, NASA, AFRL, ARL, and NAVAIR. John received his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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