Vehicle to Grid Research

Vehicle to Grid


By treating a hybrid vehicle as a microgrid, it has the ability to exploit interconnection strategies for plug-and-play integration with deployed microgrids while being a mobile, energy exchange system between disconnected power grids. Research is focused on optimization and control of microgrids that have a significant penetration of vehicles that can be loads, sources, or energy storage devices.

Active Projects


  • Exploiting tradeoffs between high power plug-in vehicles, storage and renewable penetration
  • Optimal storage state of charge for mobile/vehicular microgrids
  • Vehicle design impact on grid connectivity
  • Use of military hybrids for FOB microgrid deployment
  • Distributed control strategies for plug-in hybrid charging for more manageable grid load
  • Information transfer between vehicles and grid (smartgrids)

Vehicle To Grid Chain

Vehicle Chart

Gordon Parker

parkerDr. Parker specializes in control system design and correlation of nonlinear dynamic models to experimental data. A key area of his research is the optimal control of microgrids with particular attention given to networked topologies. Closed loop control and real-time optimization for harmonizing use of available energy generation and storage assets, while satisfying loads, is the main theme. Applications requiring temporary or remote power motivate much of his funded research along with disaster relief scenarios. Development of a scalable, optimal control solution is critical for allowing the interconnection, in both power and communication, of separately deployed microgrids. The main challenge stems from a microgrid’s ever-changing energy asset and load portfolio and their effect on the system models used for optimal planning and control system design. Rational segregation of distributed versus centralized optimization and control is another research area. In the past year Dr. Parker and his colleagues formed the Agile and Interconnected Micrgorid (AIM) Center to bring together faculty from Computer Science, Mathematics, Cognitive Sciences and Learning, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering to focus an interdisciplinary team on this technical area. More generally, nonlinear control, system simulation, nonlinear system parameter identification and optimization, are present in most of Dr. Parker’s ongoing projects. Examples include active control of diesel engine aftertreatment systems and at-sea control of naval equipment.

Lucia Gauchia

DSC_1949Dr. Lucia Gauchia received her General Engineering degree and her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain in 2005 and 2009, respectively.

Dr. Gauchia was appointed in 2013, the Richard and Elizabeth Henes Assistant Professor of Energy Storage Systems at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University (USA). She was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with McMaster University (Canada), working for the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain and the Green Auto Powertrain Program. From 2008 to 2012 she worked at the Power Electric Engineering Department at the University Carlos III of Madrid (Spain).

Her research interests include the testing, modeling and energy management of energy storage systems for microgrid and electrical vehicle applications. She is particularly interested in the integration of energy storage for microgids, its selection and control depending on the energy storage technology and microgrid needs.

Areas of Interest

  • Energy Storage Systems
  • State estimation for batteries and supercapacitors

Madhi Shahbakhti

MahdiShahbakhtiDr. Shahbakhti joined MTU in August of 2012. Prior to this appointment, he was a post-doctoral scholar for two years in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley. He worked in the automotive industry for 3.5 years on R&D of powertrain management systems for gasoline and natural gas vehicles. Some of his past academic and industrial research experience includes system identification, physical modeling and control of dynamic systems, analysis of combustion engines, utilization of alternative/renewable fuels, vehicular emissions, and hybrid electric vehicles. Shahbakhti is an active member of ASME Dynamic Systems & Control Division (DSCD), serving as the trust area leader and executive member of the Energy Systems (ES) committee and as a member of the Automotive Transportation Systems (ATS) technical committee, chairing and co-organizing sessions in the areas of modeling, fault diagnosis, and control of advanced fuel and combustion systems.

His research focuses on increasing efficiency of energy systems through utilization of advanced control techniques. His current research involves the transportation and building sectors which account for 68% of total consumed energy in the United States. Dr. Shahbakhti’s research to optimize efficiency of energy systems centers on developing and incorporating the following research areas: thermo-kinetic physical modeling, model order reduction, grey-box modeling, adaptive parameter estimation, model-based and nonlinear control.

Areas of Expertise

  • Dynamic Systems Modeling and Control
  • Powertrain/Vehicle Control
  • Internal Combustion Engines
  • Alternative/Renewable Fuels
  • Vehicular Emissions and Aftertreatment Systems

Research Interests

  • Modeling and Control of Energy Systems
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles
  • Fuel Flex Powertrains
  • Energy Control of Buildings in a Smart Grid

Rush Robinett


Dr. Robinett specializes in nonlinear control and optimal system design of energy, robotics, and aerospace systems.
Of particular interest in the energy arena is the distributed, decentralized nonlinear control and optimization of networked microgrids with up to 100% penetration of transient renewable energy sources (i.e., photovoltaics and wind turbines).  At 100% penetration, the optimal design of energy storage systems is critical to the stability and performance of networked microgrids because all of the spinning inertia and fossil fuel of the generators have been removed from the system.  In the robotics area, collective control of teams of simple, dumb robots that solve complicated problems is of continuing research interest.  The application areas span the space from chemical plume tracing of buried land mines to underwater detection of targets of interest to airborne surveillance systems to spacecraft formations.  In the aerospace area, system identification, trajectory optimization, guidance algorithm development, and autopilot design form the fundamentals of all of these research topics.  These fundamentals are presently being applied to stall flutter suppression and meta-stable controller design research.

Areas of Expertise

  • Renewable Energy Grid Integration
  • Collective Systems Control
  • Nonlinear Controls
  • Optimization
  • Dynamics
  • Aeroelasticity

Research Interests

  • Energy storage system design for renewable energy grid integration
  • High penetration renewable energy microgrids
  • Collective control of networked microgrids and teams of robots
  • Exergy control for buildings
  • Flutter suppression for wind turbines
  • Nonlinear control system design

Nina Mahmoudian

Nina Mahmoudian_Fall2013-1Dr. Mahmoudian’s general research interests lie in the area of dynamics, stability, and control of nonlinear systems. Specifically, she is interested in dynamic modeling, motion planning, and developing cooperative control algorithms to autonomous vehicles. Design and control of autonomous vehicles based on the principles used by nature is another area of interest.  She works on developing analytical and computational tools for the cooperative control of a network of autonomous vehicles in complex environment using nonlinear control and stochastic analysis. The application will be for air, ground, and sea autonomous vehicles.

Areas of Expertise

  • Nonlinear Control and Dynamics
  • Cooperative Control of Multi Agent Systems
  • Autonomous Vehicles with Special Interest in Underwater Gliders

Wayne Weaver

image25785-persWayne W. Weaver received a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from GMI Engineering & Management Institute in 1997, and an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Weaver was a research and design engineer at Caterpillar Inc., in Peoria, Illinois, from 1997 to 2003. From 2006 to 2008, he also worked as a researcher at the US Army Corp of Engineers, Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC), Construction Engineering Research Lab (CERL), in Champaign, Illinois, on distributed and renewable-energy technology research. Weaver is a registered professional engineer in Illinois. His research interests include power electronics, electric machine drives, electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, and non-linear and optimal control.

Areas of Interest

  • Power electronics systems
  • Microgrids
  • Non-linear and game theoretic controls
  • Distributed energy resources
  • Electric drives and machinery

Human Factors, Curriculum Development and Commercialization Research


Lead curriculum development and commercial research that educates engineers with skills to solve energy-related, interdisciplinary problems and design next-generation systems. Commercialize IP developed at Michigan Tech to field microgrid and cyber security applications.

Active Projects


  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) outreach
  • IP commercialization
  • Curriculum development
  • Military-to-civilian technology training
  • PEV vehicle charging and peak shaving
  • V2G for provisional grids – disaster relief
  • Building storage

Human Factors

AC/DC Microgrid

Affiliated Research Centers and Facilities

AC DC Microgrid

AC/DC Microgrid Power Electronics & Control Testbed

A highly flexible laboratory test-bed for advanced control and energy conversion research for microgrids.