Current Research Projects (Postdoc)

  • Design and Development of Concussion Prevention Mechanisms
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and concussion come from a blow to the head, or a violent movement of the cranium, causing a jolt to the brain. Concussion is a mild form of TBI that has risen at an alarming rate in high-risk sports such as hockey and football and now accounts for an estimated 1.6-3.8 million cases of TBI in the U.S. and one million in Canada. This project involves design and development of a high performance head protection system to reduce the sport-related brain injuries. During the impact, the head experiences both linear and rotational accelerations which correspond to pressure and shear force in the brain tissue, respectively. Data from studies on animals and humans show that the brain tissue is more vulnerable to shear force and consequently to rotational acceleration. Hence the main goal of this research work is development of a helmet shock absorber to reduce the head rotational acceleration during the impact.

  • Modelling the Procedure of Oocyte Orientation Control using Vibration for In-Vitro Fertilization Procedures (Postdoc project)
  • This project in concerned with controlling the orientation of the cells for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). The current manual positioning of the cells is inconsistent, time consuming, and has low efficiency. A system is developed that can be easily integrated into IVF microscopes and automatically control the orientation of the cells. The system controls the cell orientation through vibration. In addition to the experimental work, the procedure of cell orientation control is also computationally studied through a multiphysics fluid-structure interaction (FSI) simulation.

Ph.D. Research Projects

  • Modelling and Control of an Electromechanically Actuated Lubricated Frictional System (Ph.D. Thesis)
  • This research is concerned with modelling and control of the friction regimes in sliding lubricated surfaces. The case study here is the friction at the contact interface between two oil-lubricated rotating discs. This project involves the following stages:

    1. Modelling:  Dynamical, Tribological and Wear Model of the system/ Electromagnetic model of the actuator/ Uncertainty analysis (IEEE Xplore)
    2. Controller design and implementation:  Piecewise affine feedback control (PWA)/ H∞ Robust control/ FPGA implementation of the controllers (IEEE Xplore) (IEEE Xplore)
    3. Testbed design and setup:  CAD/ Precision machining/ Sensing/ Actuation/ Data acquisition
    4. Experiment:  Conducting the experiment/ Assessing the performance of the closed-loop control system (IEEE Xplore)

  • Dynamical Modeling and Control of Gear Shifting in Electric Vehicles Equipped with Automated Manual Transmissions (AMT) (Ph.D. Project)

  • The primary concerns of this research are, first, to model the dynamics of the gear shifting in an electric drivetrain and then to develop a closed-loop gear shift control system to ensure the satisfactory performance of the entire electric powertrain on the short time-scale, and to guarantee a sufficient service life on the long time-scale.

  • Robust H and μ-Synthesis Force Control of a Solenoid Actuator (Ph.D. Project)

    The robust force control of a solenoid actuator is the goal of this research. Using experimental system identification, a dynamic model of the actuator is obtained and a nonlinear algebraic model of the electromagnetic force versus current and air gap is proposed. An uncertainty analysis is performed to obtain the dynamic uncertainty model of the solenoid system and an H robust controller is designed. (IEEE Xplore)

  • Magneto-Thermo-Elastic analysis of an electromagnetic actuator (Ph.D. Project)

  • A multiphysics model of the coupled magneto-thermo-elastic dynamics of the cylindrical plunger in the linear electromagnetic actuator has been developed for the force estimation and control of the solenoid actuators. (IEEE Xplore)

  • Analysis of the Magnetostriction in solenoid actuators (Ph.D. Project)

    The magnetostriction effect causes the change in the dimensions of the ferromagnetic materials placed in a magnetic field. The goal of this research is to study the possibility of employing this effect in suppression of friction by generating mechanical vibrations. The magnetostriction effect also causes the buzzing sound that can be heard coming out of the solenoid actuators driven by a PWM voltage. (IEEE Xplore), (Compumag2015 / PDF)

Previous Research Projects (M.Sc. and B.Sc.)

  • Real-time closed-loop path planning and control of the spherical mobile robot (M.Sc. Thesis)

            Click on image to enlarge

    A spherical mobile robot is an unconventional mobile robot with spherical shape. This robot consists of a spherical shell and an internal driving unit (IDU) which enables the robot to move (roll). Owing to the nonholonomic nature of the rolling without slipping, the nonholonomic kinematics and dynamics of the rolling objects with generic curved surfaces is investigated. The robot inverse and forward kinematics is studied, a path planning and a closed-loop motion control algorithm is proposed. A prototype spherical robot is built to test the performance of the path planning and motion control system. (Paper 1) (Paper 2) (Paper 3)

    • Path Planning: Considering the holonomic and nonholonomic constraints involved in the motion of the spherical robot, the motion planning algorithm provides a semi-optimal path to the desired location which has to be followed by the robot.
    • Closed-loop motion control: A vision based real-time closed-loop control system is employed to observe and control the motion of the robot while following the path obtained from the path planning.
    • Design and building of the robot: The robot consists of a polycarbonate spherical shell and a pendulum attached to a shaft inside the sphere. Two motors move/locate the pendulum inside the spherical shell. A Li-Po battery is attached to the pendulum to be used as the payload and provide electricity. The variation of the pendulum position changes the robot center of mass and causes the sphere roll over and move. The motors are controlled via wireless communication.

    More details about the spherical mobile robots can be found here

  • A motion planning for toppling-motion of a TET walker (M.Sc. Project)

    A TET Walker is a tetrahedral rover. A prototype tetrahedral rover with 6 length-variable struts and 4 joints is built. A motion planning algorithm is then proposed to move the robot to the target. The kinematics and dynamics of the robot is investigated to see when and with which configuration of joints it would topple. (IEEE Xplore)

  • Modelling the motion of the spherical mobile robot on the free surface of the water (M.Sc. Project)

    The straight-line motion of the spherical robot on the surface of the water is simulated using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD). A quadratic damping model is introduced using correlation between the drag torque (fluid resistance) and the angular velocity of the robot. This analysis is required in the optimization of the robot energy consumption by finding the optimal depth to which the robot is submerged in water as well as the optimal angular velocity of the robot. (IEEE Xplore)

  • Real-time implementation of benchmark control problems: Inverted pendulum, Ball and beam system (M.Sc. Project)

  • Two classic control problems have been dealt with by various optimal control techniques. The dynamical models of the rotary inverted pendulum and the ball-and-beam system were developed. The controllers were designed, simulated and practically implemented as real-time stabilizing control loops using a NI data acquisition card and MATLAB/Simulink. The test setups together with the procedures of modeling, controller design, implementation and tests were mainly developed to introduce control concepts to control engineering students and to facilitate in-lab demos. The performances and disturbance rejection properties of optimal controllers were compared with a stabilizing PID controller.

  • Shape and vibration control of a smart plate with piezoelectric patches (M.Sc. Project)
  • A finite element model of a plate with self-sensing piezoelectric actuators is developed using ANSYS. The FEM analysis involves electro-mechanical coupling of the piezoelectric material and modal analysis. Applying system identification techniques on the FEM results, the state-space dynamical model of the system is obtained. The order of the dynamical model is reduce using the balanced truncation model order reduction technique based on Hankel singular values. Finally, two linear quadratic controllers are designed for shape and vibration control of the smart plate.

  • Design of a Chain-and-Sprocket Type Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) (B.Sc. Fourth Year Thesis)

  • A chain-and-sprocket type continuously variable transmission system is designed which provides a continuous range of gear ratios. The design procedure started with generating a set of conceptual designs and choosing the most feasible one. The preliminary design stage involved preparing the schematics, diagrams, and layouts of the system. The detailed design procedure involved machine element design, computer aided design, kinematics and dynamics analysis, and determination of the operating parameters, specifications, dimensions, materials, and reliability. Several machine elements were designed including sprockets, chains, bearings, clutches, shafts, and linkages.

Relevant Course Projects

Several Course projects (theoretical and experimental) on Mechatronics, Control, Robotics and Optimization have been completed during my graduate and undergraduate studies. A complete list is on my CV. For a detailed version of my CV, please contact me at:

hossein [dot] vahidalizadeh [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca