Zekun Xia received his B.S. and M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Northwestern Polytechnical University (NWPU), Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, in 2014 and 2017, respectively. He won the National Scholarship for Graduate Student in China, and was awarded the title of the Outstanding Graduates. From 2017, he has been with Dr. Ali Emadi’s research team at McMaster Automotive Resource Center (MARC) at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. His research interests include optimal control of switched reluctance machines, permanent magnet machines, and power electronics.
When Zekun was a sophomore, he participated in a program named National Training Programs of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Undergraduates and designed a soft switching drive for high speed switched reluctance machine (SRM). He enjoyed when he tried to bring up some creative ideas, and proved himself to be a self-learner and a valuable member for the team. Since then he has been dreaming of becoming a scientist. Clean energy solutions, reduction of CO2 emissions, and efficiency improvement are the major goals that have been driving him to pursue his study, research, and later his career. Zekun believes, “dream is a kind of thing that makes you feel that perseverance means happiness”.
After completing his Bachelor program, Zekun started his graduate studies. During his master’s research, he focused on switched reluctance machine and its converters. Based on the electric vehicle applications, he firstly worked on the converter topologies for SRM, and proposed a new control method for a modular converter which significantly improved the performance of the drive system. Then he proposed a novel phase current reconstruction method of SRM using only one current sensor. With these two creative techniques, the integration level of the SRM drive systems was highly improved. Zekun also worked on optimal design, torque ripple minimization of SRM, and participated in applying a project approved by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) about switched reluctance starter/generator. Because of his remarkable academic performance, he won the National Scholarship for Graduate Student in China, and was awarded the title of the Outstanding Graduates.
Now Zekun is currently a Ph. D. student at the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) under supervision of Dr. Ali Emadi. His research is not only focused on the design and control of SRMs, but also on optimal control of permanent magnet machines. He is deeply interested in electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and hopes to pursue a career in electric vehicle industry in the future.