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Canova Receives NSF CAREER Award to Build a Transformative Framework for Model-Based Control Design for Electrified Vehicles and Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems

Assistant Professor Marcello CanovaAssistant Professor Marcello CanovaAssistant Professor Marcello Canova has earned the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his research proposal titled, “A New Model Order Reduction Framework for Control Storage Systems for Electrified Vehicles.”  The award, which recognizes outstanding junior faculty, provides Canova with funding across five years in the amount of a $500,000 grant.  To view the award click here.

Automotive propulsion technologies have become considerably complex as manufacturers strive to improve fuel economy, emissions, safety and the driver experience, requiring the adoption of advanced control and estimation algorithms. The CAREER award will build the first-ever framework that systematically transfers the accuracy and fidelity of physics-based models into low-order models suitable for control design.

State-of-the-art model-based control design relies almost exclusively on low-fidelity models based on empirical approaches and on approximations of the physical system.  The proposed research introduces a transformative framework that analytically generates control-oriented models from the conservation laws for thermal, fluid and chemical systems in nonlinear Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) form. This research will lead to developing a new set of tools for control engineers who need to employ high-fidelity, physics-based models for estimation and control design.  The research will be directly applied to the estimation of thermal imbalances in Li-ion battery packs for high-performance electric vehicles and to the estimation and control of surge dynamics in downsized boosted engines, two key technologies for current and future automotive powertrains.

Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation will participate in the research, providing oversight and facilitating technology transfer. Research, education and outreach will be integrated through The Ohio State University’s Buckeye Current electric motorcycle team (, inspired by e-mobility, e-racing and sustainable transportation. Integration will also be pursued through the enrichment of existing courses, creation of web-based teaching tools and student internship programs, and by collaborating with the Teaching Engineering to K-8 (TEK8) programs to attract young talent from underrepresented groups.

Canova is an associate fellow at Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR).  His research interests include advanced automotive systems, hybrid and electric vehicles; advanced energy conversion and storage systems for automotive applications; waste-heat recovery for automotive systems and analysis and optimization and control of dynamic systems, among others.  “We are delighted with such a prestigious recognition and support of Dr. Canova’s creative research,” said Ahmet Selamet, chair, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

The NSF CAREER Award Program is a foundation-wide activity that offers the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. To learn more about NSF click here