Group Members

Principal Investigator

Gordon McTaggart-Cowan, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Associate Professor
School of Sustainable Energy Engineering

Dr. McTaggart-Cowan has >20 years of research experience, split between advanced industrial projects at Westport Fuels Systems Inc and applied academic studies. He holds MASc and PhD degrees from UBC and was previously a lecturer in Thermo-Fluids at Loughborough. He has led research and technology development projects on advanced combustion strategies, alternative and low carbon fuels, and new fuel injection systems. He has studied the role of future vehicle technology on greenhouse gas emissions from both academic and industrial viewpoints.

Research students

Reza Farzam, PhD Student

Reza finished his bachelor and master’s degree in Mechanical engineering at the Amirkabir and Sharif University of Technology, respectively. His investigations have been focused on the performance improvement and emission control of the IC engines using experimental and numerical methods. For his PhD program, Reza is working with Hydra Energy Inc. and the University of British Columbia on Hydrogen-diesel dual fuel engine modelling and evaluation of concepts to improve hydrogen utilization.

Mehdi Nikkhah, PhD Student

Mehdi has extensive industrial experience in vehicle and engine development and calibration. He holds a bachelor's degree from Isfahan University of Technology and a master's degree from K.N. Toosi University of Technology. Mehdi joined the VESST team in May 2021 to work with Westport Fuel Systems on gaseous fuel compression technologies.

Navid Balzadeh, PhD Student

Navid has received his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology. He also worked for the automotive industry, Mega Motor Company, for three years in Tehran. His research interests include real-world driving emissions (PEMS), clean transportation, engine combustion modeling, and vehicle technologies. Also, for his Ph.D., Navid is working with Westport Fuel Systems and the University of Alberta on the simulation of a hybrid-electric truck concept.

Reza Safavi, PhD Student

Reza has received his master’s degree in Automotive Engineering from RWTH Aachen University. He has worked for the automotive industry, FEV Europe GmbH, for almost three years in Germany. His research interests include real-world driving emissions (PEMS), battery and hybrid vehicles, engine combustion modeling, and thermal system optimization. Also, for his Ph.D., Reza is working on advanced combustion of low-carbon fuels for transportation systems including consideration of optimization for use in hybrid commercial vehicle powertrains. He joined the research team in January 2022. 

Yameena Naqvi, MASc Student

Yameena has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from American University of Sharjah. She has about three years experience in safety, sustainability and GHG management in manufacturing and O&G industries in the Middle East. Joining in September 2022, her research involves investigating a novel technology for energy efficient and cost-effective hydrogen compression for Hydrogen Technology Energy Corporation (HTEC).

Zarqoon Mumtaz, MASc Student

Zarqoon completed her bachelor’s in Chemical engineering from National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan.  Later on, she joined fertilizer manufacturing industry and after working in the energy sector for almost six years, she developed interest more towards sustainable energy systems. Following that interest, she has joined the VESST team to work on hydrogen-diesel dual fuel engine’s after-treatment system with Hydra Energy Inc.

Talha Usmani, MASc Student

Talha has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from NED University of Engg. & Technology, Pakistan. He has worked for over 3 years as a turbomachinery maintenance, reliability and commissioning engineer at HUBCO's thermal powerplants in Pakistan. His research interests include design, reliability assessment and performance analysis of  mechanical components and he has joined the VESST team to work with Westport Fuel Systems Inc. on gaseous fuel compression technologies.

VESST Alumni

Ugochukwu Chukwurah- MASc. Fall 2021-Spring 2024. (Internship: Demizine). Thesis: Experimental evaluation of the performance of a thermoelectric generator energy recovery system in an adapted vertical configuration 

Oz Oren - MASc. Spring 2022 - Fall 2023. (Internship: Demizine/Ingenious Combustion). Thesis: Enhancing soot oxidation on surfaces using microtextures

Kimia Haghighi - MASc. Spring 2021-Spring 2023. (Internships Enbala/Generac, HTEC). Thesis: Low carbon fuel blending and compression for low greenhouse gas emissions

Elizabeth Salvosa (SEE) - Co-op research assistant. Spring 2023.

Hengameh Delbari - MASc. Fall 2020-Fall 2022. (Internships: Hydra Energy Corp, Westport Fuels Systems). Thesis: Injection and ignition characteristics of gaseous fuel jets for low-emission engines

Harshaun Mann (SEE) - Co-op research Assistant. Fall 2021-Spring 2022.

Mack Davis (UBC) - Co-op research assistant. Fall 2021. (Collaboration: Hydra Energy Corp.)

Jake Loftus (SEE) - Co-op research assistant. Fall 2020-Summer 2021. (Collaboration: Hydrogen Technology Energy Corp.)