Mechanical Engineering PhD candidate Ahmad Almuhtady, under the supervision of ME Professor Jun Ni, won the International Conference on Operations Research and Enterprise Systems award for best student paper for his work on optimizing the performance of hybrid-electric vehicle fleets. The conference, which was held in Barcelona from February 16 to 18 , accepted only 10 percent of the papers submitted.
His award winning paper developed a method to reduce maintenance costs for hybrid-electric bus fleets, which many cities, universities and companies are adopting. Almuhtady said these fuel saving vehicles have batteries that degrade quickly if they’re not used properly, which drives up costs and negates any savings that are gained through energy conservation. To fix this, he developed a system that swaps the hybrid or electric vehicles within the fleet between different routes on a timely basis, to optimally utilize the system and reduce the projected maintenance costs.
Almuhtady said he was genuinely surprised to receive the best student paper award for the application category.
“We knew we were short listed…but we did not know that we had won until the very last minute,” he said.
It wasn’t just business in Barcelona, however, according to Almuhtady. While he was at the conference he had time to catch one of the best soccer matchups in world between Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Though Almuhtady’s background is in Mechanical Engineering, his thesis work at the University has been focused on the managerial side of the discipline. He plans on returning to the German Jordanian University, Jordan to accept an Assistant Professorship in the School of Technical Sciences-Maintenance Engineering Department after he receives his PhD.