The team

ESDLab members, September 2019. ESDLab Team, September 2019
Not in the photo: Seongyeop Jung.

Academic staff

Principal investigator


Dr. Marc Secanell


Dr. Marc Secanell is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Alberta. He is also the director of the Energy Systems Design Laboratory located at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Marc Secanell received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Victoria and his B. Eng. from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya.

E-mail: Dr. Marc Secanell     CV: Curriculum Vitae

Marc Secanell's photo - Lab director
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Post-graduate and graduate students

Post-doctoral fellows


Dr. Alexandre Jarauta Arabi


Dr. Alex Jarauta obtained his Master's degree in Numerical Methods for Engineering in 2013 under the supervision of Prof. Marc Secanell and Dr. Jordi Pons (CIMNE, Barcelona). He received his Ph.D. in March 2016 from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) under the supervision of Dr. Pavel Ryzhakov (UPC) and Dr Jordi Pons, in collaboration with the ESDLab and the iSSELab (University of Alberta). He works at the ESDLab as a Postdoctoral Fellow with an NSERC Collaborative Research and Development grant, where he focuses his research on novel formulations for droplet dynamics analysis in fuel cell gas channels and the development of mass transport models for gas mixtures in porous media.

Email: Dr. Alexandre Jarauta Arabi

Alex Jarauta
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Doctoral students


Jiafei Liu


Jiafei received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Dalian University of Technology in 2019. During her studies, she mainly focused on synthesis and experimental tests of anion exchange membranes for fuel cell. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Secanell with a CSC scholarship and is working on numerical modelling of anion exchange membrane fuel cell and its optimization.

Email: Jiafei Liu

Jiafei Liu

Mohamad Ghadban


Mohamad received his Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Mechanical Engineering from Beirut Arab University in 2016. He interned at Associated Mechanical Engineers (AME) where his tasks involved mechanical building design particularly HVAC and plumbing design. He then joined the Mechanical Engineering program at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and obtained his Master of Engineering (ME) degree in 2018 where his research in the energy and pollution group involved quantifying key urban parameters relevant to the urban heat island in Beirut city and implementing a downscaling model that is capable of downscaling a velocity field from the scale of 1 km to the scale of 1 m using the Finite Element Method and mass conservation as a constraint. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Marc Secanell where his research involves developing a transient pore-scale simulation framework that is integrated with statistical reconstruction algorithms to study the effect of electrode microstructures on transport and electrochemical performance in PEFCs and LIBs.

Email: Mohamad Ghadban

Mohamad Ghadban

Elena Ezquerra Silva


Elena received her Bachelor in Energy Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology - UTEC, from Perú in 2019. While she was in her undergrad program, she conducted a research internship at the ESDLab where she fabricated and tested PEM fuel cells and studied the effects of different SIGRACET gas diffusion layers on the performance of the cells. After graduating, she joined again the ESDLab and started in Fall 2019 her Master's Program in Mechanical Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell at University of Alberta. Now her research focuses on the development of an electrochemical model for fuel cell oxygen reduction reaction.

Email: Elena Ezquerra Silva

Elena Ezquerra Silva

Ambuj Punia


Ambuj received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical and Automation Engineering, and worked at Trident India Limited in the Energy division for 1 year and 2 months. He then joined Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee for pursuing his Master's degree specialising in Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems. After completing his Master's, he worked as a Research Assistant at Indian Institute of Science Bangalore for a period of 6 months. The research group work involved molten salt thermocline energy storage using thermosyphoning effect with the help of nanoparticles. Currently, he is working as a graduate student under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell and Dr. Jason Olfert, and will be working on the numerical modelling of thermal decomposition of methane using solar central towers.

Email: Ambuj Punia

Ambuj Punia

Prashanth Karupothula


Prashanth received his Bachelor's and Master's in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 2016. In his Master's, he worked on numerical modelling of dimple formation during Electrochemical Micromachining. He later joined Reliance Industries Limited, Jamnagar Manufacturing Division, as a Graduate Engineer Trainee and then became a Maintenace Manager. He was part of a group responsible for commissioning 2 cooling towers and Effluent Treatment Plant at Jamnagar. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell and is working on numerical tools for the simulation of wet and hybrid cooling towers.

Email: Prashanth Karupothula

Prashanth Karupothula

Aditya Kodkani


Aditya received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Bangalore in 2013. He worked as a project associate at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. As a part of their research group, he worked on Micro-bubble drag reduction in the turbulent boundary layer. He then received his M.S from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 2017. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell and Dr. Morris Flynn and is currently working on numerical modelling of cooling tower and its optimization.

Email: Aditya Kodkani

Aditya Kodkani

Michael Moore


Michael received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Dublin University, Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. He then received his M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta in 2012 for his work on multi-step oxygen reduction reaction kinetics mathematical modeling. He spent two years working at Intelligent Energy in Loughborough, U.K. where he was a research engineer in the stack development department. He has now returned to the University of Alberta to complete his PhD thesis, where he will be working on the development of an electrolyzer model using OpenFCST.

Email: Michael Moore

Michael Moore

Luis Padilla Urbina


Luis has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi in Mexico. He received his M.Sc. in Mining Engineering in 2016 at the Metallurgy Institute, also from the UASLP, where he worked as assistant researcher in the experimental testing and computational analysis of wastewater treatment processes by electrochemical methods. He started his Ph.D. program in 2017 under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell in the EDSLab and will focus his research on the fabrication, testing and design optimization of low Pt loading unitized regenerative fuel cells.

Email: Luis Padilla Urbina

Luis Padilla Urbina

Fei Wei


Fei Wei received his M.Sc. in Power Engineering and Engineering Thermophysics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in July 2017. During his Masters studies, he mainly focused on the thermal control and design of aerospace systems. After obtaining his Masters degree, he came to University of Alberta and joined the ESDLab in Fall 2017 under a CSC scholarship. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Secanell. His research focuses on computational and experimental analysis of heat and water transport in low platinum loading polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

Email: Fei Wei

Fei Wei

Manas Mandal


Manas received his Bachelors and Masters of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2009. Before coming to the University of Alberta, he gained experience in modeling and simulations from working in industry. He was a project engineer at Industrial Research Centre and Consultancy, IIT Bombay, where he worked on modelling and simulation of a simulated moving bed (SMB). After that he went to Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India where he was a lead engineer. He worked there on modeling and simulating a catalytic converter and ion exchanger, and a fuel cell system in AspenPlus. As well, he developed a graphical user interface for the AspenPlus fuel cell simulation. During this time, his work resulted in a few patents for Mercedes-Benz. Currently, he is working under the supervision of Dr. Secanell on his M.Sc. and intends to complete his Ph.D. as well.

Email: Manas Mandal

Manas Mandal

Vaishnavi Kale


Vaishnavi completed her Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore in 2011. Upon completion of her studies, she worked at Mercedes Benz Research & Development in embedded control software development and validation of automated manual transmission, heat pump and energy management. She also worked at SEDEMAC Mechatronics, where she developed control software for integrated starter generator (ISG) and ignition in single cylinder engines used in motorbikes. She joined the University of Alberta in Fall 2016 to pursue a Master's degree under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell and transferred to a Ph.D. program in 2017. Her research focusses on flywheel optimization and control of flywheel energy storage systems.

Email: Vaishnavi Kale

Vaishnavi Kale

Aslan Kosakian


Aslan received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. equivalent in Applied Mathematics from Bauman Moscow State Technical University in 2014. He completed an internship at Siemens Russia where he was working on modeling of phase-change material based latent heat storages. At the University of Alberta, Aslan is working towards his Ph.D. in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical and Statistical Sciences under the supervision of Prof. Marc Secanell and Prof. Peter Minev. His research is primarily focused on numerical modeling of transient behavior of fuel cells.

Email: Aslan Kosakian     Webpage: Aslan's Webpage

Aslan_Kosakian
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Masters students


Jack Edwards


Jack graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2018, obtaining his BSc in Combined Honours in Physics and Astronomy. For his Honours thesis, Jack participated in research at TRIUMF, the national particle physics laboratory, as part of the nEXO particle detection experiment. His work focused on aiding the characterization of silicon photomultipliers to determine their suitability as photodetectors in the experiment. During his undergraduate studies, Jack entered the Science Co-op Program and worked at the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation in Burnaby, BC, as a failure analyst in 2016. It was during this time that he became interested in energy systems and fuel cells. At the University of Alberta, Jack is working towards his MSc in Mechanical Engineering. Under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell and Dr. Peter Berg, he is implementing a physical model of water diffusion and gas transport across fuel cell membranes for the OpenFCST project.

Email: Jack Edwards

Jack Edwards

Danica Sun


Danica received her B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering Co-op Program at the University of Alberta in 2017. During her degree, she spent eight months in City of Edmonton Fleet Services investigating failures in the fleet, providing engineering drawings and assisting senior engineers with test product studies. She also had eight months experience in Weyerhaeuser (International Paper) maintaining and improving the existing thermo-fluids systems, and designing machine guarding to manufacturing standards. Currently, Danica is working on her M.Sc. under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell and Dr. Pierre Mertiny on designing metal flywheels with composite rim for energy storage optimization in the ESDLab.

Email: Danica Sun

Danica Sun

Seongyeop Jung


Seongyeop completed his B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering at the Chung-Ang University in 2014. During his degree, he worked at a combustion laboratory as a research assistant. He was involved in a project of developing a combustor with Samsung Corning corporation. After graduation, he worked at the Hanwha Engineering & Construction company for 3.5 years. As a power plant process engineer, he designed overall heat balance of power plant and handled mechanical equipment packages. He started his M.Sc. in 2017 under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell in the ESDLab.

Email: Seongyeop Jung

Seongyeop Jung

Lisa Clare


Lisa received her B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary. During her degree, she completed a year-long internship at ABB Switzerland, performing and analyzing the results of CFD simulations regarding convective cooling of high voltage transformers. After graduation, she worked for EPCM company Amec Foster Wheeler, first as a mechanical package engineer for the Syncrude Fluid Fine Tailings Treatment project, and later as a piping engineer for Imperial Oil's Kearl project. Lisa enrolled at the University of Alberta to pursue her M.Sc. under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell and Dr. Morris Flynn, and is currently studying the experimental modelling of cooling towers.

Email: Lisa Clare

Lisa Clare
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Visiting students


Daniel Ziegler


Daniel is in the last Semester to finish his B.Sc in Chemical engineering. He is a visiting student from the University in Mannheim of Applied Sciences in Germany. At the University of Alberta he is writing his Bachelor thesis under the supervision of Marc Secanell for a period of six months. He will be part of the experimental group of the Energy Systems Design Laboratory. Daniel is mainly focussing on liquid permeability of GDL and MPL in fuel cells.

Email: Daniel Ziegler

Daniel Ziegler

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