The team

ESDLab members, September 2017. ESDLab Team, June 2017
Not in the photo, alphabetically: Lowell McAllister, Shantanu Shukla.

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. Shantanu Shukla


Dr. Shukla obtained his M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2009 from Carnegie Mellon University and completed his Ph.D. in experimental analysis of inkjet printed fuel cell electrodes under the supervision of Prof. Marc Secanell from University of Alberta in 2016. As a MITACS post-doctoral fellow, Shantanu is working on the effect of pore-formers, performance degradation and visualization studies on controlled microstructure fuel cell electrodes, spending 50% of his time at the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) in Burnaby, BC.

Email: Shantanu Shukla

Shantanu Shukla

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


Michael Moore


Michael received his bachelors 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

Elaf N. Mahrous


Elaf received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mineral (KFUPM) in 2009. He has nine years of experience in oil and gas industries, working for Sauid Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) as rotating equipment engineer. During his working experience, Elaf received his Master degree in Business of Administration (MBA) from Open Malaysian University (Bahrain Branch) specialized in Project Management. He is currently working on his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Secanell. He is focusing on generating and verifying a numerical modeling code for multi-phase flows using an Eulerian and Lagrangian approaches with an application of a conventional meso-scale drop-on-demand, piezoelectric, inkjet printing.

Email: Elaf N. Mahrous

Elaf N. Mahrous

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

Jie Zhou


Jie Zhou received his B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Dalian University of Technology in 2012. He has one year of industry experience from the Michelin. Currently, Jie is working on his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Secanell. He is focusing on porous material characterization and building a non-isothermal two phase transport model based on the pore size distribution from the experimental results (MIP and BET) of porous media in an MEA.

Email: Jie Zhou

Jie Zhou

Mayank Sabharwal


Mayank received his Bachelors of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science-­Pilani in 2011. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, he has worked for Mercedes­-Benz Research & Development India in the field of fuel cell system modeling and subsequently on the fuel cell catalyst modeling and characterization. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Secanell. His current work involves characterization and reconstruction of microstructures. Further, he is involved in modeling transport and electrochemical reactions in the catalyst layer and development of a multi-scale framework for coupling microscale and macroscale simulations.

Email: Mayank Sabharwal

Mayank Sabharwal
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Masters students


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

Hao Xu


Hao Xu received his B.Eng in Thermal and Power Engineering from Chongqing University in 2014. After graduation, he joined Automotive Engineering Corporation working as a pipeline designer for two years. He is now working towards his M.Sc. under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell in the ESDLab. His research interests are mainly in porous material characterization, liquid water breakthrough measurement in porous media, and fuel cell testing.

Email: Hao Xu

Hao Xu

James Kracher


James completed his B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta in 2015. Upon completion of his degree, he worked at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research at Forschungszentrum Jülich investigating ceramic proton conducting membranes and their stability when exposed to an ammonia atmosphere under the tutelage of Dr. Mariya Ivanova. In January 2016, James returned to the UofA and joined the ESDLab to complete his M.Sc. by experimentally characterizing the two-phase flow exiting a PEMFC under the supervision of Dr. Marc Secanell. Together with Manas Mandal, James also manages lab operations and experimental facilities.

Email: James Kracher

James Kracher

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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Undergraduate students


Lowell McAllister


Lowell has just finished his first year of engineering and is involved in a research and development project for the U of A EcoCar team with a goal of producing a fully functional fuel cell stack to power their prototype vehicle. He spent the winter semester of 2017 volunteering in our lab to learn procedures to test the electrochemical performance of PEM fuel cells. Lowell has received an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award and will be working over the summer under Dr. Secanell's supervision to develop and test a single-cell design to be added to in the future.

Email: Lowell McAllister

Lowell McAllister
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Visiting students


Max Kruse


Max received his B.Sc. in mechanical engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Germany in 2017. For his Bachelor thesis, he worked on novel approaches for the modelling of suspension electrodes in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries. He is doing a voluntary internship at the ESDL, where he is working on finite element computations and the modelling of mass transport phenomena in OpenFCST.

Email: Max Kruse

Max Kruse

Lukas Baron


Lukas is currently studying Chemical Process Engineering at the University of Applied Science Mannheim in Germany. During his internship at the University of Alberta, he is working on the fabrication and testing of PEM fuel cells and investigates the influence of catalysts containing ionic liquids.

Email: Lukas Baron

Lukas Baron

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