Our Research Team

Lab Director

  • Dr. Zachary D. Asher

    Zachary D. Asher, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Western Michigan University. His research interests are focused on a real world realization of energy efficient and autonomous vehicles. To execute on this vision he actively seeks collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders in industry, government, and academia. He earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University in May 2018, a M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in 2012, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University in May 2009. He also worked full time in engineering industry from 2009 to 2015.


Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistants

  • Nick Goberville (Jan. '19 – present)

    Nick Goberville is a Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student at Western Michigan University, working under Dr. Zachary Asher in the Energy Efficient & Autonomous Vehicles (EEAVs) Lab. His research focus is on advanced computer vision and machine learning for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in adverse weather conditions. He has been involved in two Michigan Mobility Challenges (NAMV-MI 2019 & NAIAS 2020) in which he took part in the development of automated driving systems. In complement with his Ph.D. research, Nick is forming a startup company, Revision Autonomy, which aims to provide all-weather computer vision for ADAS.

  • Farhang Motallebi Araghi (Aug. '19 – present)

    Farhang Motallebi is a Mechanical engineering Ph.D. student at Western Michigan University. Farhang’s research interest is in vehicle autonomy and intelligent transportation infrastructure, focusing on developing technologies in optimization, control, and machine learning to improve energy efficiency and mobility.

  • Nicholas Brown (June '19 – present)

    I have 5+ years of diesel mechanic experience and am ASE certified in engine repair, electrical systems, fabrication, welding, engine diagnosis, and tuning. I also have 6+ years of leadership experience from the army and completed 650+missions in Afghanistan. I am currently working on making a 2019 Kia Niro hybrid “drive-by-wire”, developing an autonomous vehicle simulation for Battle Creek Transit, and will transition toward fuel-efficient control implementation in physical vehicles. I am seeking to start my Ph.D. in Spring 2020.


  • Johan Fanas Rojas (Apr. '20 – present)

    My Ph.D. research area is resilience engineering applied to the planning subsystem for autonomous vehicles. I have 5+ years of industry experience working in a power plant where we used diesel engines to generate electricity and working as a researcher at WMU. Also, I worked in a project funded by MDOT to develop a fully autonomous low-speed shuttle and a project in collaboration with Amazon and Polysync to develop a control strategy for a Kia Niro using deep learning. As you can see, I have focused my career in the automotive industry, and I will keep doing it moving forward by making my contributions to the field of autonomous vehicles.


  • Parth Kadav (Aug. '21 – present)

    As a mechanical engineering major the future of electric vehicles intrigued me towards research. I am currently working with the systems modeling and analysis team. This project includes vehicle dynamics, design for accessibility, life cycle analysis, and traffic modeling. In the following years of my research, I look forward to learn, experiment, build and implement on the same. The future is electric and it is closer than ever.

M.S. Graduate Research Assistants

  • Yara Mahmoud (Aug. '20 - present)

    I am currently working on a research project that improve the fuel efficiency for Hybrid Electric Vehicle Powertrain by analyzing different optimal control methods. My goal after graduation, is to obtain an R&D position focusing on Autonomous Systems, Optimization, Machine Learning, and/or Control Systems. My experience includes Solar Cars Design, Data Analysis, Machine Learning, Optimal Control and Electric Circuits Design.

  • Kyle Carow (Apr. '21 – present)

    Kyle Carow is an MS Mechanical Engineering student at WMU and a Graduate Research Assistant in the EEAV Lab. His research project focuses on vehicle modeling and determining more efficient transmission shift schedules from sparse real-world data. He is highly experienced with using various programming languages to solve complex engineering problems on both small and large scales.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

  • Marsad Zoardar (Sept. '19 – present)

    Independent study, problem-solving, and innovation attract me in a great manner and helped me decide to choose the field of research and innovation. Electricity will soon eliminate the dependency on fossil fuel and there is a vast field of research and engineering waiting for the engineers and scientists in this sector. Automation of daily driving and Electric vehicles are analogous in certain aspects. I feel lucky to have the chance of researching here with a great team. Currently working as an “Undergraduate Research Assistant”, I aim to find a better solution with the potential of self-sustainability, a cost-effective, and environmentally friendly charging system for future EVs.”


Interested in joining the team?

Your first step is to apply to WMU and notify the EEAV Lab director if you are accepted.