• Chao Jia attends the 2019 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference.

Chao Jia poses for a photo at the Mabel Lee fields wearing his soccer officiating outfit.

Chao Jia

Ph.D. candidate, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Title: Real-time Optimal Energy Management of Hybrid Energy Systems for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
Advisors: Dr. Wei Qiao and Dr. Liyan Qu

At the end of my PhD journey, I am pleased to share some personal experience and thoughts with the ECE students.

During the doctoral study, my advisors are Dr. Wei Qiao and Dr. Liyan Qu, professors in the ECE. My research was focused on the development of real-time optimal energy management strategies for electrified vehicles powered by hybrid energy systems. The optimal energy management problem of electrified vehicles was solved online to achieve a desired tradeoff among multiple control objectives using the state-of-the-art control algorithms, such as the adaptive model predictive control and deep reinforcement learning. Three experimental setups were developed to verify the proposed energy management strategies, and some of these studies have been published in referred journals and conference proceedings.

Conference attendance is a valuable opportunity for me to share the recent research work and interact with many academicians, engineers, as well as industrial experts all over the world. Networking at conferences helped me get the internship interview and the invitations to review papers for some journals. I also presented my research twice to the UNL community in the Student Research Days. It was great that some students were interested in my research work and kindly gave me some feedback. I highly recommend the graduate and undergraduate students of the ECE to attend scientific conferences and workshops, whether they are presenting their research or just beginning to learn about the field.

In 2019, my advisors and I won the second-place prize in the Motor Vehicle Challenge, which is an annual worldwide competition held by the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society (VTS). I was invited to present our work in the 2019 IEEE Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference and received a grant from the VTS that covered all the expenses related to the conference attendance. The conference was held in Vietnam, where I had never been before. In Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, I took a motorcycle taxi to the conference hotel in dense traffic, enjoyed some authentic Vietnamese food and visited several famous places. During the conference, I networked with many friends and researchers, and some of them had a strong publication record in the field. They were glad to share the cutting-edge ideas and approaches.

Inclusive sports and recreation are a great way to improve my work-life balance and create new friendships. As a super fan of soccer, I played soccer regularly with many UNL students, faculty, and my advisor before the pandemic. We made a soccer team and participated in the UNL indoor soccer league. The team even won a championship in the Men's Independent D. During my internship in Cummins Inc., I also joined a soccer team and played in the soccer tournament hosted by the Cummins employees. No matter where I am, playing soccer with friends or strangers is an awesome and enjoyable thing.