The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Dany Haddad

Electrical Engineering

Dany’s undergraduate research topic is Remote Monitoring and Control of an Electric Vehicle Charging Station.

“I feel that I am more involved in the academic community and am truly working towards a better future.”

Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Ross Baldick, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Briefly describe your research project.

I am currently working with a group of students on an EVSE [Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment ] which can be remotely monitored and controlled using a smart phone. The EVSE will be capable of multiple charging profiles which can integrate Demand Response (DR). Incorporating DR into an EVSE is very important in order to reduce the maximum load on the grid, especially as electric vehicles become more popular. The EVSE we are working on will charge the electric vehicle to minimize the cost of the electricity it consumes in regions that charge for electricity based on the time of use.

How did you initially get involved in research?

I expressed my interest in working on a research project to my professor, Dr. Baldick, who invited me to attend his group meetings with his graduate students. At these meetings I would see what projects they were working on and eventually found that one of the students had an idea for a project but needed help implementing it. We met and exchanged ideas and began planning out tasks that needed to be completed.

How has participating in research affected your undergraduate experience at UT?

I feel that I am more involved in the academic community and am truly working towards a better future. Before getting involved in research I felt that I was taking in a lot of knowledge but was not using it to realize something useful. With the current research I am involved in, I feel that I am getting on the right path towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

What surprised you during the research process?

I was certainly surprised by how much I could learn independently. The general impression we get, or chose to have, as students is that we can’t learn anything that hasn’t been taught to us by a professor in some lecture or lab class. It is encouraging to know that this is not the case and that we can, in fact, learn a lot independently. It is very impressive how much we can learn by just spending a few hours reading articles from the university library or from textbooks. We can then use this newly gained knowledge to solve a problem or task at hand.

What has been the greatest challenge that you have had to overcome as you worked on your research project?

From time to time I run into a problem that seems so difficult that in the moment I am sometimes convinced that it has no solution. Doing research is an especially rewarding experience since there is almost always someone more knowledgeable who can lend a hand and show that there is in fact a solution to the problem.

What advice would you give to incoming and current students about getting involved in research?

Talk to one of your professors about your interests. Ask to attend professors’ group meetings with their students and see what work they are doing.

Research Week showcases the exciting work of undergraduates across campus and highlights opportunities for students interested in getting involved. Co-sponsored by the Senate of College Councils and the School of Undergraduate Studies, Research Week takes place in the middle of April each year. Take a look at the online schedule of events to find out more about Research Week events.