Vermillion lab (18)

Lab group picture (spring, 2015): (Left to right) Parvin Nikpoorparizi, Shamir Bin-Karim, Joe Jeese, Alireza Bafandeh, Nihar Deodhar, Chris Vermillion (missing: Chris DiMarco and new members since Spring, 2015)


Current Students:


ARBafandeh 2

Alireza Bafandeh, Ph.D. Student


Alireza is a PhD student in mechanical engineering department at University of North Carolina in Charlotte. He was born in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, and finished his undergraduate studies in Rajaee University after being ranked first in a nationwide exam. He graduated in master of renewable energies engineering from Beheshti University in 2014, and his thesis studied production of biogas from urban wastewater. His main research interests are renewable energies production and storage, especially wind, solar, and biomass energy resources. His current research is simultaneous wind shear mapping and altitude optimization for tethered wind energy systems. He has also AFC grade C soccer Coaching certificate and loves playing and coaching soccer, either actual soccer match or FIFA video game.




Ali Baheri, Ph.D. Student


Before arriving at UNC Charlotte as a PhD student, Ali graduated with a Masters Degree from the University of Louisiana, where he investigated concurrent design of commands, feedback controllers, and mechanical systems. His passion for research is to explore and employ control theories, system identification methods, and practical machine learning techniques to real world applications such as airborne wind energy systems. He is particularly interested in how the field of systems, dynamics, and control can benefit from novel machine learning techniques.



Shamir Bin-Karim, Ph.D. Student


Shamir is pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with research focuses on simultaneous wind shear mapping and altitude optimization for tethered wind energy systems. He completed his B. Sc. in Mechanical Engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2013. His pastimes are (in no particular order) books, photography, soccer, and basketball. Shamir loves to travel and has great enthusiasm for trekking and hiking.


John Borek, Ph.D. Student


John is from upstate New York and moved to Concord, NC for his senior year of high school before pursuing civil engineering at North Carolina State University. He eventually moved back home and transferred to UNC-Charlotte to continue his studies, but after an accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down in 2012, he took some time off to focus on recovering. During that time, he found a passion for mechanical engineering and resumed his studies in 2013. He has now graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a minor in mathematics. He is now pursuing his graduate studies under the guidance of Chris Vermillion. He hopes one day to leave his wheelchair and walk again, either by his own strength or something he creates to do it for him.



Mitchell Cobb, Ph.D. Student


Mitchell is an Ph.D. student focused on optimization of periodic trajectories where the ultimate performance objective is an economic one rather than merely a tracking objective (such as crosswind flight of airborne wind energy systems).  He received a B.S. in Physics from UNC Chapel Hill in December of 2010.  From there he took some time to travel and work.  He has traveled over much of the US, New Zealand, Costa Rica and India.  He returned to school at UNCC in the summer of 2015, first joining the CORE Lab as an undergraduate research assistant and continuing on as a PhD. student.  He spends his free time rehabbing his house and woodworking.



Joseph Deese, Ph.D. Student


Joe Deese is currently a Ph.D. student in the William States Lee College of Engineering at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is currently working in Dr. Christopher Vermillion’s research group, focused on the optimization of tethered wind energy systems and their corresponding controllers in a lab-scale, water channel environment.



Nihar Deodhar, Ph.D. Student


Nihar is a native of India and was born in the west coast metro city of Mumbai. He graduated from Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune in 2012 with a gold medal and served in John Deere for a year as a design engineer. Nihar researching combined plant and control optimization strategies that merge experimental results with numerical optimization, with application to tethered wind energy systems. He is a die-hard fan of Basketball and worked for the recreational services as a basketball official.


Christian Earnhardt, Ph.D. Student 


Christian is pursuing his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering at UNC-Charlotte. He finished his undergraduate studies in physics and mathematical statistics at Wake Forest University in May of 2016. He began graduate school at UNC-Charlotte in August of 2016. His research currently focuses on vehicle speed trajectory optimization.


Ben Groelke, Ph.D. Student 


Ben is currently a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at UNC-Charlotte. Before arriving at UNC-Charlotte, Ben completed his B.Sc. degree in physics at Appalachian State University. in May of 2016. His research focuses on using hierarchical MPC for optimizing vehicle velocity trajectories to minimize fuel consumption in heavy-duty Class 8 vehicles. He likes to spend his free time playing table shuffleboard and ping pong.



Jared Sielaff, Undergraduate Research Assistant


Jared is an undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He was born in the Cook Islands and is fluent in mandarin after spending ten years in China. Prior to joining the CORE Lab, he worked as a teacher assistant for thermodynamics at UNCC. His primary focus area as an undergraduate research assistant is the design and implementation of a micro-scale experimental apparatus for an ocean current turbine array. This apparatus will be used to validate the results of graduate research in Bayesian optimization techniques, as applied to the optimization of an ocean current turbine array layout. During his free time, he enjoys hiking and rock climbing.



Parvin NikpoorParizi (M.S., Spring, 2017)

Chris DiMarco (M.S., Spring, 2016)

Timothy Muyimbwa (B.S., Spring, 2014)


Past Lab Members:

Shay Marceau (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Lazar Trifunovic (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Hannah Brooks (Research Experience for Teachers Participant)

Dale Gaddis (Research Experience for Teachers Participant)

Ashley Martin (Research Experience for Teachers Participant)

Brian Smith (Undergraduate Research Assistant)

Linus Jacobs (High School Student)