Mahdi Shahbakhti

Mahdi Shahbakhti


  • Adjunct Professor, Mechanical Engineering—Engineering Mechanics
  • Co-Advisor of Alternative Energy Enterprise
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Canada


Dr. Shahbakhti joined MTU in August of 2012. Prior to this appointment, he was a post-doctoral scholar for two years in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley. He worked in the automotive industry for 3.5 years on R&D of powertrain management systems for gasoline and natural gas vehicles. Some of his past academic and industrial research experience includes system identification, physical modeling and control of dynamic systems including combustion engines, vehicle emission aftertreatment systems, hybrid electric vehicles, and HVAC systems.

His research at Michigan Tech focuses on increasing efficiency of energy systems through utilization of advanced control techniques. His current research involves the transportation and building sectors which account for 68% of total consumed energy in the United States. Dr. Shahbakhti's research to optimize efficiency of energy systems centers on developing and incorporating the following research areas: thermo-kinetic physical modeling, model order reduction, grey-box modeling, adaptive parameter estimation, model-based and nonlinear controls.

Shahbakhti is an active member of ASME Dynamic Systems & Control Division (DSCD), serving as the vice-chair of the Energy Systems (ES) technical committee and secretary of the Automotive Transportation Systems (ATS) technical committee, chairing and co-organizing sessions in the areas of modeling, fault diagnosis, and control of automotive systems, and building energy systems.

Areas of Expertise

  • Dynamic Systems Modeling and Control
  • Powertrain/Vehicle Control
  • Internal Combustion Engines
  • Vehicular Emissions and Aftertreatment Systems
  • Building Energy Controls

Research Interests

  • Modeling and Control of Energy Systems
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles
  • Connected Vehicles
  • Advanced Combustion Engines
  • Energy Control of Buildings in a Smart Grid
  • HVAC/Climate Controls