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tennessee technological university

College of Engineering

Professor and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation

(931) 372-3831

Areas of Research Interest:
  • Hybrid-electric vehicle powertrain
  • Combustion and fire safety
  • Aviation Safety and Security

More Information

Dr. Motevalli joined Tennessee Tech as Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the College of Engineering in August of 2013. He came to TTU from Purdue University, West Lafayette Campus, where he served as Founding Director of Center for Technology Development and prior to that Head of Mechanical Engineering Technology Department. Dr. Motevalli has nearly 30 years of teaching, research and administrative experience in academia, government and industry with diverse research expertise in combustion, fire safety, aviation safety and security and transportation safety. His professional experience outside academia includes working at national and government laboratories (NIST, NRL), government (US Congress as ASME Congressional Fellow) and consulting. He launched the Center for Technology Development in January of 2012 supported by four industry members and 19 faculty participating in from two colleges at Purdue. In addition to serving as CTD Director, he was also the lead faculty and PI for the Purdue EcoCAR 2 project (one of the 15 universities selected competitively in North America in 2011), a 3-year project to convert a 2013 Chevy Malibu into a hybrid-electric vehicle. The project funding will exceed $500,000 and it has received over $17.5 million in donations. He also served as co-Principal Investigator for the Purdue’s Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) DoE funded Center of Excellence. Dr. Motevalli provides regular commentary to the media about aviation security and other topics in his field.


Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, 1989, University of Maryland, College Park

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, 1985, University of Maryland, College Park

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 1983, University of Maryland, College Park

Registration Professional Engineer, State of Maryland, obtained 1996.


Hybrid Electric vehicles
Combustion and fire safety
Aviation safety and security
Engineering » Mechanical Engineering

In the News

Tennessee Board of Regents' Critical Conversations features Vahid Motevalli, Associate Dean for Research & Innovation at Tennessee Tech University View the videos here...

A3IRCON 2015 Examines and Evaluates Future of Commercial Aviation, Cyber Security, Drones and More - Safety and human factors in aviation Read more...

Malaysian Jet's Disappearance Exposes Security Gaps, by Carolyn Presutti, Voice of America, March 11, 2014 Read more...

Lack Of Passport Checks Expose Air Security Flaw, Interview with Robin Young posted by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 1,2014 Read more...

Investigators Search for Two Key Items from Malaysian Crash by Carolyn Presutti, Voice of America, March 10, 2014 Read more...

Search for Jet Compounds the Mystery by Thomas Fuller, New Your Times, March 9, 2014 Read more...

Can Machines Keep You Safer at Airports Than Humans? by Colin Daileda, MASHABLE, January 14, 2014 Read more...

Can Robots Better Spot Terrorists at Airports? by Jack Nicas, The Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2013 Read more...

After Los Angeles Airport Shooting, No Easy Answers on Security Strategies by Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times, November 4, 2013 Read more...