Melek Ben-Ayed (he/him) is a second-year Ph.D. student and is advised by Dr. Jan Kleissl in the Grid Integration and Decarbonization Laboratory (GrID Lab). Melek is from Sfax, Tunisia, and has lived in the state of Kansas for 10 years. Melek graduated from the University of Kansas (KU) in Lawrence, Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2022. At KU, Melek served as Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Student Advisory Board and President of the KU American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Melek’s passion for climate justice has driven him to pursue a Ph.D. in renewable energy grid integration.
In his spare time, Melek enjoys cycling to explore different parts of San Diego or cooking foods from various cuisines. He enjoys reading and listening to podcasts that focus on climate justice and other social justice initiatives. When given the opportunity, he enjoys traveling and meeting new people from across the world.
Melek’s research interest is renewable energy integration in a safe and efficient manner using methods such as optimization, controls, and Reinforcement Learning. His current research focuses on developing a Reinforcement Learning Control mechanism for smart EV charging.
As an undergraduate student at the University of Kansas, Melek worked with Professor Candan Tamerler on biomaterials, and later on, with Professor Christopher Depcik on thermodynamics.