Meet #GenerationGarrett

Ali Najmabadi

Motor Control Software Leader, Garrett Electrification Center of Excellence

The sentiment you get when seeing the level of excitement Motor Control Software Engineer Ali Najmabadi invests in his electrification projects is very similar to how he portrays working at Garrett to be – energizing.  Watch the video to learn more about working at Garrett Electrification Center of Excellence.

We are solving new challenges for a new automotive era – and that’s really exciting

Ali is part of a team at Garrett’s world-leading Electrification Center of Excellence (ECoE) in Torrance, California, focused on designing algorithms that help push the motor drive to its fully intended capabilities. “It’s a fantastic feeling,” explains Ali. “Every morning you wake up and you know that you are the first person tackling something never done before, you are the first person to come with a solution for it. It’s very energizing and it’s very rewarding.”

Ali Najmabadi Engineer at Garrett Electrification Center of ExcellenceAn inspiring work environment where you can learn and grow

Ali’s passion for electrified and hybrid vehicles sparked specializations in power electronics and electric motor control at McGill University in Canada. There, in addition to his Master’s studies, he led student engagement with the McGill electric racing and electric snowmobile teams.

From there, it was two years as a Motor Controls and Calibration Engineer at an auto manufacturer, followed by a move to an autonomous vehicle business.

So why join Garrett?“When I was approached, I was intrigued by the relaxed, confident and feel-good vibe of the business, but above all what resonated was the passion and the clear sense of direction shared by everyone,” says Ali. “I could just tell this would be somewhere I could make a meaningful contribution and at the same time learn in an inspiring environment.

“I also wanted a place where there was room to grow, to advance…and that’s certainly turning out to be the case. As an engineer, it makes me happy that we are exploring a lot of new technologies. Overall, in terms of culture and future potential, Garrett really hits the sweet spot.”

Empowered to innovate and own the future

At a professional level, Ali is proud to be helping invent technologies never previously developed; the work of Garrett’s ECoE is truly groundbreaking. “Nothing is repackaged, and no one else is delivering the electrification of turbochargers and compressors in the same way,” says Ali. “This presents unique challenges, but Garrett is second-to-none in harnessing the power and speed of electric motors to deliver higher levels of torque and thrust for the benefit of our customers. We are solving new challenges for a new automotive era – and that’s really exciting.”

Here, we have the freedom to experiment with new ideas in a supportive environment. I know that I can approach anyone and ask for help at any time and they will either provide it or put me in contact with the right person

For Ali and his colleagues, turbo electrification means controlling a device spinning at 170,000 rpm – and tackling the complexity of applications in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains. This is where a culture of ownership wins out. “When you take over a project, you own it, and you are empowered to do things the way you want to,” explains Ali.

“Here, we have the freedom to experiment with new ideas in a supportive environment. I know that I can approach anyone and ask for help at any time and they will either provide it or put me in contact with the right person. Everybody is motivated and passionate about what we do because it’s really cool technology.”

A global team – creating value through collaboration

Ali’s passion for electrification and hybrid vehicles makes Garrett’s ECoE the perfect home for his talents.

Here, engineers are developing the differentiated technologies playing an increasingly important role in accelerating electrification, optimizing fuel efficiency, reducing harmful emissions, and managing growing vehicle complexity. “We are the electrification research and development arm of Garrett,” says Ali. “We are redefining turbocharging for the low carbon era, and constantly pushing new concepts to stay ahead of the competition.”

Garrett Electrification Center of Excellence Engineers in the lab in Torrance, California

Ali in Garrett’s Electrification Center of Excellence lab in Torrance, California

Ali and his coworkers’ efforts to innovate hybridization and electrification are recognized by the market. Recently, Garrett’s E-Turbo received the Automotive News 2021 PACE Award and came in second place at the CLEPA (European Association of Automotive Suppliers) Innovation Awards in the Environment category.

Central to this success is international collaboration between ECoE centers around the globe. Garrett ECoE hubs are based in the US, France, Czech Republic, China and Korea. “The great thing about Garrett is our global reach. When I joined, I was surprised just how good we are at communicating with each other across continents – it’s seamless and creates value through a collaborative mindset.”

For Ali, if there is a routine day, it usually starts with test data review with colleagues in France, catch-up meetings, and then building and running simulations or validating ideas in the lab.Ali is mainly collaborating with Garrett teams in France and the Czech Republic.

And his advice for young engineers?

Ali believes that working in a supportive environment is really important for young engineers. “Engineering is about challenging yourself. Here, there’s a huge opportunity to work on world-first technology that can make a difference beyond the auto industry. And when you see something you’ve worked on coming to market, that’s every engineer’s dream. It’s a feeling of accomplishment, of making your mark, of doing something that you will be remembered for. My advice to young engineers is create your own vision for your future when you are setting out – and to keep this in mind when you make your career choices. And if you can work near the beach, that’s a real bonus!”

Do you want to join Garrett Electrification Team? Check out job opportunities with Garrett today!