Nady Boules’ visions for the potential of permanent magnetic brushless motors have become reality as key components of electric/hybrid vehicles. When General Motors (GM) invented modern rare-earth magnets, Dr. Boules saw the possibilities during the early 1980s for improved motor technology and has since championed the advancement of permanent magnet motors. He designed the first brushless motor-driven electric power steering prototype for GM, which was tested in a Corvette in 1984. His development of a torque ripple-free brushless motor enabled high-volume production of Delphi Automotive Systems’ electric power steering in 1998, creating a multibillion-dollar business. Dr. Boules developed the drive motor for GM’s Sunraycer, the solar-powered vehicle that won the 1987 World Solar Challenge race in Australia at a record speed. This drive design is considered the “grandfather” of the propulsion systems seen in today’s electric vehicles.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Boules is director of the Electrical and Controls Integration Research Laboratory at General Motors Global Research & Development in Warren, Michigan.