Ben Pence


Phone Number   208-496-7651
Email Address
Address   159J AUS


  • A.S. in General Engineering Technology, BYU-Idaho, 2003
  • B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, BYU, 2006
  • M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, BYU, 2008
  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2011


  • Modeling, Estimation, and Control of Dynamic Systems
  • Modeling of batteries and fuel cells
  • Machine learning algorithms, neural networks, and time-series networks

Teaching Experience

  • ME 305–Mechatronics and Measurement Systems 1
  • ME 310–Mechatronics and Measurement Systems 2
  • ME 322–Thermodynamics
  • ME 410–System Dynamics

Work Experience

Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI, 2011–2017

  • Developed mathematical models of the multi-dimensional and multi-species two phase fluid flow in fuel cells
  • Modeled the supersonic flow of a hydrogen gas mixture through the injector valve and jet pumps of a fuel cell anode subsystem; the model used compressible fluid mechanics applied to converging–diverging nozzles
  • Created a model-based virtual sensor in MATLAB/Simulink/C-code for a vehicle fuel cell system to predict unmeasurable signals in real-time using measured data
  • Developed fluid dynamics and thermodynamic models of air compressors, hydrogen fuel valves, fuel injectors / ejectors, gas-to-gas humidifiers, compressible fluid volumes, and throttle valves for control oriented strategies
  • Used a LabVIEW Virtual Instrument to control and monitor fuel cell test stations
  • Developed trainers for perceptron neural networks to model fuel cell hydration behavior
  • C-coded control strategies for Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi vehicles to delay charging high voltage batteries of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) until off-peak hours to minimize utility cost;
  • C-coded a strategy for production PHEVs to schedule a Go-Time via a cellular command, wake the car, check its plugged-in state, close the contactors, and condition the cabin / defrost the windshield to prepare for drive away

LinkedIn Profile


Brother Pence received an A.S. degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho (2003), a B.S. degree from Brigham Young University (2006), and M.S. (2008) and Ph.D. (2011) degrees from the University of Michigan. He worked at Ford Motor Company from 2011–2017 coding control strategies for plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles. He began teaching as a mechanical engineering faculty member at BYU-Idaho in Fall 2017. He teaches courses in mechatronics, dynamic systems and controls, and thermodynamics. His research with his students includes machine learning algorithms for handwriting recognition of family history records. He also focuses on dynamic modeling and black-box modeling of rechargeable batteries and fuel cells.