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Welcome to the Engine Research Center

"The engine is the ideal teaching tool – it features all of the elements of engineering: materials, fluids, thermodynamics, lubrication, chemistry, electronics, etc. The only thing missing is nuclear reaction."

Phil Myers

The Engine Research Center (ERC) is world-leading research and educational institution dedicated to investigating the fundamental thermo-physical processes that control combustion performance and the pollutant emissions formed during combustion in internal combustion engines. The problems are approached with a unique combination of modeling and experimental capabilities. This work is supported by fundamental studies of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, combustion, sprays, emissions, laser diagnostics and after-treatment systems.

Research in the ERC spans from small spark-ignition engines to heavy-duty diesel engines, and a major focus is on low-temperature modes of combustion.


2014 ASME-ICED Best Technical Paper Award

“Investigating Fuel Condensation Processes in Low Temperature Combustion Engines” (ICEF2014–5458), co-authored by ERC alum Lu Qiu and Rolf Reitz has been selected as one of the “Best Technical Papers” from the 2014 ASME-ICED conference. Lu completed his PhD degree in December 2014 under the advising of Prof. Reitz, and currently works at Cummins Technical Center of Cummins, Inc. (Columbus, IN) as a senior engineer in Advanced System Integration. The paper was also selected to be published in the Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power (Vol. 137, Issue 10, doi: 10.1115/1.4030100). The research investigates the occurrence of physical fuel condensation in low temperature combustion engines based on second principle thermodynamic analyses. The work illustrates the importance of condensed fuels in contributing to the organic fraction of particulate matter in advanced low temperature combustion modes, especially at low load conditions. The work was sponsored by Department of Energy and Sandia National Laboratories through the Advanced Engine Combustion Program.

The award will be presented at the ASME Internal Combustion Engine Division’s 2015 Fall Technical Conference.

ERC Symposium: 2025 Emissions and Fuel Economy

The latest entry in ERC's biennial symposium series, was held on June 3-4th, 2015, on topics of 2025 Emissions and Fuel Economy. The agenda and slides from select talks are available here.

2014 SAE John Johnson Award

The 2014 SAE John Johnson (ERC - PhDME '64) Award for Outstanding Research in Diesel Engines has been awarded for SAE paper 2014-01-1256 (doi:10.4271/2014-01-1256) “A CFD Study of Post Injection Influences on Soot Formation and Oxidation under Diesel-Like Operating Conditions,” by Randy Hessel and Rolf Reitz (Univ. of Wisconsin), Mark Musculus (Sandia National Labs.), Jacqueline O'Connor (Pennsylvania State Univ.) and Daniel Flowers (Lawrence Livermore National Lab.) The prime conclusion from the paper regarding the in-cylinder mechanism of soot reduction by post injections is that the simulations predict that short post injections increase the rate of fuel burning, thereby reducing the soot precursor species (vapor fuel) concentration, leading to lower soot formation.

Alum receives SAE 2014 Outstanding Young Engineer award

Chad Koci (BSME ’06, MSME ’08) received the 2014 SAE International/AEM Outstanding Young Engineer Award.. The award recognizes an outstanding young engineer in the off-highway or powerplant industry. Established in 1996, the award was proposed by senior engineering executives and is administered under the auspices of the SAE Engineering Meetings Board in cooperation with AEM.

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ERC Award Recipients at the 2015 SAE World Congress

January 2015

The 2015 SAE World Congress awards ceremony will include an Engine Research Center technical paper award. Derek Splitter, who completed his PhD degree in 2012 and currently works at Oakridge National Laboratory, is this year’s winner of the 2014 SAE Myers Award for Outstanding Student Paper. The paper that he is cited for was SAE Int. J. Engines 7(2):2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-1325, " Improving the understanding of Intake and Charge effects for increasing RCCI engine efficiency." This award is given annually for the best technical paper presented by a student. The paper must be based on work done by the lead author(s) while a student. The award recognizes ERC founder Phil Myers and his wife Jean for their lifelong devotion to students and SAE. Derek's co-authors on the papers include Martin Wissink, Dan DelVescovo, and Rolf Reitz of the University of Wisconsin – Madison