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The International Multidimensional Engine Modeling User's Group Meeting at the SAE Congress, is being organized in association with the Engine Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan Technological University, in Detroit Downtown at 12:00 - 5:30 pm on April 9, 2018. Offers for presentation need to be emailed to yra@mtu.edu with proposed paper title and authors by January 25, 2018. Registration and more info

2018 SAE Congress T-25/ERC get-together

This year for 2018 SAE Congress, we will be holding the T-25/ERC get-together on Wednesday morning, April 11th starting at 8:00AM in the basement food court at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. We would be most pleased to see you again and to re-establish old ties.

We look forward to seeing you again in Detroit!

Spring 2018 Engine Training Courses

The Department of Engineering Professional Development in partnership with ERC will be offering several engine training courses in Madison, WI.

The latest entry in ERC's biennial symposium series was held on June 14-15th, 2017, on the topic of Impact of Future Regulations on Engine Technology. Technology. The agenda and slides from select talks are available here.

Author: Adam Malecek

Mechanical Engineering Professor Emeritus Rolf Reitz received the 2016 Aurel Stodola Medal from the ETH Zurich Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering (D-MAVT). Reitz, a pioneer in advanced engine research, delivered the Aurel Stodola Lecture at ETH Zurich on Nov. 9, 2016.


Author: David Tenenbaum

When engine makers announce an improved design promising better fuel economy, lower emissions and more power, Kelly Senecal may smile privately. A good portion of the world’s major engine manufacturers are using engine simulation software developed by his UW spinoff firm, Convergent Science.


Author: David Tenenbaum

To understand what happens inside the cylinder of an outboard motor running at 5500 rpm, BRP/Evinrude got some help from an unlikely source: software code originally written to understand the motion of air after an atomic bomb explosion.


ERC T-25 get-together at 2017 SAE Congress

This year we will be holding the T-25 ERC get-together on Wed morning, April 5 starting at 8:00 a.m. in the lower level food court at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. We would be most pleased to see you again and to re-establish old ties.

2015 SAE John Johnson Award

Prof. Rolf Reitz received the 2015 SAE John Johnson Award for Outstanding Research in Diesel Engines. This award recognizes an engineer whose professional career focuses on outstanding leadership in research to advance the field of diesel engines.

2015 SAE Myers Award for Outstanding Student Paper

ERC graduate Dr. Martin Wissink (now a post-doctoral fellow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory) and Prof. Rolf Reitz received the 2015 SAE Myers Award for Outstanding Student Paper. This award was given in recognition of SAE Paper 2015-01-0856: “Direct Dual Fuel Stratification, a Path to Combine the Benefits of RCCI and PPC.”

ERC will take part in $2.6 Million Award from ARPA-E for Transformational Energy Technology

Madison, WI – The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Engine Research Center (ERC) announced today that it will take part in a $2.6 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The lead institution is ERC spinoff, Wisconsin Engine Research Consultants, WERC, LLC. The funding from this award will be used to develop generator technologies for residential Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems.

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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

ERC T-25 get-together at 2016 SAE Congress

This year we will be holding the T-25 ERC get-together on TUESDAY morning, April 12 starting at 8:00 a.m. in the lower level food court at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. We would be most pleased to see you again and to re-establish old ties.

For those attending the SAE Congress, a list of the ERC papers and the presentations can be viewed here

In partnership with the Department of Engineering Professional Development, ERC is offering courses in Valvetrain Workshop (May 12-14), Diesel Engine Performance (June 8-9) and Fundamentals of Engine System Controls (June 10-12).

ERC T-25 get-together at 2015 SAE Congress

This year we will be holding the T-25/ERC get-together on TUESDAY morning, April 21st starting at 8:00AM in the basement food court at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. We would be most pleased to see you again and to re-establish old ties.

For those attending the SAE Congress, the schedule of presentation of ERC papers can be viewed here.

UW Researchers Developing Super-Efficient Diesel Engine

Professor Reitz discusses Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) in an interview with Central Time on Wisconsin Public Radio

Listen and read more here

Best-ever efficiency points to clean, green gas-diesel engine

By David Tenenbaum

Rolf Reitz’s mechanical engineering team has built the world’s most efficient internal combustion engine right here at UW-Madison. And it’s not just sitting in a lab — it’s now being road tested in a 2009 Saturn hybrid. The technology could be used in a wide range of engines for automobiles, locomotives, generators and even ships.

Read more

In partnership with the Department of Engineering Professional Development, ERC is offering courses in Diesel Engine Performance (Oct. 6-7) and Fundamentals of Engine System Controls (Oct. 8-10).

The Chronicle Herald article covers ERC engine technologies

Kelly Taylor:Putting the squeeze on gasoline discuses technologies ERC is developing for improving engine efficiency

Read the article here

SAE International article covers RCCI developments

In an article titled RCCI engine begins in-vehicle demonstration testing, SAE International discuses continuing Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) developments.

Read the article here.

The Motor Trend blog mentions RCCI hybrid vehicle project

In a post covering displays at the SAE 2014 World Congress & Exhibition, the Wisconsin Hybrid Vehicle Team project to implement Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) in a a series hybrid vehicle is mentioned.

Read the post here.

ERC T-25 get-together at 2014 SAE Congress

As usual, we will be having a T-25/ERC get-together on Wednesday morning, April 9th at 7:00AM in the basement food court at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. We would be most pleased to see you again and to re-establish old ties.

For those attending the SAE Congress, the schedule of presentation of ERC papers can be viewed here.

We look forward to seeing you again in Detroit!

The Advantage of Renewable Fuels in High-Efficiency Engines

by Bryan Weber based on SAE 2013-01-0264 paper from Dempsey AB, NR Walker, and R Reitz.

When it comes to ages-old combustion engines, the challenge is pulling all the energy from the fuel without releasing pollutants. One option to achieve this goal is called reactivity controlled compression ignition... Read summary | Read full article

UW–Madison Online Engineering Graduate Degrees Ranked No. 3 by U.S. News & World Report

University of Wisconsin–Madison has been ranked No. 3 among schools offering high-quality online graduate engineering programs by U.S. News & World Report. This is the third year in a row UW–Madison has ranked in the top ten.

The Master of Engineering in Engine Systems (MEES) program was included in the degree programs reviewed for this ranking.

Read more

Cooling inspired by sweat

By Christie Taylor

In many of today’s electronics, the price we pay for speed comes in the form of heat. As the number of processors on a computer chip increases, so does the amount of heat each chip generates—and there’s a greater chance a device will overheat and fail.

Read more

Consortium gives small engine industry an edge

By Christie Taylor

Motorboats. Lawnmowers. Motorcycles. Sure—they are among the most ubiquitous “vehicles” of summer. Yet in Wisconsin, they share another commonality: The small engines that power those boats, mowers and bikes are part of a key Wisconsin industry. In fact, the small engine industry is among the largest state industries.

Read more

Sage Kokjohn Joins the Engine Research Center

By Scott Gordon

This September Professor Sage Kokjohn joined the Engine Research Center as a new faculty member. Sage’s fascination with the internal-combustion engine began when he took up motocross racing while growing up in Iowa. Today, Kokjohn focuses on helping the next generation of engines keep up with tightening emissions standards and changes in the ever-volatile energy landscape.

Read more

UW-Madison Researchers Lift the Hood on Biofuels Testing

By Celia Luterbacher

The flight of stairs between the ground floor and the basement of UW-Madison's Engineering Research Building separates a tranquil academic hallway from what looks-and smells-like a busy mechanic's garage.

But rather than fixing cars, researchers are studying the internal combustion process itself to reduce the pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and fuel consumption associated with modern transportation.

This summer, wielding pipettes rather than wrenches and lab coats rather than coveralls, engineers in UW-Madison's Engine Research Center (ERC) are testing 'green' hydrocarbon fuels produced in the lab of James Dumesic, a professor of chemical and biological engineering and a researcher with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC).

Continue reading at GLBRC.org.

2013 ERC Symposium: Engine Fuel Efficiency and Advanced Combustion

The latest in ERC's biennial symposium series was held June 5-6th on the topics of engine fuel efficiency and advanced combustion.

Topics and select presentations available

Rothamer earns SAE teaching award

By Christie Taylor, College of Engineering News

Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor David Rothamer was one of eight young educators selected for the SAE 2013 Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, which recognizes outstanding young engineering educators and provides them enrichment opportunities and knowledge to pass on to their students. Rothamer received the award during the SAE World Congress in April.

ERC T-25 get-together at 2013 SAE Congress

As usual, we will be having a T-25/ERC get-together on Wednesday morning, April 17th at 7:00AM in the basement food court at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. We would be most pleased to see you again and to re-establish old ties.

For those attending the SAE Congress, the schedule of presentation of ERC papers can be viewed here.

We look forward to seeing you again in Detroit!

ERC Bowling Champion Crowned

Congratulations to the 2012 ERC Team Bowling Champions - Swoll Team Six! Chris Gross, Cory Adams, Matt Blessinger, Nick Neal, Noah Van Dam, and Dustin Witkowski claimed the trophy at the ERC Holiday Party in the Union South bowling alley on the evening of Friday, December 14. The competition for Ugliest Sweater, however, was less hotly contested with Martin Wissink unanimously taking the crown - great job Martin!

Arstechnica references UW ERC work on RCCI in "The Road Head: How we'll get to 54.5 mpg by 2025"

At the end of August this year, the US Department of Transport's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new standards to significantly improve the fuel economy of cars and light trucks by 2025. Read more

Engine research for a cleaner future

By Christie Taylor, College of Engineering News

The future of clean, efficient transportation is emerging at UW-Madison, where a team of faculty, staff and students explores the fundamentals of spark-ignition and diesel engines and leads the nation in low-temperature combustion and innovative dual-fuel systems research.

In an era of tightening fuel supplies, rising costs and increasingly sustainability minded institutions and industries, finding more efficient ways to transport passengers from point A to point B is an important enterprise.

Centered around the research of seven mechanical engineering professors, the Engine Research Center (ERC) is the largest of its kind in the United States. It continues a long tradition of engine research on campus, which began with engine combustion temperature research in a metal shack in 1946.

Continue reading at College of Engineering News.

Study makes cover of Combustion Theory and Modelling

A study on modeling the subgrid scale mixing effect on detailed kinetics combustion, which was done by Yuxin Zhang and Prof. Christopher Rutland, is recently featured as the cover article by Journal of Combustion Theory and Modelling.

The picture on the cover, obtained by high resolution engine experiments and multi-cycle LES simulation, shows the scalar mixing process found in a production spark ignition engine. The non-reacting scalar field (Figure a) at Bachelor scale is obtained using two-dimensional high accuracy PLIF measurements (B. Petersen, J. Ghandhi, SAE 2010-01-0185). The simulated scalar field at base filter level (Figure b) is sampled in a cycle from the LES simulation at the same operating condition. The high accuracy measurements and high fidelity simulation results provide validation of a formulation of subgrid scale mixing time scale at realistic engine conditions. The mixing time scale, which is based on mixture fraction variance and its dissipation, is used as an important part of the mixing controlled direct chemistry (MCDC) model presented in this cover article.

Combustion Theory and Modelling, Volume 16, Number 3, June 2011, Pages 571-588. ““A Mixing Controlled Direct Chemistry (MCDC) Model for Diesel Engine Combustion Modeling Using Large Eddy Simulation” by Yuxin Zhang and Christopher J. Rutland.

Engine research accolades for Reitz

Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering Rolf Reitz received the U.S. Department of Energy 2012 Energy Vehicle Technologies R&D Award in May. The award recognizes his work on innovative dual-fuel combustion strategies and their significant improvements in efficiency over gasoline- and diesel-only engines. Reitz also won, along with graduate students Derek Splitter and Reed Hanson, the Harry L. Horning Memorial Award at the SAE 2012 Congress. The award recognizes their 2010 paper, “High efficiency, low emissions RCCI combustion by use of a fuel additive,” as the year's best paper related to the better mutual adaptation of fuels and internal combustion engines.

Modeling Biofuels for the U.S. Navy

By Christie Taylor, College of Engineering News

With the help of a $2 million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, mechanical engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will develop a tool to characterize the performance of a new class of alternative fuels that could be used in maritime vehicles such as submarines and aircraft carriers.

Continue reading at College of Engineering News.

SAE Technical Paper cited

CSEG (Computational Science Experts Group) cites , “Analysis of Deviations from Steady State Performance During Transient Operation of a Light Duty Diesel Engine,” SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-1067, 2012, doi:10.4271/2012-01-1067 by Glewen, W., Heuwetter, D., Foster, D., Andrie, M. et al., presented at the 2012 SAE World Congress on transient modeling of powertrain components. They believe this paper is one of three outstanding papers on Engine Thermal Management and Overall Vehicle performance simulation because it had surprising counterintuitive conclusions or quantified certain phenomena on today’s engines which others can reference.

“The important conclusion from this paper is that the steady-state data on the engine is NOT a reliable indicator of transient performance, especially in high load changing cases. In various OEMs today, a good portion of the engine calibration and research is done under steady-state conditions and this steady-state data is used to provide guidance on transient performance. This study saw large variations in transient and steady-state behavior especially under high load transitions. It is worth keeping this in mind while calibrating the predictive models. But all hope is not lost. Not by a long shot. I personally have used steady-state performance data (such as engine heat rejection data) to predict transient behavior reasonably well. So, I know for a fact that steady-state data can be used to predict most transient behavior for commonly used drive cycles. The variations that were measured in the paper were on emissions, and that is directly linked with the combustion phenomena and the heat generated in the engine.”

To read blog by CSEG: Link

DOE Secretary Chu's Remarks on ERC LTC Research

DOE Secretary Chu highlighted ERC Low Temperature Combustion research January 11th at the Detroit Economic Club, quote:

“Research we’ve supported by the University of Wisconsin and Sandia National Labs has shown that low-temperature combustion could considerably improve engine efficiency and increase the fuel economy of light-duty vehicles by more than 50 percent.”

Prepared Speech, Video

Rothamer Wins CAREER Award

Assistant Professor David Rothamer has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER). This prestigious award provides $405,000 over five years to pursue gas temperature diagnostic development using an innovative laser-based phosphor approach. See the full story here, and the abstract of the project here.

Reitz Honored For Contributions To Combustion Research

Mechanical Engineering professor Rolf Reitz received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2011 Internal Combustion Engine Award. Reitz was recognized for his long-term contributions to the physics of liquid fuel spray atomization, 3-D numerical modeling of combustion, and combustion system optimization. He has demonstrated that multiple injections of fuel can reduce emissions in diesel engines, and pioneered Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition.

ERC spinoff receives $1.5 million for optimizing dual-fuel engines

By Christie Taylor, College of Engineering News

A spinoff company created by two University of Wisconsin-Madison Engine Research Center (ERC) faculty members was awarded $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

The DOE award addresses a DOE vehicle technologies goal to reduce the fuel consumption of on-highway vehicles, which account for 55 percent of total U.S. oil use.

Continue reading at College of Engineering News.

ERC T-25 get-together at 2012 SAE Congress

As usual, we will be having a T-25/ERC get-together on Wednesday morning, April 25th at 7:00AM in the basement food court at the Renaissance Center in Detroit. We would be most pleased to see you again and to re-establish old ties.

For those attending the SAE Congress, the schedule of presentation of ERC papers can be viewed here.

We look forward to seeing you again in Detroit!

Hybrid Vehicle Team To Test-Drive New, Efficient Dual-Fuel Engine

An award-winning University of Wisconsin-Madison student hybrid vehicle will become a showcase for advanced fuel technology that harnesses the advantages of both diesel and gasoline. The UW-Madison Hybrid Vehicle Team, which has placed first in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Competition six times in the past 20 years, is taking a break from competition to work on a new challenge, in conjunction with the UW-Madison Engine Research Center. There, Mechanical Engineering Professor Rolf Reitz is perfecting a new mixed-fuel technology that harnesses the advantages of both diesel and gasoline. Read more.

2011 Symposium: Future Engines and Their Fuels

The Engine Research Center held its biennial Symposium, "e;Future Engines and Their Fuels"e;, June 8-9th, 2011 in Madison, WI. A record 175 people attended this year’s symposium which included internationally recognized experts in engine research and senior executives from the major automotive/engine industries including General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Cummins, Caterpillar, General Electric, Mahle, Delphi, Chevron, Sandia National Lab, Southwest Research Institute, Oakridge National Lab, Pacific Northwest National Lab, Argonne National Lab, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Stanford University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Talks were organized around Near-, Mid-, and Longer-term engine technologies and fuels with discussion of the technologies automotive and engine industries will implement to meet future vehicle efficiency targets with low emissions. For presentation information on this year’s symposium or past symposiums, Click Here

SAE article about RCCI work at ERC

Reitz and Abani Win Best Paper Award from ILASS

Former ERC graduate student Dr. Neerav Abani and Prof. Rolf Reitz received the W.R. Marshall best paper award at the ILASS-2010 conference for their paper "e;Modeling sub-grid scale mixing of vapor in diesel sprays using jet theory"e;. The paper was presented at the 11th Triennial International Annual Conference on Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems, Vail, Colorado, USA, July 27-31, 2009.

The W.R. Marshall award is awarded for the best paper at an Institute of Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems annual meeting, and is named in honor of W. Robert Marshall, who had a 40-year career on the UW-Madison faculty, starting in 1947. He also served as Dean of the College of Engineering from 1971 to 1981. Bob Marshall was world renowned for his research in Atomization and Spray Drying and he served as Director and President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

ERC Students Win Climate Leadership Challenge Competition

ERC Students Sage Kokjohn, Reed Hanson and Derek Splitter recently competed in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Climate Leadership Challenge (CLC). The ERC team submitted a proposal entitled CORE (Combustion of Optimized Reactivity in Engines), which won the team $15,000 as the "Most Innovative Technical Solution". Their CORE proposal was based on a way to operate existing and future internal combustion engines using reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) combustion, which their team has experimentally demonstrated in their respective research at the ERC. The RCCI combustion strategy has been shown to simultaneously reduce fuel consumption and regulated emissions of NOx and PM.

The purpose of the interdisciplinary competition, which was open to UW-Madison students, was to promote innovative ideas that can make a substantial impact on climate change. Although several teams of up to four members submitted their ideas, only six teams were selected as finalists. The finalists showcased their innovation to the public and judges at the 40th Gaylord Nelson Earth Day Summit at Monona Terrace on April 21, 2010.

More information about the competition can be found at http://www.sage.wisc.edu/CLC/2010/core/CORE.html.

ERC Symposium: Reducing Fuel Consumption - Solutions and Prospect

ERC Award Recipients at the 2010 SAE World Congress

Lippert Awarded COE Early-Career Achievement Award

Fire Destroys ERC Office

MEES Graduates First Class of Students

ERC Faculty named ASME Fellows

T-25 Breakfast, April 14th

The Engine Research Center Invites you to attend the T-25 Breakfast, an opportunity for ERC Alumni to gather and visit.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
7:00 am – 9:00 am
Renaissance Center – Food Court

Join ERC faculty, staff, students, and alumni in the food court at the lower level of the Renaissance Center for an opportunity to gather and visit.

Consistent with the tough economic times we will continue this year’s event as a no host event. There are a couple of fast food restaurants that you may choose between, or you may wish to bring your own coffee and muffin. Most importantly there is a lot of space for us to gather and visit, which has always been the focus of the event.

It is understood that travel budgets are tight, and travel restrictions may be in force. However, if you are able to attend the SAE Congress - please stop by and meet with friends and colleagues who are the heritage of the ERC, and meet the current graduate students who carry on your legacy.

View .pdf for more information.

SAE Paper Abstracts (.doc)

Phil Myers (1916-2006)

Phil Meyers

Phillip Samuel Myers passed away on Wednesday, October 18, at home in Middleton. Phil was born in Webber, Kansas, to Earl and Sarah Katharine (Breon) Myers on May 8, 1916. He received B.S. degrees from McPherson College and Kansas State University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

A life-long member of the Church of the Brethren, Phil was a conscientious objector in World War II and chose teaching as alternate service. In 1942 he came to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UW-Madison, where he spent his entire career. In 1943 Phil married Jean Frances Alford, and their house became a home-away-from-home for many generations of students. Much of his work was done in collaboration with long-time friend and colleague Professor Otto Uyehara. They co-founded the internationally-recognized Engine Research Center in 1946, and over their careers were advisors to several hundred graduate students and fellows, including more than 100 from overseas. Phil also strongly supported undergraduate education and won several awards for teaching. The Myers Automotive Laboratory in the Engineering Centers Building was named in his honor. He and Jean established several funds through UW-Madison, Kansas State, and SAE to recognize and support undergraduate and graduate scholarship, and they endowed a professorship at UW-Madison.

In 1969, in the midst of giving away two daughters in marriage, Phil was elected as the first president of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to come from academia rather than industry. He became a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1973 and served on the committees that recommended the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for automobile gasoline mileage. Phil was convinced that mileage standards should and could be raised, and he himself owned both first and second generation models of the Toyota Prius. Phil served on the boards of Nelson Industries and Echlin, and he consulted extensively with automobile and engine manufacturers in this country, Europe, and Japan. He was also part of UW outreach efforts in China, Indonesia, India, and other areas. He officially retired from active teaching in 1986 but continued to maintain his office at the University and was a professor emeritus at his death. He often said, “The teacher hasn’t done his job unless the students become smarter than the teacher,” and he enjoyed staying in touch with and learning from ex-students turned colleagues around the world.

Phil was a man of principle who knew what he believed, but he always listened to and considered the opinions of others with respect. Throughout his life Phil was a teacher, mentor, father, and source of strength to his family, his students, his colleagues, and his friends. In addition to his professional activities, he enjoyed traveling, camping, waterskiing, and spending time at the family cottage near Westfield.

He is survived by Jean, his wife of 63 years; daughter Katharine Muirhead of Middleton and her husband Alan; daughter Elizabeth Baird of Corvallis, Oregon, her husband William, and children Heather, Scott, and Lisa, Lisa’s husband Damien Forkner and their daughter Sophie; daughter Phyllis Rathbone of Phoenix, Arizona, her husband David and son Nicholas; son John of Batavia, Illinois, his wife Ann, and children Allison and Jack; and son Mark of Raleigh, North Carolina, his wife Denise, and children Jamie and Danny. Other survivors include his older sister Gertrude Kern of Topeka, Kansas and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers. The family is grateful for the loving care and support provided by HospiceCare, Inc.

ERC 60th Anniversary Celebration (June 2006)

The Engine Research Center (ERC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is celebrating 60 years of operation. The ERC was founded in 1946 by Phil Myers and Otto Uyehara. Since that time, almost 450 outstanding students have graduated from the ERC and gone on to make important contributions to the engine community.

Today the ERC is the largest academic research center focusing on internal combustion engines in the US. The ERC currently has over 45 graduate students, six faculty and twelve research and administrative staff. This group combines advanced modeling and experimental capabilities into a cutting-edge research program addressing industry and national goals of reduced emissions and reduced fuel consumption. Today we are celebrating our past and we are building our future. For this celebration we planned two events.

On June 7, 2006 we had a 60th Anniversary dinner in Madison with alumni, friends, and supports of the ERC. Following dinner there were remarks from faculty and alumni about the people and rich history of the ERC.

On June 8, 2006 ERC faculty provided overview discussions and their visions of future engine research priorities. The days activities included tours of the ERC labs.

ERC Visions on Engine Research

Energy and Power Sources for Transportation. Experimental Research Needs on ICE
Prof. David E. Foster

Advanced Diagnostics for ICE Research
Prof. Jaal Ghandhi, Prof. Scott Sanders

Computer Modeling and Fundamental Understanding of Processes and Systems
Prof. Rolf D. Reitz, Prof. Chris Rutland

ERC Faculty Named ASME Fellows (September 2006)

Professors Rutland and Reitz were both named to Fellow grade of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME).

Below are the citations:

Christopher J. Rutland
Dr. Christopher J. Rutland is internationally recognized for his technical contributions in understanding and modeling flow and combustion phenomena in internal combustion engines. He has developed advanced LES modeling techniques for turbulence, mixing, combustion, spray, and emission phenomena. By combining analytical methods with validation from basic experiments he has developed simulation models that are fundamental in nature and valuable in the design of engine systems. Automotive R&D laboratories are using these computational methodologies in the development of modern engine systems. Professor Rutland is currently the Director of the Engine Research Center (ERC) at the University of Wisconsin.

Rolf D. Reitz
Professor Reitz has conducted extensive fundamental research on combustion phenomena that has led to significant advances in the design and performance of internal combustion engines. His pioneering efforts on analytical tools supported by experiments have led to computer programs that are now used for advanced engine design by virtually all engine industries world-wide. He has been a leader in characterizing the performance of electronically controlled fuel injection systems, which has enabled major diesel engine manufacturers to incorporate multiple injection systems in engines to help meet emissions standards. He directs the Diesel Emissions Reduction Consortium that aids industry in meeting federal emissions mandates.

Otto Uyehara (1916-2005)

Otto Uyehara

Professor Emeritus Otto A Uyehara, passed away on September 6, 2005 in Anaheim, CA at the age of 88. Professor Uyehara graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1942 with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and earned his master's and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering in 1943 and 1946 respectively. In 1946, in collaboration with Professor P. S. Myers, Prof. Uyehara started the Engine Research Laboratory. His collaboration with Phil Myers lasted his entire career, and together they mentored more than 120 graduate students. The close working relationship between 'Phil-and-Otto' caused more than one person to assume that they were a single entity prior to actually meeting the pair. Professor Uyehara was an expert on diesel engines and the internal combustion engine processes and was a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, a recipient of the ASME Internal Combustion Engine Award and an Honorary Member of the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers. Otto was preceded in death by his wife Chisako who passed in 2004, and is survived by son, Ken; daughters, Susan J. Schultheiss and Emi R. Uyehara (Pablo Stewart); and 5 grandchildren.

Gary Borman (1932-2005)

We are very sad to report that Gary Borman died on January 17, 2005. Gary was a member of the ERC for most of his professional life, including being director from 1986 until his retirement in 1994. Gary was a treasured colleague and a wonderful friend. He will be missed by all.

The following is the official notification of Gary's passing that includes information about a future memorial service and his wishes for memorials made in his name.

Gary Lee Borman, age 72, passed away on Monday, Jan. 17, 2005, at his residence, after a courageous battle with colon cancer. Gary was born on March 15, 1932, in Wauwatosa, to parents, Louis and Meta (Singer) Borman. He graduated from West Allis High School and continued his education at UW-Madison with a B.S. and M.S. in math, an M.S. in engineering and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Gary was the recipient of many awards, among them the Horning Memorial Award. He was also elected to the Society of Automotive Engineers board of directors, as an SAE fellow and to the Academy of Engineering. Gary was a full professor, retiring as a professor emeritus, and was involved with many research projects. He was the author and co-author of many SAE papers and also co-authored a book with Ken Ragland. Gary married Marlene Mehls on Dec. 1, 1971, in Chippewa Falls. He was an avid gardener, golfer, reader, photographer, traveler and gourmet cook. He is survived by his wife, Marlene; and his cousins in the Milwaukee area. He was a beloved uncle of six nephews; a niece; and is also survived by two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law. Gary was preceded in death by his parents. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434.

Rolf Reitz Awarded ASME Honda Medal (Nov. 2004)

Rolf Reitz

The 2004 Soichiro Honda Medal is awarded to Rolf D. Reitz, former director of the Engine Research Center and Wisconsin distinguished professor of mechanical engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, for seminal contributions to the understanding and modeling of turbulence, sprays and combustion chemistry relative to the performance and emissions from diesel, spark-ignition and HCCI engines; for technological innovations in fuel injection systems; and for computation methods defining future diesel combustion systems and advanced engine controls for low emissions.

The award will be made at the President's Luncheon, 2004 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Anaheim, CA, 11/15/04. The SOICHIRO HONDA MEDAL recognizes an individual for an outstanding achievement or a series of significant engineering contributions in developing improvements in the field of personal transportation. This medal was established in 1983 in recognition of Soichiro Honda's exemplary achievements in the field of personal transportation. The guidelines for awarding the medal state that attention shall be concentrated on the brilliance of the achievement or on the overall effect of a series of contributions - not on the individual. The achievement should be of such public importance as to be worthy of the gratitude of society and to call forth the admiration of engineers.

Previous ASME Soichiro Honda medalists include ERC faculty Prof. Phil Myers (1993), and former ERC student Prof. John Johnson (2002).

Arias and Shedd Win Best Paper Award (Sept. 2004)

Shedd and Arias

Diego Arias (left) and Professor Tim Shedd with their Best Paper Award from the SETC

Assistant Professor Tim Shedd and Ph.D. candidate Diego Arias received the Best Paper Award at the 2004 Small Engine Technology Conference (SETC) held September 28-30 in Graz, Austria. Their paper, "Numerical and Experimental Study of Fuel and Air Flow in Carburetors for Small Engines" (2004-32-0053) explores the two-phase flow in the main jet of a carburetor. The study involved experimental visualization of the flow for a range of air-fuel mass ratios, pressure drop measurements of the two-phase flow, and the development of a comprehensive model to predict fuel flow from carburetors. Over one hundred papers were presented at the SETC, an annual meeting that is sponsored by SAE and JSAE in alternating years.

Professor Shedd oversees the Multiphase Flow Visualization and Analysis Laboratory, which has been focused on flow problems in refrigeration systems and evaporative spray cooling of computer circuits. Professor Shedd's research on carburetor flows stems from the interests of the Wisconsin Small Engine Consortium, which supported this work. Tim is also affiliated with the Solar Energy Laboratory and the Computational Mechanics Center in the Mechanical Engineering department. Diego Arias is a native of Columbia and expects to complete his Ph.D. in 2005.


This work presents a complete model of the carburetor for small engines. It extends the previously published models by incorporating a detailed review of two-phase flow pressure drop, the effect of the fuel well on the control of airbleed flow, and unsteady flow. The homogenous two-phase flow model, which is commonly used in carburetor modeling, was compared with an empirical correlation derived from experiments in small pipes and found to be in poor agreement. In order to assess unsteady flow conditions, the model was extended by solving instantaneous one-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations in single-phase pipes. This strategy proved successful in explaining the mixture enrichment seen under pulsating flow conditions. The model was also used to derive a sensitivity analysis of geometries and physical properties of air and fuel.

General Motors Establishes Collaborative Research Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Nov. 4, 2002)

MADISON, Wis. - General Motors Corp. will fund a $5 million over five years collaborative research laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to help develop cleaner, more efficient diesel and gasoline engines.

UW-Madison's Engine Research Center (ERC) will use part of the funding to conduct extensive modeling of diesel exhaust after-treatment systems and diesel particulate emission traps. ERC researchers also will conduct experiments and three-dimensional simulations of advanced combustion processes for both diesel and gasoline engines leading to lower emissions and improved fuel economy.

The university's College of Engineering and GM announced the agreement today.

"The Engine Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a world-class educational and research institution," said Alan Taub, executive director of science laboratories at the GM Research and Development Center in Warren, Mich. "The center's outreach and perspective is globally focused, and consistent with GM's evolving global business environment."

"We see the ERC as a strategic partner in helping us further our research and development of cleaner, more efficient gasoline and diesel engines."

"In addition, many University of Wisconsin-Madison graduates have pursued careers at GM, and in GM Research & Development in particular," said Hazem Ezzat, director of the GM Powertrain Systems Research Lab.

"We're pleased that General Motors has chosen our Engine Research Center to become its latest collaborative research laboratory," said College of Engineering Dean Paul Peercy. "Our Engine Research Center has been conducting fundamental research on engines for more than half a century, and this partnership with General Motors will continue that tradition of cutting-edge research and technology transfer."

The ERC is one of only seven institutions worldwide to have received the prestigious designation from General Motors. The other institutions are at Brown University, the University of Michigan, Carnegie-Mellon University, Stanford University, Jiaotong University in Shanghai, China, and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India.

"Being a strategic partner, GM envisions the ERC as an extension of GM Research & Development, and the relationship provides a focal point for joint research in areas that are core to GM's long-term competitiveness and commensurate with the scholarly expertise and intellectual pursuits of the university faculty," said Ezzat. "We look forward to achieving together significant milestones in advanced engine technologies and creating the fundamental knowledge upon which the future of internal combustion engines will be based," he added.

Half of the $5 million will go toward specific research contracted between the ERC and General Motors, according to David Foster, professor of mechanical engineering and principal investigator for this research. The remaining portion of the funding will go toward the ERC for its research initiatives as an unrestricted grant.

"There has been a long-running relationship between the Engine Research Center and General Motors," Foster said. "There will be a high degree of interaction between our faculty and students and General Motors' technical personnel."

General Motors (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, designs, builds and markets cars and trucks worldwide. In 2001, GM earned $1.5 billion on sales of $177.3 billion, excluding special items. It employs about 362,000 people globally. More information on General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

The College's Engine Research Center is home to more than 80 faculty, staff, and students. It has been recognized as a U.S. Army Center of Excellence.