Tech Students, Research Expertise Impress Automakers

Michigan Tech ‘Latest News’

It’s been a year since Michigan Tech’s Advanced Power System Research Center, known as APS LABS, formed a new partnership with auto industry leaders to work on mutually beneficial engine research projects. 

They call their partnership the Advanced Light Duty Engine Consortium.   
Each of the three initial partners—General Motors, BorgWarner, and FCA—contributed $50,000 to the consortium the first year. They plan to provide that support annually.  They also contributed ideas for research projects—40 of them in fact.  Those 40 concepts went through a process by which the consortium members, prioritized, ranked, and ultimately voted on which concepts would have the biggest impact on the industry. Five projects were selected for year one.
During the consortium’s first year, projects included assessment of instrumentation used for combustion analysis, advanced ignition studies, development of best practices for engine cylinder pressure analysis, advanced boosted engine cycle and a study of increased in-cylinder flow and their impact on ignition.  Year one projects are now complete, and the consortium has already decided what will be worked on in year two, including a project  studying novel approaches for vehicle cold-start emissions reduction.  
On every project, the members found Michigan Tech’s expertise to be particularly helpful.  “The research results will be of value to our company,” said Richard S. Davis, a technical fellow for spark ignition engines at GM.” “One project resulted in an innovative approach to assessing combustion stability that we can apply to other aspects of our work,” Davis noted.
In addition to the research findings, Tech’s industry partners discovered a special side benefit.
Automakers Find Student Talent
“It has been extremely valuable getting to know the students,” said James W. Walker, lead dyno development engineer for gas engines at GM.  “The potential for recruitment of interns, co-ops and full-time employees is outstanding.”   
Chris Cowland, director of advanced and SRT Powertrain …

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