PhD Research

Develop an emissions control strategy for turbocharged Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) engine cold start operation for different gasoline/alcohol fuels.

Last updated: 11 June 2013, needs a few useful bullet points but I am facing a publication deadline so those must wait.

Masters Thesis Research

Investigate the effect of market fuel plus ethanol content variation on SI/HCCI engine operation an GDI engine with VVT and cam profile switching.

Homogeneous Charge Charge Ignition (HCCI) is the nearly volumetric controlled auto-ignition combustion of the well-mixed charge. It has a restricted performance envelope compared with traditional spark ignition (SI) combustion but improved efficiency and emissions.

• HCCI combustion is more sensitive to fuel chemistry than many conventional combustion technologies. I'm looking into if and how the mode-switch strategy will need to change to accomodate that sensitivity.

• Ethanol is playing an increasingly large role in automotive fuels so it makes sense to examine how ethanol and its different energy density and knock properties will affect SI/HCCI combustion mode switch.

• This project is even more challenging (read:interesting) because the engine is equipped with advanced technologies such as direct injection (of the fuel into the cylinder, as opposed to the intake manifold), variable valve timing and cam profile switching.

Undergrad Senior Thesis Research

At the University of Waterloo I helped a professor examine the impact of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling assumptions (primarily those of novice CFD analysts) on flow solutions.

I examined different mesh topologies, levels of mesh refinement, geometric assumptions, boundary condition assumptions and turbulence models. I automated most of the post-processing and programmed a "comparison engine" to dynamically compare results (simulations) of interest.

Aside from course credit I got a real sense for how important it is to understand the underlying physics before modeling a flow. You almost have to know what's going to happen you run your simulation. In practical terms it means you have to run a pre-simulation model to discover/define areas and flow features of interest so you can decide on how to appropriately capture (or ignore) those features. I also discovered that crude CFD simulations are good at predicting trends, even if objective quantitative predictions are wrong. (This may be useful in early stages of design when detailed CFD is not feasible)

Undergraduate Research Assistantship

I volunteered to work with a graduate student examining the influence of relative powder size and temperature effects of sintered powder metallurgy Nb3Sn superconductors. It was my first academic research experience. I stayed on as a paid research assistant for another term to help the work. The research paper I wrote subsequent to this research was nominated for two university awards.