ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Future Fuel Economy Standards

ME-EM Graduate Seminar: Dr. Robert Prucka, Clemson University, International Center for Automotive Research
Thursday, Apr. 3, 2014 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Room 103 EERC Bldg.

Title: Automobile Engine Control and Calibration Strategies to Address Future Fuel Economy Standards

Mandated fuel economy regulations worldwide are driving unprecedented research and development for automobile powertrains. These stringent new regulations require automobile manufacturers to double their current fleet average fuel economy by 2025, while still satisfying customer performance and cost expectations. Advanced internal combustion engines are likely to be prime mover for the vast majority of automobiles in 2025 and beyond due to their relatively low cost as compared to competing technologies. To improve fuel economy and meet global energy demands the number of engine control actuators is increasing and multiple fuels are being considered. The increased engine control complexity brought about by new actuators and fuels motivates the use of model-based control methodologies over traditional map-based empirical approaches. Purely physics based control techniques have the potential to decrease calibration burdens, but must be complex to capture non-linear engine behavior with low computational requirements. This talk will discuss two examples of on-going research related to engine modeling and control system development at Clemson University. First, a semiphysical approach to combustion phasing control for multi-fuel adaptive engines will be examined. This work is intended to adapt to fuel behavior and maintain proper spark timing on-the-fly when fuel type changes. The second example will be focused on the implementation of model predictive control (MPC) to improve engine response during a transmission shift.

Dr. Robert Prucka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Automotive Engineering at the Clemson University – International Center for Automotive Research. His research interests include the design, performance, control, calibration, and emissions of advanced internal combustion engines. He has extensive engine testing experience, including dynamometer cell design and advanced instrumentation development. Currently, he is developing experimental techniques, simulations and control strategies for advanced high degree of freedom spark-ignition engines to improve fuel economy and reduce time to market. He also performs research related to the performance aftermarket for SEMA member companies. Dr. Prucka teaches two graduate level engine combustion and emissions courses that incorporate fundamental engineering principles, experimental work, and 1-D engine simulation software. He is the faculty advisor for Clemson University’s Formula and Baja SAE student competition teams, and the Director of the Brooks Institute for Motorsports at Clemson University. He has three degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan; PhD (2008), MSE (2004) and BSE. (2000). Prior to joining Clemson Robert has worked for the Ford Motor Company and as an independent consultant for racing engine companies.