Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2023 Recipient – Sadaf Batool

I joined Michigan Technological University as a Fulbright PhD Scholar in 2017. I earned a master’s degree on the fly in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics in 2019. My doctoral research focuses on modeling and predictive control of a multi-mode engine. As we know, engine-out emissions increase air pollution and contribute to climate change. The transportation sector is one of the sources of air pollution. My research focuses on improving thermal efficiency and reducing engine-out emissions. 

Low-temperature combustion modes are among the advanced combustion technologies which offer high thermal efficiency and reduced engine-out NOx and soot emissions. A conventional spark ignition (SI) engine is modified to achieve low-temperature combustion modes. The main challenges associated with the low-temperature combustion modes include combustion timing and engine load control, high maximum pressure rise rate, cyclic variability and limited operating range. I have developed linear and nonlinear model predictive controller frameworks to control combustion phasing and engine load while restricting cyclic variability and maximum pressure rise rate for different low-temperature combustion modes. In addition, I have developed a closed-loop model predictive controller which ensures mode switching between conventional spark ignition (SI) engine and a low-temperature combustion mode to achieve better efficiency and reduced emissions. The developed controller performance is validated for the multi-mode engine operation in real-time.

I greatly appreciate the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me the finishing fellowship. I would like to extend my gratitude to my co-advisors, Dr. Jeffrey Naber and Dr. Mahdi Shahbakhti, for their guidance, support, and encouragement throughout my research.