Energy - Research - Innovation

  • group picture of the lab members
  • Image of the Thomas E Murphy Engine Lab
  • Image of the Thomas E Murphy Engine Lab
  • Image of the Thomas E Murphy Engine Lab

What We Do

Fundamental Research

From flame and catalytic reactor experiments to nanoparticle characterization and sensor development, the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Minnesota remains at the forefront for developing technology needed for the next generation of clean and efficient engines.

We are addressing grand challenges facing future engines, such as the need for pollutant emissions reduction, mitigation of carbon emissions, and the implementation of renewable fuels. Active research collaboration with established centers within the department, including the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power and the Center for Filtration Research, greatly add to our research capabilities.

Connected Vehicle Research

We are working on connected vehicle research to address the changing landscape of mobility and transportation. Vehicle powertrain electrification and routing co-optimization can lead to significant improvements in vehicle fuel economy. Learn more about VPRO's research.

Testing and Development

We are ready to take on development challenges relevant to the industry with our newly commissioned engine test facility. 

Our staff and students are eager to use our new test cells to help prove new engine concepts, alternative fuels, instruments, and emissions control solutions. 

Please contact us directly to see how we can help you meet your testing needs. 

Lab Location

2811 Weeks Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

(Note: We are on the northeast corner of the 27th Ave and Weeks Ave intersection.)

Contact: Lab Director, Prof. Will Northrop,

July 2018 - Engine Lab selected as sub-recipient for new Small Business Technology Transfer award with Macchina, LLC

The T.E. Murphy Engine Research Lab (MERL) will work closely with local start-up Macchina, LLC to develop a protype technology to optimize fuel economy for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The proposed project combines the Macchina team’s expertise in vehicle closed area network (CAN) interpretation and vehicle communication device (VCD) hardware development with the University of Minnesota’s research expertise in vehicle powertrain and routing co-optimization (VPRO) technology. More information on project.

Recent News

ME-Alumni Network Homecoming 2018 Alumni Event - ME Car Show 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Car Show - 3:30-5:30pm (to be held off-campus, see location below)

Homecoming Parade - 6:30pm (to be held on University Ave - East Bank Campus)

Location: Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Lab,  2811 Weeks Ave. SE, Minneapolis. 

A family friendly event with a Goldy Fire Truck, the U of M's Solar Vehicle, antique bicycles, and many other vehicles including a 1965 Kit Cobra, a '69 Camaro, and a '70 T-Bird. View pdf for more info here and register: or call Jennifer Clarke 612-626-9354.

March 9th, 2018 

Professor Will Northrop receives $1.1M DOE Award to advance low temperature combustion technologies for higher-efficiency natural gas engines.

February 21st, 2018

Engine Lab Driving Development of Next Generation of Vehicles

December 19th, 2017

Lab receives MnDOT and LRRB Funding Awards