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, wnorthro@umn.edu

Recent News

C-EMS Solution (June 25, 2019)

A Connected Energy Management System (C-EMS), developed by University of Minnesota researchers, is a third-party API solution implemented through a vehicle OEM to a fleet (or individual) customer and designed to improve vehicle fuel and/or electric efficiency by more than 20%.

Can fertilizer fuel greener tractors? June 19, 2019

Recent article featured on Minnesota Public Radio describes ammonia becoming the fuel for tractors. Audio interview available here

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