News and Events

Eden Prairie leads the state in electric vehicle adoption, but tech and perception hinder ambitious goals

Recent article featuring Prof. Will Northrop and his expertise in vehicles. 

More fuel efficiency, less anxiety: research finds way to extend range of plug-in hybrids

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles represent a growing segment of the U.S. passenger vehicle market. These vehicles offer significant fuel savings, but there are tradeoffs, including uncertainty about how long the battery charge will last. In a recent project, U of M researchers joined forces with a small automotive hardware developer to explore extending the battery range of these vehicles—and in doing so, increase both their fuel economy and appeal to consumers.

View article.

Can fertilizer fuel greener tractors?

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

Congrats to Joonho Jeon and Abheyjit Sandhu!

We are excited to share that two of our students, Joonho Jeon and Abheyjit Sandhu, have accepted full-time positions and will begin at their respective organizations March 2019.  

Joonho Jeon, PhD, will begin as assistant professor in the department of fire protection engineering at Pukyong National University

Abheyjit Sandhu, M.S. will begin with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) as a powertrain virtual analysis engineer. Abheyjit will focus on performing 1D CFD engine simulation and analysis to support engine development. He will be responsible for developing engine simulation models, running the models, and communicating results from the engine simulations.

Congrats to Jeff Hwang and Dereck Dasrath!

We are excited to share that two of our students, Jeff Hwang and Dereck Dasrath, have accepted full-time positions and will begin at their respective companies October 1st. 

Jeff Hwang, PhD, will begin with 3M's Automotive and Aerospace Solutions Division as a sr. technical development engineer. Jeff will be involved in the development of new test methodology in support of new products for 3M's Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Solutions Lab. In addition, Jeff will lead installation, integration, start up, technician training, and test development for a new gasoline engine test cell.

Dereck Dasrath, PhD (in-progress) will begin with TSI as an engineering scientist. Dereck will lead the testing effort for development projects and act as a measurement expert in particle concentration, gas concentration, ventilation/humidity/air flow/velocity, and outdoor air clarity. 

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: z.umn.edu/carshow2018 or call Jennifer Clarke 612-626-9354.

MERL Coffee Hours

New Coffee Hours will be setup in the future. Please join us as we mix and mingle over casual engine-related conversation with faculty, fellow alumni, and students. Each gathering will include an opportunity to visit with MERL graduate students about their research.

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 

November 9th, 2017

UMN researchers look to tune up UPS trucks

September 13th, 2017

Engines lab receives $1.4M grant to improve delivery vehicle energy efficiency.

September 13th, 2017

Professor William Northrop has been appointed as Director of the Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory. He succeeds Professor David Kittelson as Director.

Professor Thomas E. Murphy joined the Mechanical Engineering Department after the end of World War II, after having performed engine research at the Naval Research Laboratory. He established a piston engine and gas turbine research and teaching laboratory on the fourth floor of the old ME building. Professors Perry Blackshear and Edward Fletcher became connected to the laboratory for their combustion related research activities. In 1970, Professor David Kittelson joined the group and, in collaboration with the Particle Technology Laboratory, brought engine emission and air pollution research to the lab. This led to formation of the Center for Diesel Research in 1994, in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

Professor Will Northrop arrived in Minnesota in 2011 and was instrumental in the design, construction, and commissioning of a new $5M state of the art engine research laboratory off Como Avenue and in fundraising for the facility. The Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory was completed in 2014 and named in recognition of Professor Murphy’s pioneering contributions. 

November 28th, 2016

Professors Will Northrop and David Kittelson receive a TRB IDEA grant award to develop their Novel Vehicle Mass-Based Automated Passenger Counter For Transit Applications. 

November 2nd, 2016

Professor Will Northrop receives $1.4M ARPA-E NEXTCAR Award to study Cloud Connected Delivery Vehicles: Boosting Energy Efficiency Using Physics-Aware Spatiotemporal Data Analytics and Real-Time Powertrain Control.

January 15th, 2016 

Professors Will Northrop and David Kittelson receive a DOE grant award to study GDI particle emissions.