In 2017, Professor William Northrop was appointed as Director of the Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory. He succeeded Professor David Kittelson as Director.
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.
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 Ermeritus 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.