Energy - Research - Innovation

photo of lab members outside of building

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, [email protected]

Recent News

November 20, 2020

A recent article about Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. candidate Aduramo Lasode using her CSE education to bring change to energy policy, education, and equal opportunity.

October 25, 2020

Daniel Thomas, a current Ph.D. student, will represent Mechanical Engineering at the College of Science and Engineering Three-Minute Thesis competition on Thursday, October 29th. Daniel won Mechanical Engineering’s 2020 Three Minute Thesis Competition. View Daniel's video here.

July 13, 2020

Professor Will Northrop and his team will lead efforts to develop new machine learning algorithms for predicting battery state of charge trajectory for a future route using historical and exogeneous data. The DOE SBIR project was recently awarded with Exergi Predictive as the lead organization on the project. 

July 9, 2020

Using E85 fuel to power your electric car

Published by The Land

January 23, 2020

Development of a Mass-Based Automated Passenger Counter Final Report available here

November 6, 2019

The fleet of the future will arrive soon -- just a little slower than you thought:

Published by SW News Media

October 23, 2019

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

Published by the University of Minnesota, Center for Transportation Studies

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%.