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Matthew Shirk,
NSF Graduate Fellow

NSF GK-12 Project: Pennsylvania State University
Graduate Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Technology (GREATT)
URL: http://csats.psu.edu/GREATT/

Thesis Title: Hydrogen Assisted Diesel Combustion in a Hybrid Electric Vehicle Engine
College/University: Pennsylvania State University

Research Advisor: Daniel Haworth

Degree Sought

University Department and/or Lab
Mechanical Engineering

Research Focus
I am studying the effects of hydrogen assisted combustion in a light duty diesel engine implemented in a hybrid electric vehicle.

Description of Research
I am studying the effects of hydrogen assisted combustion in a light duty diesel engine. The engine is primarily fueled with a B20 (20% bio-diesel) blend, and secondly with gaseous hydrogen. Hydrogen is metered into the intake air, which is then combusted along with the diesel fuel in the engine’s cylinders. Efficiency and emissions are measured on an engine dynamometer test stand, and optimization of emissions and efficiency is the goal of the dual fuel strategy. The dual fuel system will later be implemented onboard a student build hybrid electric sport utility vehicle, and data will be taken during various drive cycles to validate the research conducted on the engine test stand.

Example of how my research is integrated into my GK-12 experience
Because the GK-12 project at Penn State uses ‘Advanced Transportation’ as a vehicle for teaching science fundamentals, I am able to integrate my role as a hybrid vehicle and engine researcher into the lessons we take into the classroom. One example of this integration is demonstrated during the Summer Teacher Workshop we host at Penn State for K-12 teachers. I have coordinated an advanced vehicle ride and drive event for attending teachers where hybrid and other advanced vehicle technologies can be driven and inspected by the teachers, and questions answered. This is a unique opportunity for me to share my expertise in hybrid vehicle and engine technology with an audience that has little knowledge in that field.

Profile date: September 2007
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