Mechanical Engineering newsletter masthead

FALL/WINTER 2002-2003

Featured articles

Engine Research Center
receives major boost from General Motors

Mechanical Engineering Building project progresses

Polymer conference kicks off new NSF center

ME faculty, alums honored at Oct. 26, 2002 Engineers' Day

Student automotive projects to get new home

Student wins scholarship

Vadim Shapiro's CAD advances give shape to engineering solutions

In memoriam

Department awards 91 scholarships

Faculty profiles: Darryl Thelen and Scott Sanders

Sanders paper wins prestigious award

Industrial Advisory Board tours ME research laboratories

Regular features

Message from the chair

Engine Research Center receives major boost from General Motors

David Foster and Phil Myers

Professor David Foster is joined by Emeritus Professor Phil Myers in discussing a $5 million donation to the Engine Research Center from General Motors Corp. (25K JPG)

GM officials in a ERC lab

GM officials tour a college ERC lab funded in part by the automotive company. (36K JPG)

The department's Engine Research Center (ERC) will receive $5 million during the next five years from General Motors Corp. to fund a collaborative research laboratory to help develop cleaner, more efficient diesel and gasoline engines.

The announcement, made Nov. 4 by General Motors officials during a visit to the College of Engineering campus, means the ERC will house only the seventh such lab worldwide financed by the automotive company.

"It is really a strategic alliance," said Hazem Ezzat, director of the GM Power-train Systems Research Lab in Michigan. "The University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Engine Research Center have always been a center of excellence. We've been looking at the best of the best to forge our technological partnerships for the next generation of engine research."

College of Engineering officials praised the partnership between the company and the ERC. "Our Engine Research Center has been conducting fundamental research on engines for more than half a century," said Dean Paul Peercy. "This partnership with GM will continue that tradition of cutting-edge research and technology transfer."

Added Professor David Foster, principal investigator for the GM-funded projects: "We've had a long and beneficial relationship with GM, and we look forward to a very exciting and educational road ahead."

The ERC will use part of the funding to conduct extensive modeling of diesel exhaust after-treatment systems and diesel particulate emission traps. ERC researchers also will conduct experiments and three-dimensional simulations of advanced combustion processes for both diesel and gasoline engines leading to lower emissions and improved fuel economy.

"The center's outreach and perspective is globally focused, and consistent with GM's evolving global business environment," said Alan Taub, executive director of science labs at the GM Research and Development Center in Warren, Mich. "We see the ERC as a strategic partner in helping us further our research and development of cleaner, more efficient gasoline and diesel engines."

The ERC is one of only seven institutions worldwide to have received the prestigious designation from GM. The others are at Brown University, the University of Michigan, Carnegie-Mellon University, Stanford University, Jiaotong University in Shanghai, China, and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India.

"Being a strategic partner, GM envisions the ERC as an extension of GM Research & Development, and the relationship provides a focal point for joint research in areas that are core to GM's long-term competitiveness and commensurate with the scholarly expertise and intellectual pursuits of the university faculty," said Ezzat. "We look forward to achieving together significant milestones in advanced engine technologies and creating the fundamental knowledge upon which the future of internal combustion engines will be based," he added.

Half of the $5 million will go toward specific research contracted between the ERC and General Motors, according to Foster. The remaining portion of the funding will go toward the ERC for its research initiatives as an unrestricted grant. "There will be a high degree of interaction between our faculty and students and GM's technical personnel," he said.

The college's Engine Research Center is home to more than 80 faculty, staff, and students. It has been recognized as a U.S. Army Center of Excellence. Learn more about the ERC at


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Date last modified: Friday, 03-Jan-2003 11:51:00 CST
Date created: 03-Jan-2003

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