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List of projects
Guidelines for projects
Application for a project

Graduate student projects
The following is a brief list of the studies currently going on under my supervision here at USM. The lab has considerable funding of many projects covering the next several years, and I am actively seeking gradate students interested in the following areas. Scholarships and funding are available to qualified graduate students. Studies in associated areas are possible; please contact me to discuss proposed projects further.
Novel Engine Design – Alternative Fuels
  • Direct Injection of Gaseous Fuels in Two Stroke Engines
  • Development of a small Super Efficient Two-Stroke Direct Injection Diesel Engine for Vehicular use
  • Small Vehicle (motorcycle) Fuel Injection Retrofit for Emissions Reduction and Efficiency Improvement
  • Analysis of Extremely Lean Hydrogen Enhancements to CNG Burning Automotive Engines
Small two-stroke Utility Engine Studies
  • Grass trimmer NHV Reduction
  • Flexible shaft power loss measurement and reduction
  • Crank case air flow visualization, modeling and optimization
  • Compression Wave Injection for Emissions and Fuel Consumption Reduction
Electrical - Hybrid Vehicles
  • Small Vehicle (motorcycle) Electric Hybrid Front Wheel Drive System Development
  • Electric Vehicle Performance and Optimization, including Hybridization with electrical generator
Engine Friction Investigations
  • Internal Combustion Engine Piston-Ring Frictional coatings investigations
  • “Floating Liner” engine frictional measurement
  • Oscillating Wear Tester Fabrication for Engine Materials Testing
  • Composite material testing and development
Engine Parasitic Loss Reduction
  • Automotive Engine Parasitic Loss Reduction (water pump)
  • Internal Combustion Engine Valve Train Dynamometer for Tribological Testing
  • Carbon-Carbon Composite Engine Valve Performance Evaluation
  • Automotive Ammonia-Water cycle Air Conditioning unit using waist heat
Miscellaneous Vehicular Studies
  • Vehicle Drive cycle Measurement and Simulation for engine power/drag
  • In-House, Low-cost Electronic Fuel Injection Controller
  • Automotive Tire Dynamometer Development
Alternative Energies
  • Algae Biodiesel Production Unit Development
  • Sterling Engine Optimization (100cc, Alpha configuration)
  • Development of an economical Peak Power Tracking Controller for Small (1.2 kW) Wind Turbines
  • Wind Turbine Development for Rural Power Generation
  • Development of a Village-Level Alternate Energy DC Minigrid Power System
Aerospace Propulsion Systems
  • Reciprocating Piston Engine Dynamometer Development
  • Solid Rocket Motor Thrust measurement bench development
  • Liquid Rocket motor development
Other Miscellaneous Projects
  • Resonant Mechanical Illumination System Design and Optimization

Funded industrial projects
We constantly have many different projects going on. Some are big, others small, but they all provide great opportunities to apply engineering knowledge to solve real problems. Below are a list of projects current, and past.
Fuel efficiency improvements of PROTON 1.6l Cam Pro engine
Participants: PROTON
Duration: 12 to 24 months
Status: on hold
We will be tuning the ECU mapping, intake and exhaust systems as well as making a number of minor changes to improve emissions and fuel economy. A “Skip Injection” technique will be implemented and evaluated for possible part-throttle operation.
Electronic fuel injection conversion of Kriss 110cc Motorbike for Euro 4 Emissions
Participants: MODENAS
Duration: 18 months
Status: ongoing
To meet Euro-4 emission standard the current carburetion setup on the Kriss 110cc engine will have to be upgraded to an Electronically controlled Fuel Injection system. We will make and test a retrofit EFI system for the motorcycle to pass Euro-4 with as few changes to the vehicle as possible.
Senior design projects (final year projects)
OmniluX Spring Design Optimization for Longevity
Status: funded, ongoing
Design and fabricate test apparatus for driven resonant spring-mass system. Model expected life span of springs, and match with experimental results. Optimize spring design in model for materials and geometry, and test optimized design.
OmniluX driver design optimization for noise, power and vibrations
Status: funded, ongoing
Given a driven resonant spring-mass system, model the system dynamics, and optimize driver (sinusoidal, square wave, unipolar, bipolar, duty cycle) to reduce power consumption, and noise/vibrations in the supporting structure.
Torque sprocket re-design, fabrication and calibration
Status: funded, ongoing
Based on our design from 2006-7, design and fabricate a "Torque Sprocket" for in-stitu measurement of rear wheel torque. Correlate the results of the torque sprocket output with GPS measurements. This technique will be tested on a "live" motorcycle.
Gaseous Fuel Direct Injection Conversion of 2-Stroke Engine
Status: ongoing
Direct fuel injection is THE answer to two-stroke emissions and fuel consumption problems. With a gaseous fuel (LPG, CNG) the whole injection system can be reasonable inexpensive. This project is focusing on demonstrating a working gaseous fueled direct-injection two-stroke motorcycle capable of exceptional fuel economy, with lower emissions and greater power than equivalent four-stroke powered motorcycles. We expect to have a running prototype in 2008.
High-efficiency biodiesel motorcycle
Status: ongoing
Using Yanmar Diesel components (piston, pump, injector…) we are design a high-efficiency engine for a commuter motorcycle. Phase 1, completed in Aug. 2007, consisted of demonstrating... more...
Other projects
Wind turbine charge controller
Participants: CSU, USM, CU Denver
Status: ongoing
India has many turbines and needs an inexpensive controller to optimize power extraction, and avoid damage to the turbine and the power sinks (i.e., batteries, pumps...). more...
Electronic port fuel injection using propane for a lawn mower engine
Participants: CSU
Status: completed
Using a standard gasoline port fuel injector and a “home made” PIC based controller we converted a lawn mower to run on Propane. A speed pickup and a throttle position sensor were all that was required for the “N-Alpha” control system to operate smoothly.
Ion-probe positioning system
Participants: CSU
Status: completed

Boeing has been developing ion thrusters for space vehicle applications for a number of years. These engines use a gas (typically xenon) which is ionized (i.e., an electron is knocked off) and then accelerated through an electric potential and out into space, creating a small thrust. more...

Compression-pressurized direct fuel injection of a two-stroke engine
Participants: CSU
Status: completed

Two-stroke engines are associated with smoky exhaust for a number of reasons. Primarily, the carbureted, crank-case-scavenged engines that are commonly used for motorcycles pass approximately one third of the fuel in an unburnt state out the exhaust pipe due to a process known as “fuel short circuiting”. more...

Guidelines for projects

What are some of the aspects of a good project?

  • The project should fill a genuine need.
  • It should incorporate new technologies, novel approaches to solve problems.
  • It should be easily separable into smaller inter-dependent parts for the various participants.
  • Each sub-part should be clearly defined.
  • Each group should have challenging tasks with ample learning opportunities for the students.
  • Ideally the project leverages unique expertise from each site.
  • Preferably the project has parts that can be done concurrently.
  • Ideally the parts are easily completed in a single semester or year.

For example one site may have a simulation package allowing it to do the modeling of a particular machine element. Another site may have superior manufacturing facilities for fabricating the part, and a third site has natural resources or a setting in which to test the final product.


  • Ideally each site is responsible for its expenditures.
  • Some overage is necessary to cover communications costs, and shipping.
  • All finances should be transparent and available for review by all sites.
  • In the event that one site can generate financing for the whole project, funds can be shared, but each site should contribute ¨in kind¨ contributions as a minimum.


  • Each site should commit to delivering its part, as the other sites are depending on it.
  • Sites with proven track records should be invited to further cooperative projects.

Partner Universities

  • University Science Malaysia
  • Colorado State University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • University of Colorado
  • Denver University

Application for a project

I prefer projects where each site can leverage its expertise to contribute to the overall project. Ideally the teams are comprised of several (2 to 6) students and an advisor, who is responsible for guiding the student group, and guarantees completion in a timely manner. If you believe you have a good project, or would like to be considered for cooperative projects, please send an email, and I’ll contact you after reviewing the information presented.

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