12 March 2013

RMIT's green engines research lab an Asia-Pacific first

Research into sustainable automotive technologies will be boosted with the launch of RMIT University's $10 million Green Engines Research Facility in Bundoora, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region.

Craig Ondarchie MLC, Member for Northern Metropolitan, will join Professor Peter Coloe, RMIT Pro Vice-Chancellor Science Engineering and Health and Vice-President, to officially launch the facility on Tuesday, 12 March.

The world-class RMIT Green Engines Research Facility will be open to the local and international automotive industry, supporting leading-edge experiments on alternative fuels for advanced and more efficient internal combustion engines.

Professor Aleksandar Subic, Dean of Engineering and Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, said the projects would tackle the challenges faced by the industry in a carbon-constrained economy.

"Internal combustion engines are a tried and tested technology, but we need to find ways to make this excellent technology more sustainable and more efficient in the future," Professor Subic said.

"This facility enables us to investigate all possible liquid and gas alternative fuels - including multi-fuel platforms - that could be used for internal combustion engines.

"There is no research lab like this at universities in this part of the world - it's already generating strong interest from local and international automotive firms and we look forward to future collaborations on research and development projects."

The facility enables investigations of combustion and fuel delivery systems for alternative fuels - particularly gaseous fuels - in direct-injected and boosted internal combustion engines, through the visualisation and quantification of sprays and combustion in steady state and dynamic environments.

It includes two dedicated test facilities designed in collaboration with a leading centre for combustion engine research in Europe, Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology, and Volvo engineering staff, enabling multi-cylinder engine testing, as well as laser diagnostics, single cylinder research and spray-vessel research.

"The testing facilities will enable researchers to recommend precise improvements to fuels, fuel delivery systems or combustion systems," Professor Subic said.

Engine technology expert and former Fiat research leader Associate Professor Albert Parker, who joined RMIT in January, will lead a research group centred on the new facility.

What: Launch of the RMIT Green Engines Research Facility
When: 10am-12pm, Tuesday, 12 March (includes tour of facility)
Where: Building 255, Bundoora campus east, 264 Plenty Road, Bundoora

For media enquiries: Gosia Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.

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