IMPORTANT: If you are an interested student who would like to come to KU and work in my laboratory, please submit a graduate school application. Sending me your curriculum vitae and/or any other materials via e-mail does not help you. I receive at least one e-mail a day from interested students, and it is impossible for me to review them all. Completing an application ensures that I will see and review your materials while also allowing me to consider you for a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant position. Thanks!


공지사항: 우리 연구실에 관심이 있는 학생은 대학원지원서류를 접수하세요. 이메일로 curriculum vitae또는 다른 지원서류를 보내는 것은 도움이 되지 않습니다. 하루에 적어도 한 통 이상의 이메일을 받는데, 그런 서류를 모두 검토할 수 없기 때문입니다. 공식적으로 지원을 하면 지원서류를 검토할 수 있을 뿐만 아니라 RA 또는 TA 포지션을 제공할 수도 있습니다. 감사합니다!

महत्वपूर्ण सूचना: यदि आप एक इच्छुक छात्र हैं जो के यू में प्रवेश प्राप्त करना चाहते हैं और मेरी प्रयोगशाला में काम करने के इच्छुक हैं, तो कृपया एकस्नातक स्कूल आवेदन विचारार्थ . प्रस्तुत करना आवश्यक है। ई-मेल के माध्यम से मुझे अपना पाठ्यक्रम जीवन और/या कोई अन्य सामग्री भेजना आपकी सहायता नहीं करता है। मुझे समभावित छात्रों से प्रतिदिन, कम से कम एक ई-मेल प्राप्त होता है, और मुझे उन सभी की समीक्षा करना असंभव है। एक समपूर्ण आवेदन प्राप्त होने से यह सुनिश्चित होता है कि मैं आपकी सामग्री देख कर समीक्षा कर सकू़ एवं आपको रिसर्च सहायक या शिक्षण सहायक पद प्रदान करने के लिए भी विचार कर सकूं। धन्यवाद!

January 18, 2024
My new whiskey modeling webpage is up! Check it out to see the interesting work I am doing in this area -

December 22, 2023
Congratulations to Gabriel Mariscal, Haiyang Chao, Gang Wu, and Xianglin Li for our paper investigating lithium-polymer batteries, proton exchange membrane fuel cells, and direct methanol fuel cells in powering two representative small UAVs. This study also analyzed the impact of key parameters, such as the specific energy and power of battery and fuel cells, the mass ratio of hydrogen storage, and the lift-to-drag ratio, on UAVs' mass and power consumption. Check it out here:

December 1, 2023
Great work by Anmesh Gaire and Prof. Susan Williams (and me :) investigating a combined steam reforming and water gas shift reactor in the conversion of glycerol to a hydrogen-rich syngas. This has the potential to reduce complexity and energy usage. Pertinent work with hydrogen taking the stage internationally:

August 19, 2023
Congratulations to Seyedamirhossein (Amir) Madani on the publication of our paper titled: "Microgravity Spherical Droplet Evaporation and Entropy Effects" published in the journal Entropy ( Simulation of spherical droplet combustion under microgravity allows the exclusion of the conservation of momentum; thus, droplet heat-up, gas and liquid transport, evaporation, multiphase physics, and reaction kinetics can be independently investigated. Current research indicates that understanding entropy generation, in conjunction with heat transfer, could more definitively define Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) regimes. Thus, this effort provides a comprehensive and detailed derivation of the conservation of entropy equation using spherical coordinates and gathers all relevant information under one cohesive framework, which is a resource not readily available in the literature. This effort is a great starting point for those new to the field and we plan on expanding it to further study LTC in the future.

July 27, 2023
As part of a Department of Transportation project, our group (Nathan Ahlgren) along with colleagues at Wichita State University (Hongsheng He) designed and built a single-point 3-D LIDAR system and explored the active fusion of a camera for depth estimation. Here is the publication of our recent work. The code for the 3-D LIDAR system is on my Github site if you would like to build your own low cost 3-D LIDAR system (

May 3, 2023
Congratulations to Jamee Gray for our article detailing the efforts behind producing a small internal combustion engine (ICE) titanium crankcase and aluminum cylinder head. If you are interested in using Additive Manufacturing (AM) for the production of ICE parts, Jamee's paper is a great way to understand the entire AM process while employing laser powder bed fusion and the difficulties that come with utilizing this technology to manufacture ICE components.

April 16, 2023
Congratulations to my co-authors (Shah Saud Alam, Ph.D., EIT, Seyedamirhossein Madani, Nathan Ahlgren, Ethan McDaniel, Sindhu Preetham Burugupally, Jared Hobeck) on our recent publication where we determine a heat transfer correlation for small (<100 cm3) internal combustion engines (ICEs). Nearly all correlations focus on larger engines, for good reason, leaving a void in the UAV realm where small ICEs can still play a role in propulsion.

March 7, 2023
Congratulations to Jonathan Mattson and Shah Saud Alam for our paper titled "Open-Source Energy, Entropy, and Exergy 0D Heat Release Model for Internal Combustion Engines" published in the journal Energies. A fundamental tool for engine combustion research efforts is performing a heat release analysis of the in-cylinder pressure trace. This work summarizes and expands on our past efforts in the field while also making the code freely available on Github for others to use and improve. Expansion of the kinetics while comparing the calculated heat release with a theoretical analysis should better predict the global chemical species in the cylinder. We hope others find this work useful and encourage collaborations with this tool.

February 21, 2023
I have been chosen as a recipient of the 2023 Forest R. McFarland Award for my outstanding and notable contributions in support of the work of SAE Engineering Events. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with SAE staff and my many colleagues over the years as part of our newly re-branded Mobile Emissions Committee. I look forward to continuing to help make SAE a premier platform to disseminate transportation-related research.

November 1, 2022
I am incredibly honored to be part of the list of the World's Top 2% Scientists based on citations, excluding self-citations, created by Stanford University. This could not have been accomplished without the amazing efforts of the 37 past and current graduate students that have passed through our laboratory here at the University of Kansas. They deserve all the credit for the recognition of our efforts. Rock Chalk! These data are provided here:

August 16, 2022
Great job by Sam Ross, Amanda White, Adam Andresen, and Shah Saud Alam on our paper "Martian Combustion-Powered Fixed-Wing UAVs: An Introductory Investigation and Analysis" with the goal of exploring how a combustion engine might be used to power UAVs on Mars. This is part of a multi-faceted effort at exploring in-situ resources for Mars and how they can be used to support human habitation. In a prior paper (doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104323) we investigated the creation of liquid methane and liquid oxygen using the resources available on Mars. Given the positive findings of that effort, we realized that if we have a fuel and oxygen available, it could be used to power internal combustion engines to support surface exploration activities. That led into this effort which provides an introductory exploration into powering a widely-used UAV using an engine that could run on tanks of methane and oxygen. Overall, it does seem feasible to generate sufficient lift in the Martian atmosphere; however, at respectively high UAV speeds. The paper is published open access:

July 26, 2022
Congratulations to Tyler Simpson, George Bousfield, and Austin Wohleb on our article "Electric Vehicle Simulations Based on Kansas-Centric Conditions" published in World Electric Vehicle Journal. As part of a Kansas Department of Transportation study, we simulated six commercial vehicles on the roads within the State of Kansas to estimate their actual range as a function of vehicle speed, road grade, wind speed and direction, heating/air conditioning, rain, and snow conditions. Under EPA test conditions, model predictions nearly exactly matched EPA range estimates for the city and highway. However, losses up to 40-50% of the range of the vehicle were found when real-world conditions are expected. We suggest that a re-evaluation of EPA range predictions is accomplished taking into account higher vehicle speeds and cabin conditioning. It is an open-source article, so give it a read: My PBS interview was on this subject.

July 19, 2022
Congratulations to Tyler Simpson for the successful journal publication of his review on multiple fuel injection strategies for compression ignition engines. Prior to starting his experimental efforts with biodiesel as part of his MS thesis in this area, he performed a thorough review of the literature to determine fuel injection timings and dwells that would be best suited for pilot fuel strategies. This paper is a result of his review and, interestingly, shows that lower fuel injection pressures are better for pilot injections; whereas, higher fuel injection pressures are better for the post injection process. The paper was published as open access, so feel free to give it a read:

July 7, 2022
Congratulations to Dr. Shah Saud Alam for successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation titled: "Feedstock-to-Tailpipe Analysis of Soybean-Derived Biodiesel and Glycerol Valorization in Kansas". This is a comprehensive effort including a life cycle analysis of soybean-derived biodiesel including products such as glycerol, soap, methanol, ammonia, and dimethyl ether. The use of ANL GREET, combustion experiments, and even zero-dimensional simulation efforts are included to provide a complete picture. We envision that a number of excellent journal articles will be generated and we look forward to the subsequent dissemination of the work to a vast audience.

July 1, 2022
Our efforts as part of the US Department of Transportation's Inclusive Design Challenge can be seen here:


June 20, 2022
Last Fall, I was interviewed in response to a study regarding Electric Vehicle range that we performed for the Kansas Department of Transportation.Today, it hit the PBS website. Enjoy!

April 29, 2022
Congratulations to Shah Saud Alam and our collaborators from Wichita State University and Kansas State University on our paper titled "Thermodynamic Modeling of In-Situ Rocket Propellant Fabrication on Mars" published in iScience ( Using the same analysis performed in my thermodynamics class here at the University of Kansas, we simulate the production of liquid methane and liquid oxygen on Mars. The inputs to the model include experimental data from water mining and atmospheric CO2 data along with incorporating experimental results for CO2 conversion efficiency and CH4 selectivity for the Sabatier reaction. The majority of the papers in this area predict perfect conversion to methane; thus, our paper provides more realstic results. Overall, the model presented can be validated here on Earth before setting foot on Mars helping to grow the Technology Readiness Level of the technology. You can even download the code used for the effort:

March 29, 2022
Congratulations to me on the acceptance of a paper stemming from a collaboration with my Romanian colleagues! They did the majority of the heavy lifting and I contributed a bit here and there. The title of the paper is "Review of Thermoelectric Generation for Internal Combustion Engine Waste Heat Recovery" that will be published in the journal Progress in Energy and Combustion Science. The impact factor of this journal is 29.394, which is fairly high.

January 26, 2022
Congratulations to Jamee Gray, Charu Srivatsa, and Dr. Jonathan Mattson on the acceptance of their paper titled: "Propeller and Dynamometer Testing of an Additive Manufactured Small Internal Combustion Engine". This work was done as part of Jamee's MS thesis in which she designed, built, machined, and tested an Additive Manufactured (AM) engine over two unique experimental setups. Quite a substantial achievement and, I believe, is only the second published effort in the world describing an AM engine that was built and tested.

November 11, 2021
Congratulations to Brian Gessler on the publication of his paper titled "Combustion of pelletized freshwater macroalgae and pine blends using a fixed bed reactor". This was work stemming from his MS degree that investigated the combustion of macroalgae and pine pellets possibly suited for the replacement of coal in power plants. This is the first work, that we are aware of, which researched macroalgae as a combustion source (microalgae has been studied prior). Great work by Brian, and this paper mattered a bit more to me than usual. Concept of the original idea was done in collaboration with Dr. Val Smith who passed away a few years ago due to lung cancer. Val was an amazing person who was beloved by his students (one of which is a co-author on the paper) and colleagues. I felt it important to get this paper published as a way to honor his life. The paper can be found here:

August 26, 2021
Congratulations to Charu Srivatsa and Jonathan Mattson on the acceptance of their paper titled: "Exploring the Possibility of Achieving Partially Premixed Charge Compression Ignition Combustion of Biodiesel in Comparison to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel on a High Compression Ratio Engine" in the journal Combustion Science and Technology. A thorough effort for sure! In it, they were able to capture the Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) behavior of biodiesel in an actual engine. Something quite unique in the literature as most NTC experiments are done via non-engine experiments. A fascinating find that potentially opens the door to new grant opportunities and novel Low Temperature Combustion research.

July 21, 2021
Congratulations to Darene Essa and Bailey Spickler (and Dr. Mark Shiflett) for our paper titled: "Air Conditioning Cycle Simulations Using a Ultrahigh-Speed Centrifugal Compressor for Electric Vehicle Applications" to be published in the International Journal of Refrigeration. One of the largest factors that diminishes the range of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is their heating and air conditioning system. This paper investigates the use of 140,000+ rpm centrifugal compressors instead of a positive displacement pump with low-Global Warming Potential and low-Ozone Depletion Potential refrigerants. We find that a straightforward system design may be attainable with lower operating pressures while achieving a nearly equivalent cooling capacity at reduced power requirements to conventional HFC-134a.

July 12, 2021
Congratulations to Shah Saud Alam and Preetham Churkunti on the acceptance of our publication titled: "Comparison of Waste Plastic Fuel, Waste Cooking Oil Biodiesel, and Ultra-low Sulfur Diesel using a Well-to-Exhaust Framework". In this fairly comprehensive work, we perform a comparison of waste fuels via our own engine data and ANL GREET to understand better the hazardous and greenhouse gas emissions generated. Moreover, we present a novel framework of Well-to-Exhaust that is adaptable to both stationary and mobile combustion engines.

June 6, 2021
Congratulations on the acceptance of our paper to Shah Saud Alam and Scott Rosa titled "Modification of the Wiebe Function for Methane-air and Oxy-methane Applications". This effort was accomplished for a grant funded by NASA investigating power sources for UAVs (i.e., drones) on Mars. Since NASA is looking at in situ generation of liquid methane and liquid oxygen for rocket fuel, we realized it would be possible to power UAVs on Mars using compressed liquid tanks of both methane and oxygen. However, since there would be no nitrogen in the "air", combustion would be significantly faster and more energetic. As a result, conventional combustion model parameters are not applicable. Thus, we generated a relatively simple model that can predict combustion of methane-air (i.e., Earth) and oxy-methane (i.e., Mars) as a function of the engine geometry and operating conditions, such as intake pressure.

January 12, 2021
Congratulations to Deven Mittman for successfully passing her MS thesis defense titled: "Design and Applications of Lidar Systems and Electric Bicycle Modeling for Transportation Safety". Deven did just a wonderful job of expanding beyond her traditional ME training and dipping into the world of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science by building both 2-D and 3-D lidar systems. I learned a lot from her successful efforts and she's off to do bigger and better projects.

January 6, 2021
The U.S. DOT announced the 10 semifinalists for its Inclusive Design Challenge, which seeks solutions to make automated vehicles accessible for all! The Challenge invited design teams from academic and research institutions, the business sector, technology companies, and analytics firms to develop solutions to our most pressing access barriers for people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. Learn more about all of the semifinalists and stay updated on the Challenge:

November 17, 2020
Finally, a year long adventure is here. This is the week of the ASME IMECE conference and I've been acting as the Technical Program Chair for the last year. We have over 1400 attendees to make it the largest international Mechanical Engineering conference in the World. It's going well, so far, with great keynote and plenary talks along with a multitude of technical sessions. If you are looking to become a volunteer for ASME, IMECE is a great place to help out.

September 30, 2020
A great job by Tyler Simpson today on the defense of his MS thesis titled: Biodiesel and ULSD Fueled Compression Ignition Engines Operating with Multiple Fuel Injections. Tyler did a great job as the first student expanding our engine testing efforts into the arena of multiple fuel injections. This effort included a significant literature review that helped him determine the pilot injection strategy that he implemented in our single cylinder CI engine test cell. He also tested aged biodiesel and found some interesting heat release outcomes as the fuel properties definitely changed over time.

July 31, 2020
Congrats to Deven Mittman for taking the bulk of our presentation efforts today for our presentation titled: "Design and Testing of Cost-Effective lidar Systems for Transportation" for the Mid-America Transportation Center. Abstract: Mobile light detection and ranging (lidar) technology offers a significant opportunity to increase transportation safety and efficiency. However, most commercial systems are prohibitively expensive for usage with consumer products like bicycles and in widespread implementation throughout our transportation infrastructure. Therefore, cost-effective lidar systems are needed and this effort describes the development of two options targeted for different safety outcomes. The first option built on prior electric bike (e-bike) lidar testing efforts and created a similarly cost effective two-dimensional lidar system that was able to capture the interaction of an e-bike with surrounding motor vehicles. The second option involved the generation of a lidar system that can create three-dimensional point clouds with upwards of 700,000 data points as a cost of less than $300. Initial results highlight its potential in monitoring pavement quality as an example of its capability in providing data for transportation-related reports. This presentation will demonstrate the operation of this second system. Overall, both options require further refinement before extensive deployment can take place. Nonetheless, this work demonstrates that low-cost lidar systems are a prospective route for enhancing safety within the transportation environment.

July 1, 2020
Congratulations to Jamee Gray for her paper: "Review of Additive Manufacturing for Internal Combustion Engine Components" to be published in the SAE International Journal of Engines. Obviously, it is a review of the use of additive manufacturing (AM) in the construction of components for internal combustion engines. This article stems from her MS thesis and provides, what I believe, is the first thorough research into how AM can be employed for making metal parts suited for engines. It is on the frontier of research in this area and should be (hopefully) highly cited.

April 1, 2020
Congratulations to Jamee Gray for successfully defending her MS thesis titled: "Feasibility of Metal Additive Manufacturing for Internal Combustion Engines". Just great work at designing, printing, manufacturing, and testing an internal combustion engine made out of aluminium and titanium.

March 1, 2020
Prof. Depcik has just been awarded the Fellow grade of membership for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Truly a great honor indeed!

January 21, 2020
Congratulations to Truman Cassady, Bradley Collicott, Shah Saud Alam, and Jose Rocha Arandia along with a few of my colleagues for our paper accepted in Energy Conversion and Management titled: "Comparison of Lithium Ion Batteries, Hydrogen Fueled Combustion Engines, and a Hydrogen Fuel Cell in Powering a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle." What a fantastic paper in which we provide models for batteries, internal combustion and free piston engines, and a fuel cell in determining what makes the most sense when powering a small military UAV. Not surprisingly, all power plants have their own benefits and drawbacks. I believe this might be the first paper out there that actually includes simulations of all options in a single paper. Great job all!

November 22, 2019
Finally, back to normal after spending a long week at the ASME IMECE conference in Salt Lake City, UT. I had a great time presenting work by our group on adaptive Wiebe functions, educational homogeneous chemical kinetics modeling, and cost-effective lidar systems. A nice response to those works, and an overall good time at the conference. I got to meet a Nobel prize laureate and interact with a large number of exciting young people who will be making the next advances in the field. Next year, I am the Technical Program Chair for the entire conference, so I will be quite busy that week. I hope to see you there!

October 3, 2019
The School of Engineering is holding a Women in Engineering Preview Weekend (November 17-18, 2019) that is open to all engineering disciplines. This 2-day campus visit will include opportunities to visit with faculty, graduate students and staff, tour labs/facilities and campus. Get to know the University of Kansas and its graduate programs! Limited slots are available. The deadline to submit an application is November 1. Selected students will be notified by the department. The application link is here:

September 24, 2019
Great job by Matthew Choate in passing their MS thesis defense titled "Battery Management and Battery Modeling Considerations for Application in a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle". Matthew encountered a number of challenges during their MS studies involving a vehicle that did not want to cooperate in upgrading it from a lead-acid battery pack to a lithium-ion version. However, they persevered immensely and learned a tremendous amount of material involving electric vehicles, battery management systems, and equivalent circuit models. Matthew is definitely prepared to go off into the EV world and make significant progress.

September 9, 2019
Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Mattson for passing his PhD dissertation defense titled "Modeling of Compression Ignition Engines for Advanced Engine Operation and Alternative Fuels by the Second Law of Thermodynamics". Dr. Mattson was quite a prolific researcher during his time here at KU with over 25 peer-reviewed publications to his credit with 13 as first author. His research focused on developing an effective heat release model for our laboratory that uses both the first and second laws of thermodynamics for fundamental insight into combustion and emissions. Interestingly, his efforts culminated in illustrating that alternative combustion regimes (like RCCI) might require the second law of thermodynamics to truly see whether or not you are in that regime.

August 26, 2019
Congratulations to Darren Pinto for passing his MS thesis defense titled "Performance and Emissions of ASTM-Approved Alternative Jet Fuels in Compression Ignition Engines". Darren did an outstanding job by reviewing the vast literature in the area of alternative jet fuels and then summarizing the findings succinctly. Darren found interesting results stemming from the influence of the Cetane Number, viscosity, heating value, and other properties.

August 6, 2019
Congratulations to Anmesh Gaire, Jamee Gray, Zachary Hall, Anjana Maharjan, Darren Pinto, and Arno Prinsloo Jr. regarding our publication titled "Electrifying Long-Haul Freight - Part I: Review of Drag, Rolling Resistance, and Weight Reduction Potential" to be published in the SAE International Journal of Commercial Vehicles. Interestingly, Part II has already been published for a, just consider Part I as a prequel. Anyway, in this effort that culminated from my ME 836 class (along with some summer research by Zach), the students reviewed the literature to determine the minimum values of drag, rolling resistance, and weight that are currently possible for electric semi-trucks. Overall, Part I determined the parameters that went into the simulation efforts for Part II.

July 30, 2019
Congratulations to Dr. Richard 'Bram' Bramlette for his accepted publication titled "Review of Propane-Air Chemical Kinetic Mechanisms for a Unique Jet Propulsion Application" to appear in the Journal of the Energy Institute. This work stems from his PhD and includes a review of 35 distinct homogeneous chemical kinetic mechanisms to find one that accurately simulates the conditions of interest. In this effort, zero-dimensional constant volume, one-dimensional variable property reacting flow shock tube, and three-dimensional CFD simulations of an acoustically-pressurized ramjet engine are presented. A comprehensive document indeed!

July 10, 2019
Congratulations again to Shah Saud Alam for his paper "Adaptive Wiebe Function Parameters for a Port-Fuel Injected Hydrogen-Fueled Engine" to also be published at ASME in the fall. The Wiebe function has a long history in engine research and is a straightforward method to simulate combustion. However, little research actually looks at the Wiebe parameters and how they change based on compression ratio, engine speed, and other parameters. This effort works to rectify this issue for a PFI hydrogen scenario. Why hydrogen? Well, it's a great fuel for drones.

July 2, 2019
Congratulations to Jonathan Mattson for yet another published journal article titled: "Second Law Analysis of Waste Cooking Oil Biodiesel versus ULSD During Operation of a CI Engine". This work was done in conjunction with Romanian colleagues and provided an interesting take on biodiesel combustion. In the literature, we often find conflicting information of nitrogen oxide emissions increasing and decreasing. In this effort, we actually find both after combustion normalization and highlight the reasons why through the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

June 26, 2019
Congratulations to Theodore Wiklund, Mark Heim, Jaret Halberstadt, Michael Duncan, Deven Mittman, and Prof. DeAgostino for our paper titled "Design and Development of a Cost-Effective LIDAR System for Transportation" to be published at IMECE in the fall. In this primarily undergraduate student effort, the team created an inexpensive LIDAR system (under $300) and was able to capture over 700,000 data points from a LIDAR rangefinder.

June 20, 2019
Congratulations to Shah Saud Alam on his accepted conference paper for ASME IMECE 2019 titled: "Verification & Validation of Homogeneous Reaction Kinetics Model using a Detailed H2-O2 Reaction Mechanism versus Chemkin & Cantera". There are various resources out there that describe homogeneous chemical kinetics (i.e., combustion); however, material is scattered across various entities. As a result, Shah put together a paper that anyone in the combustion field should read as a beginner to understanding kinetics. Moreover, he created an open source model that you can download to learn how to properly implement kinetics.

May 18, 2019
Congratulations to Bailey Spickler for winning the outstanding research award for MS students at commencement! We look forward to see where her PhD studies take her.

May 1, 2019
Congratulations to Anmesh Gaire for passing his MS thesis defense titled "Understanding the Direct Conversion of Glycerol to Ammonia". Anmesh did a tremendous amount of work fabricating catalysts and testing them via the Glycerol Steam Reforming, Water Gas Shift, and Ammonia Synthesis Reactions. Excellent work, and we hope to publish the outcomes soon.

April 29, 2019
It is officially official, Dr. Depcik has been promoted to Full Professor! Read about those who have been promoted here: Chancellor Announces Faculty Awarded for Promotion and Tenure for Fall 2019.

April 26, 2019
At the KU Mechanical Engineering Awards Banquet, Dr. Depcik was named the Outstanding ME Faculty Member as selected by the students of the department. This is just a tremendous honor and I cannot thank the students enough for this. It just wants me to continue to work hard and make sure that each student gets the attention that they deserve.

March 28, 2019
Curious what Chris' favorite type of flame is? How about his favorite fuel? Find out in our new #HugYourEngine Spotlight, featuring The University of Kansas's Christopher Depcik!

March 22, 2019

Here is a TEDxPSU talk that I gave about everything that went into my paper Exploring the Potential of Combustion on Titan. It was quite a two-year adventure trying to figure out all of the thermodynamics that were involved. It was probably one of the best papers I have written.

March 8, 2019
I just learned today that I have been promoted to Full Professor starting with the 2019-2020 Academic Year. I cannot believe how fast time has flown and what an amazing ride it has been. Thank you to all of the students, faculty, colleagues, and family that have supported me during this time. I would definitely not be here without you.

February 28, 2019
Congratulations to Bailey Spickler and Anmesh Gaire for our paper titled "Revising the Single Equation Pressure Drop Model for Particulate Filters" to be published in the SAE International Journal of Engines. This paper contains the first (pseudo-)compressible single algebraic equation for predicting the pressure drop through a particulate filter. As some of you might know, you cannot solve the governing equations of flow (mass, momentum, and energy) algebraically in compressible flow because they are all independent, non-linear, and require including the ideal gas law. However, by making a few assumptions, it is possible to approximate compressible flow. As a result, this paper presents a model that better approximates what is happening inside a particulate filter when there is a temperature gradient.

February 12, 2019
I had a wonderful time giving a talk at TEDxPSU on my efforts to burn the atmosphere of Titan for power and heat. Everybody was incredibly gracious and I believe my talk went over well. Thank you to all of the volunteers who made the event special for both me and my wife. I look forward to seeing the videos on-line and I appreciate those that came out to see it.

One of my collaborative research efforts has come to fruition. Our paper titled "The Effect of Working Fluid Properties on the Performance of a Miniature Free Piston Expander for Waste Heat Harvesting" with colleagues at Wichita State University and Louisiana Tech University is now published. In it, we investigate free piston engines for low temperature waste-heat harvesting opportunities.

January 9, 2019
Congratulations to Anmesh Gaire, Jamee Gray, Zachary Hall, Anjana Maharjan, Darren Pinto, and Arno Prinsloo Jr. for our accepted paper: "Electrifying Long-Haul Freight - II: Assessment of Battery Capacity" to be published in the SAE International Journal of Commercial Vehicles. In this effort, we simulate an electric semi-truck over a realistic route to determine whether or not electric semis are possible (spoiler: yes, but barely after significantly reducing the weight, rolling resistance, and drag). This is the first paper ever accepted by our group as-is with no revisions required. Great job everyone!

December 30, 2018
Excellent job by Charu Srivatsa on his efforts Performance and Emissions Analysis of Partially Pre-mixed Charge Compression Ignition Combustion to be published in the ASME Journal of Gas Turbines and Power. Very interesting work investigating PCCI in a high compression ratio engine in order to see what might be possible. An excellent job describing the literature in this area, especially when it comes to the nitrogen oxide emissions.

November 30, 2018
Congratulations to Bailey Spickler for successfully defending her MS thesis titled: "Waste Heat Recovery from a Compression Ignition Engine using a Combined Diesel Particulate Filter Heat Exchanger". Quite interesting work about using a combined particulate filter and heat exchanger to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy at the same time. I learned a tremendous amount during this work and I look forward to seeing where Bailey can take it for her PhD work. Great job!

November 19, 2018
I believe our first ever Women in ME Networking Event was a great success! Thank you to all of the students who came and there was a lot of great discussion involving the graduate school process. I look forward to seeing an increased number of applications for graduate school here at KU. We will definitely hold the event again next year.

November 14, 2018
A hearty thank you to the KU Natural History Museum and The Free State Brewing Co. for hosting the Science on Tap event last night and letting me speak about my theoretical efforts at building a combustion system on Titan. I appreciate everyone who came out and it was a great reception. A lot of fantastic questions and since my response often involved "it's in the paper", well, here's the paper if you want to read it: Exploring the Potential of Combustion on Titan.

October 28, 2018
It was an absolute honor for me to visit Romania and participate in The IVth International Congress of Automotive and Transport Engineering conference where I presented one of my graduate student's papers while also giving a keynote presentation about Green Vehicle Solutions. The conference was well attended and there were a number of good talks. Afterwards, I was able to spend some time seeing the sites in Cluj-Napoca and Baia Mare while traveling up into the countryside. A beautiful place to visit and everyone was tremendously nice. It was definitely a trip I will remember.
Dr. D in Romania

September 25, 2018
This year, the University of Kansas Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department is hosting its first “Women in ME Networking Event” on Nov. 18 & 19. As the name implies, this event is for women who are interested in obtaining a graduate degree in ME at KU. Some of the major topics covered during this event will include: the graduate application process, finding funding, selecting a research topic, and choosing the right advisor. This event will also include time for networking, where participants can meet other graduate students and faculty, as well as lab tours and a campus and Lawrence bus tour. Additionally, guest speakers will discuss how they were able to advance their career with a graduate degree in ME from KU. Also check out a new website devoted to the graduate student experience at KU:

Those attending will be eligible for a graduate application fee waiver, and housing and travel stipends will be provided to those who qualify. More information and the online application can be found in the link

August 31, 2018
Today, Matthew Cole successfully defended his Master of Science (non-thesis) degree. This included describing the wonderful work he did on an industrially sponsored project building a particulate filter model faster than real-time. He spent many hours revising the algebraic code in order to ensure its accuracy against experimental data and other commercial simulations. Hopefully, we will get his work published as a final testimonial to his efforts.

August 17, 2018
Fantastic job by Jamee Gray during her summer internship at the Army Research Lab. She was awarded the graduate gold medal during the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's 12th annual Summer Student Symposium on Aug. 9th for her work investigating the use of additive manufacturing for internal combustion engines. Read about it here.

July 20, 2018
Congratulations to Charu Srivatsa and Jonathan Mattson for their paper titled "Performance and Emissions Analysis of Partially Pre-mixed Charge Compression Ignition Combustion" accepted into the 2018 ASME IMECE conference. Charu is leading our efforts investigating Low Temperature Combustion here at KU which is a potential option for the next-generation of internal combustion engines. He will be doing some excellent research here during his PhD studies studying this interesting phenomenon; i.e., "cool flames", literally.

June 19, 2018
Derek Pickett's paper titled "Use of the Glycerin By-Product from Biodiesel Production for Power Generation" is now available in its final published form on-line. We believe that it is the only published effort that takes glycerin to syngas and then direct combustion in a single flow pathway. Check it out to learn more about the potential of glycerin as a fuel: doi: 10.1115/1.4039819.

June 9, 2018
Ryan O'Malley's paper titled "Comparative Study of Various Cathodes for Lithium Ion Batteries using an Enhanced Peukert Capacity Model" has just been accepted in the Journal of Power Sources. In it, we compare five different types of lithium ion cathodes and two structures when endeavoring to create a simple battery model suitable for a Motor Control Unit. This work builds off another one of our publications a few years ago that was highly cited. Hopefully, others can continue to see the advantage of the methodology we provide in this effort.

May 18, 2018
Dr. Depcik's presented his Titan work at Penn State University. Overall, a wonderful visit and significant time was spent exploring Penn State's beautiful campus. The talk was well received and promoted a good discussion. Moreover, a number of students had a good time along with Dr. Depcik just thinking about the unique opportunities available for outer space exploration.

April 24, 2018
Dr. Depcik's paper regarding exploring the potential of combustion on Titan has finally been published. Check it out for a fun read. DOI: 10.4271/01-11-01-0002

March 9, 2018
A banner year already for Dr. Depcik's group. To date, 11 publications have been accepted to be published in 2018. This includes seven submitted and accepted to SAE World Congress Experience:
1. Development of a Low-Cost LIDAR System for Bicycles; I. Blankenau, D. Zolotor, M. Choate, A. Jorns, Q. Homann, and C. Depcik; SAE Paper 2018-01-1051
2. An Analysis of Dual-Fuel Combustion of Diesel with Compressed Natural Gas in a Single-Cylinder Engine; J. Mattson, C. Langness, and C. Depcik; SAE Paper 2018-01-0248
3. Comparison of Injection Systems with Respect to Compression Ignition Engine Knock; J. Mattson and C. Depcik; SAE Paper 2018-01-0219
4. Investigating Pre-mixed Charge Compression Ignition Combustion in a High Compression Ratio Engine; C. Srivatsa, J. Mattson, and C. Depcik; SAE Paper 2018-01-0900
5. Design and Control of an Automated Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation System for a Teaching and Research Engine Test Cell; C. Langness, C. Srivatsa, and C. Depcik; SAE Paper 2018-01-1362
6. Fuel Control and Spark Optimization of a Propane Fuel System for an Engine-Generator System; K. AlZeeby, and C. Depcik; SAE Paper 2018-01-1141
7. Revisiting the Single Equation Pressure Drop Model for Particulate Filters; C. Depcik, B. Spickler, and A. Gaire; SAE Paper 2018-01-0952

January 4, 2018
Dr. Depcik's paper "Exploring the Potential of Combustion on Titan" has been accepted for publication in SAE International Journal of Aerospace! This was a culmination of years of work stemming from watching NOVA on PBS. Two summers ago after shoulder surgery, watching the NOVA special about Pluto stimulated interest in what it would take for combustion to happen on another planet or moon (Pluto has carbon monoxide in its atmosphere, which is a fuel). As a result of a lot of research, Dr. Depcik determined that it is actually possible to burn the atmosphere of Titan for power. Let's let the abstract speak for itself: "Significant attention has been focused on Mars due to its relative proximity and possibility of sustaining human life. However, its lack of in-situ sources of energy presents a challenge to generate needed energy on the surface. Comparatively, Titan has a nearly endless source of fuel in its atmosphere and lakes, but both are lacking in regards to their oxidizing capacity. The finding of a possible underground liquid ammonia-water lake on Titan suggests that oxygen might actually be within reach. This effort provides the first theoretical study involving a primary energy generation system on Titan using the atmosphere as a fuel and underground water as the source for the oxygen via electrolysis from wind generated electricity. Thermodynamic calculations and use of chemical kinetics in a zero-dimensional Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine model demonstrate that is indeed possible to operate an internal combustion engine on the surface of Titan while providing heat for terraforming and human activities. Subsequent terraforming estimates illustrate that while the potential for energy and heat exists, the amount of needed hardware is largely impractical. However, the findings may stimulate further curiosity by others to look towards outer space and imagine what might be possible."

November 3, 2017
Dr. Depcik will be at ASME IMECE in Tampa, FL and giving two talks. If you see him around, make sure to say hi!

October 22, 2017
Another great success by Jonathan Mattson with his fifth accepted journal paper as the main author. His efforts on the "Exergy Analysis of Dual-Fuel Operation with Diesel and Moderate Amounts of Compressed Natural Gas in a Single-Cylinder Engine" explores what happens to the efficiencies for both the first and second laws of thermodynamics under dual fuel operation. Hopefully, researchers will find it as interesting as we have. Overall, Jon has contributed to 5 journal papers as the main author, 6 as a co-author, 3 conference papers as the main author, and 4 as a co-author. Just an amazing production from our laboratory and highlights his strong initiative.

October 4, 2017
As part of a grant funded by the Kansas Soybean Commission, an on-line spreadsheet was developed to analyze the useful products generated from soybeans. You can find this on-line resource here: Economics of Useful Products from Soybeans. Hopefully, you find it useful.

August 30, 2017
Congratulations to Brian Gessler for successfully defending his MS thesis entitled "Implementation of a Fixed Bed Solid Fuel Combustor for the Purpose of Macroalgal Biomass Co-firing Studies". We believe this work is among a relatively few in the field investigating the co-combustion of macroalgae with biomass as a potential avenue to reduce fossil fuel usage at power plants. From a personal standpoint, this was a tremendous task by Brian since he was the first in my laboratory to explore this setup and see how well it works (or does not work). The genesis of this work stems from collaborative efforts with Dr. Val Smith who unfortunately passed away before he was able to see its completion. I am sure Val would be very happy to know that his legacy continues to encourage and excite students to new heights.

August 17, 2017
Time to greet a new group of graduate students! Welcome to KU :)

July 5, 2017
Congratulations to Dayton Balderston, John Eric Kelly, and James Crowder for their publication titled "Repurposing of a Hybrid Vehicle Nickel Metal Hydride Battery Pack for Electrical Grid Storage" to be published at the ASME IMECE Conference this fall. Another publication by undergraduate students here at the University of Kansas. It provides an interesting effort at re-configuring a used Toyota Prius battery pack for interacting with the grid and renewable energy sources

June 7, 2017
A new article is online regarding the Driving Simulator lab at the University of Kansas: Accelerating Research into Driver Behavior and Vehicle technology. "Undergraduate students are conducting research with the Driving Simulator Lab as well. For instance, student investigators from the Department of Mechanical Engineering are conducting a study on anti-lock braking systems, where lab allows testing of new pedal designs in the safety of a simulated environment. This effort is part of a senior capstone design project overseen by Christopher Depcik and Thomas DeAgostino."

June 3, 2017
Prof. Depcik just returned from a trip to South Korea where he met with engineers at Hyundai Motor Group and with Professors and students at Seoul National University (SNU). Moreover, he gave presentations at both Hyundai and SNU that were well received. The target of the talks involved the next generation of aftertreatment device models and potential collaborative activities. Overall, a great trip and a lot of good food was eaten. Perhaps the most fantastic part of the trip was seeing a Korean baseball game, significantly more exciting than American baseball. Here's hoping another trip to Korea is in the future!

May 13, 2017
Prof. Depcik was selected to receive the Gould Award for Outstanding Educator as selected by the University of Kansas School of Engineering student body. I am incredibly humbled by this honor and I'll keep working to get better every year. Thank you.

April 26, 2017
Prof. Depcik was selected the Outstanding Faculty member by the students within the Mechanical Engineering department! As always, this is a tremendous honor and I am sincerely appreciative of the students that voted for me. This will just make me work harder and continue to strive to do the best I can. For kicks, here's all of the different shirts and ties I wore for each day in Thermodynamics class.
Dr. D's ME 312 Outfits

February 16, 2017
Congratulations to Jonathan Mattson for passing his PhD Comprehensive Exam. Now to power through the rest of his dissertation efforts to, hopefully, finish in the Fall. Great job!

February 13, 2017
Great job by former graduate student Chenaniah Langness and current graduate student Jonathan Mattson on getting their paper titled: "Moderate Substitution of Varying Compressed Natural Gas Constituents for Assisted Diesel Combustion" accepted to Combustion Science and Technology. The paper expands on Chenaniah's MS thesis work where he investigated how the different components of CNG influence assisted combustion at relatively low Energy Substitution Rates (up to 40% ESR). Interestingly, we found no real distinguishing factors between the different components (methane, ethane, propane, and isobutane). This was validated using an ANOVA analysis in a corresponding paper in SAE.

January 18, 2017
Congratulations go to Charu Srivatsa for successfully defending his MS thesis work titled "Performance and Emissions Analysis of Pre-mixed and Partially Pre-mixed Charge Compression Ignition Combustion". This was the first attempt at Low Temperature Combustion in our single-cylinder compression ignition engine laboratory using our relatively high compression ratio (21.2) engine. It sends the groundwork nicely for successive work adding in the effects of Exhaust Gas Recirculation. I learned a lot, and I know Charu did also.

January 16, 2017
Congratulations to Dr. Richard Bramlette for having two papers published at the 55th AIAA Aerospaces Meeting based on his PhD efforts. The titles are:

  • The Effects of Planar Symmetry and Radiative Heat Losses in a Three-Dimensional Transient CFD Simulation of Right Angle Flow through a Brayton-Gluhareff Cycle Pressure Jet Engine
  • The Effects of Scaling on the Design and Performance of the Brayton-Gluhareff Cycle Pressure Jet Engine

Very interesting work that recalls a long-past era. More to come from Dr. Bramlette in the future.

December 3, 2016
My TED-style talk at KU Elevate is now on-line for your viewing pleasure. It was quite nerve-wracking and it came out quite great. I got across nearly all of the concepts that I wanted to get across and there's even a little humor involved. Enjoy!

November 16, 2016
I presented the EcoHawks undergraduate student efforts titled "Small-Scale Smart Electrical Grid Design, Construction, and Analysis" at the 2016 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition Conference in Phoenix. This work was a culmination of three years of hard work by EcoHawks groups as sponsored by Black & Veatch (thanks B&V!). The students constructed a 12 VDC fully-functional Smart Grid and ran it through its paces. It worked as desired, and the students learned a lot about the next generation of electrical grids. Always a good time at the conference, and thanks to those who attended my talk.

November 8, 2016
I was asked to present some of our biodiesel efforts at the 2016 Biodiesel Technical Workshop illustrating findings that may be unique in the literature. Through our laboratories here at KU and our novel experimental setups, I demonstrated that biodiesel actually has a lower viscosity than ULSD at high pressures (> 200 MPa). This could have a dramatic effect on the next generation of common rail fuel injection systems that may reach up to 300 MPa. Moreover, I definitively demonstrated that NOx emissions for biodiesel are actually lower than diesel fuel after accounting for combustion timing. Our compendium of papers in this area provides a good summary of the efforts in this field. Overall, it appears that the talk was well received and I look forward to discussing more of this work in the future.

October 28, 2016
I had a great time talking at KU Elevate. A wonderful opportunity and I have to thank the Chancellor for inviting me to present. I never practiced more for a presentation in my life, probably gave the speech about 100 times. I'll post the video of my presentation when it is available. Thank you to all attendees for a great reception, and to my co-presenters for highlighting their important and pertinent research.

September 8, 2016
Prof. Depcik traveled to Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden to discuss our particulate filter and catalyst modeling activities. During this time he gave a seminar on our efforts that was well received by the faculty and students alike. Two excellent days of meetings with faculty along with trips around Stockholm and Göteborg provided further highlights of the trip. All in all, an excellent time!
Dr. D at Chalmers

August 2, 2016
Congratulations to Jonathan Mattson, ChenaniahKassia Langness, and Brendan Niles in regards to another journal publication. This one is titled: "Usage of Glycerin-Derived, Hydrogen-Rich Syngas Augmented by Soybean Biodiesel to Power a Biodiesel Production Facility". A combination of findings across our different engine test setups. It will be published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, a high impact journal!

July 21, 2016
The website has undergone a somewhat dramatic change, hopefully you like it. Using the power of Drupal, it should now be somewhat good for mobile. I'll need to keep adjusting the material, but at least we are on our way there.

June 13, 2016
Charles Sprouse III successfully defended his PhD dissertation today titled: "Combined Diesel Particulate Filter/Heat Exchanger for Engine Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery with Organic Rankine Cycle". The effort is the first of its kind modeling a dual use DPF and heat exchanger for the use of waste heat recovery and particulate matter storage. This work has been years in the making and it is great to see Charles develop a thorough model to investigate this novel device. Kudos to Charles!

June 1, 2016
Work done with a colleague of mine and former undergraduate students has been recently published in the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. The work titled "Experiments and Numerical Simulations of Two-phase Heat and Mass Transfer of Phase Change Materials in Porous Media" investigates the use of octadecane as a heat transfer medium in the use of energy storage for battery packs and fuel cells. The potential to include porous materials along with the PCM can dramatically enhance heat transfer.

April 29, 2016
Richard Bramlette successfully defended his PhD dissertation today titled: "Development, Modeling, Simulation, and Testing of a Novel Propane-Fueled Brayton-Gluhareff Cycle Acoustically-Pressurized Ramjet Engine". A really fascinating piece of work that recovers a lot of lost knowledge from Eugene Gluhareff. A comprehensive look into propane kinetic mechanisms is given along with 3-D CFD models of a Gluhareff design. The work concludes with actual ramjet testing performed by Bram. This is really one of a kind work, and Bram should be commended for a thorough undertaking.
Richard Bramlette

April 14, 2016
Great time in Detroit catching up with former students Chenaniah Langness, Patrick Collins, Michael Mangus, and Charles Sprouse. They are all doing extremely well, and we enjoyed some fantastic deep dish pizza while reminiscing a bit. Saw Chenaniah give his talk, and he did a wonderful job illustrating his findings (and non-findings) as to the different effects of CNG constituents (10.4271/2016-01-0802). The talks I gave (10.4271/2016-01-0559 and 10.4271/2016-01-0877) had very good reception by the audience, and brought up a few interesting questions...that I'll pose to my graduate students to solve :). All in all, an excellent trip.

February 23, 2016
A couple different undergraduate (EcoHawks) and graduate projects of Dr D.'s groups are shown in the latest KU Engineering advertisement. Check it out!

January 28, 2016
Three of our papers have been accepted for the 2016 SAE World Congress:

  • Statistical Analyses of CNG Constituents on Dual-Fuel Compression Ignition Combustion
  • First and Second Law Analysis Heat Release Analysis in a Single Cylinder Engine
  • Influence of Fuel Injection Pressure and Biodiesel upon NOx Emissions

Great work by past and current students. The first paper delves into ANOVA and Pearson correlation analyses in order to determine how the constituents of CNG (e.g., methane, isobutane, etc.) influence combustion. The second work expands on a conventional heat release analysis by incorporating the second law of thermodynamics to help discern trends with more fidelity. The last paper provides a nice summary of biodiesel influences on NOx and illustrates how fuel injection pressure can reverse some of the trends found in prior work. All well done papers by the students, and hopefully others will find them helpful.

November 19, 2015
Our efforts were recently presented at the ASME IMECE 2015 conference in Houston, TX:

  • Second Law Heat Release Modeling of a Compression Ignition Engine Fueled with Blends of Palm Biodiesel (IMECE2015-51079)
  • Design and Analysis of Electric Bikes for Local Commutes (IMECE2015-52135)

The first paper involves some excellent work by my graduate student Jon Mattson in which he found distinct differences in 20% blends of biodiesel through a second law heat release analysis that did not show up in a conventional first law study. The second paper continues the tradition of publishing technical papers by my undergraduate EcoHawks capstone design group. As always, I am impressed with the dedication of undergraduates here at KU willing to go above and beyond.

October 23, 2015
Another paper has been published by our group. A very interesting combustion analysis stemming from the blending of a waste plastic derived fuel with diesel. Thanks to Preetham Churkunti, Jonathan Mattson, and collaborator Ger Devlin for our efforts titled "Combustion Analysis of Pyrolysis End of Life Plastic Fuel Blended with Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel Processing Technology". The paper can be found here

October 9, 2015
Our efforts at merging detailed and global kinetics for NO oxidation has been published! Kudos to Travis Wentworth, Sudarshan Loya, and Dr. Susan Stagg-Williams for our efforts at developing an adaptive kinetics model that simulates NO oxidation over a platinum/alumina catalyst as a function of particle size. The DOI of the article is: 10.1007/s11144-015-0935-z

August 28, 2015
Officials from Westar Energy donated a 2007 Toyota Prius to the EcoHawks at the KU School of Engineering. The car’s battery pack is no longer sufficient for use on the road, but still contains a significant amount of energy. The EcoHawks plan to re-purpose that power for use in the Hill Research and Development Center.

June 15, 2015
Preetham Churkunti passed his MS thesis defense titled "Combustion Performance of Waste-Derived Fuels in Compression Ignition Engine at the University of Kansas" with flying colors. He is going to be starting at Cummins shortly as the Rapid Problem Solving Team Leader. Best of luck, and I expect to hear great things about what he is doing.
Preetham Churkunti

June 11, 2015
Excellent news, Dr. Michael Mangus's final efforts have finally been published. "Investigating the Compression Ignition Combustion of Multiple Biodiesel/ULSD Blends via Common-Rail Injection" will be published later this year in Energy. To date, Dr. Mangus was a part of 12 journal and conference paper submissions while being on four of the journal papers as the first author.

April 24, 2015
Patrick Collins passed his MS thesis defense titled "Second Generation Electric Vehicle Development at the University of Kansas" with flying colors. He is off to do great things at Ford R&D working in the hybrid powertrain development (and modeling) area. Kudos to him, and great job!
Patrick Collins

April 22, 2015
Dr. Depcik presented his SAE Paper titled "Combining the Classical and Lumped Diesel Particulate Filter Models" in Detroit at the SAE World Congress. A quick trip in and out to get back to the grind here at KU. A good reception to the paper and it was selected for the SAE International Journal of Engines. If interested in the work, feel free to contact me directly.

March 2015
Chenaniah Langness's SAE paper (2014-01-0817) was highlighted in the SAE Momentum Magazine, the title being "Test cell at Kansas University does double duty". This article highlights the research while also indicating how the test cell serves as an instructional tool for students. It is a great way to train students while doing state of the art research.

March 18, 2015
Dr. Depcik presented the adaptive metal kinetics efforts on-going to John Deere. Overall, a great trip to Iowa, enjoyed dinner out in Cedar Falls, and a wonderful tour of the facilities. A lot of great stuff happening at John Deere, looking forward to the next generation of tractors.

February 19, 2015
Our paper titled "Influence of Fuel Injection System and Engine Timing Adjustments on Regulated Emissions from Four Biodiesel Fuels" will appear in the Transportation Research Record (TRR), Journal of the Transportation Research Board. A big thanks goes out to Dr. Ted Peltier who championed the paper and did all of the hard work getting it published!

January 22, 2015
Three group papers were accepted into SAE this year, wildly different topics:

  • Combining the Classical and Lumped Diesel Particulate Filter Models
  • Ozone-Assisted Combustion: Experimental Assessment of the Influence of Ozone in a Single-Cylinder Diesel Engine
  • Modified Heat Release Analysis for CNG-Assisted Diesel Combustion

Looking forward to presenting the DPF modeling paper, very interesting and applicable results.

December 22, 2014
Dr. Michael Mangus's dissertation work continues to live on through print. His latest effort titled: "Performance and Emissions Characteristics of Hydroprocessed Renewable Jet Fuel Blends in a Single-Cylinder Compression Ignition Engine with Electronically-Controlled Fuel Injection" is now up on the Combustion Science and Technology website.

December 5, 2014
We had a nice reception to our papers presented recently at ASME IMECE:

  • Employing Adaptive Mesh Refinement for Simulating the Exhaust Gas Recirculation Mixing Process
  • A Swappable Battery Pack for Short-Range Electric Vehicles
  • Fixed Bed Solid Fuel Combustor for the Purpose of Testing Solid Biomass Emissions Properties

Richard Bramlette did a very good job presenting his EGR paper, and there was a rousing and helpful discussion afterwards. Montreal was a great place to visit; hopefully, ASME holds another conference there in the future.

October 5, 2014
The EcoHawks were featured on the Big XII Making a Difference commercial during the Kansas and West Virginia game.

September 4, 2014
Congratulations to Cody Moore for successfully defending his MS thesis titled "Applications of Small Wind Turbines Emphasizing the Economic Viability of Integration into a Home Energy System". It was extremely interesting to read and a different tactic at employing a heat pump to store energy within the house. This removed the need to purchase an energy storage system and its cost from implementing renewable energy for a home.

August 22, 2014
It has been an epic four year adventure in order to get this vehicle going. There are so many students, faculty, and staff to thank along the way. I cannot expression my appreciation enough as this has got to be the toughest build ever. Putting together a modern electric vehicle from scratch using only the shell of an old vehicle. Kudos all!!!

August 6, 2014
Chenaniah Langness successfully defended his MS thesis titled "Effects of Natural Gas Constituents on Engine Performance, Emissions, and Combustion in Compressed Natural Gas-Assisted Diesel Combustion". Congratulations Chenny, you did a tremendous amount of excellent work (and I mean a lot of work)! Your automated cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation system will be used for many years to come. Our 14th advanced degree from the group.
Chenaniah Langness

August 1, 2014
An electric vehicle with a replaceable battery pack is the newest addition to the fleet used by the University of Kansas Center for Sustainability for collecting recycling around campus. Members of the KU EcoHawks, a student research program at the School of Engineering that focuses on developing innovative sustainable energy solutions for transportation and other areas of research, spent the 2013-2014 school year repairing a Global Electric Motorcar (GEM). Read more here.

July 23, 2014
Top administrators from the National Institute of Standards and Technology visited with KU University of Kansas School of Engineering researchers. Here, Associate Professor Chris Depcik talks about some of the special capabilities of the Engine Test Cell Laboratory in m2SEC and its relationship with the Biofuels Laboratory Suite as part of the Feedstock to Tailpipe Initiative.

July 7, 2014
The EcoHawks have been featured in the Big XII academic minute. Check it out.

June 9, 2014
Highlighted by a run of nearly 100 miles per gallon of fuel efficiency, a team from the University of Kansas School of Engineering recently participated in a competition that pushes the envelope of fuel economy and vehicle innovation. For the first time in school history, KU took part in the Shell-Eco marathon – Americas, which took place last month in Houston. The vehicle, which is the size of a go-kart and has a top speed of about 30 miles per hour, was designed by members of the KU EcoHawks, a student research program in the engineering school that focuses on developing innovative sustainable energy solutions for transportation and other areas of energy infrastructure. Chris Depcik, associate professor of mechanical engineering, serves as the EcoHawks adviser. Read more here

May 29, 2014
A team of students from the University of Kansas School of Engineering including three EcoHawks claimed second place in a national wind power competition. The team, known as Jayhawk Windustries, was one of 10 teams from universities around the country selected for the Department of Energy’s inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition, which was earlier this month in Las Vegas. - See more at:

May 12, 2014
Congratulations to Michael Mangus and Jonathan Mattson for the acceptance of their paper titled "Comparison of Neat Biodiesels and ULSD in an Optimized Single-Cylinder Diesel Engine with Electronically-Controlled Fuel Injection" in the journal Energy & Fuels.

May 8, 2014
The EcoHawks team that competed in the DOE Collegiate Wind Competition with aerospace and business students finished second overall. The team was able to place first in the combined Design and Turbine Performance (first overall with respect to performance - our goal) and first in the Business Plan Contest. Great job everyone and a fantastic experience for all.

Spring 2014
These days, the University of Kansas School of Engineering is most recognizable by the giant crane adjacent to the School’s buildings on main campus.
The crane is but one representation of the changes and expansions that are happening at the School. Inside the buildings and on West Campus, more students have more opportunities than ever to both specialize their coursework and do research projects. The School is building new relationships with the business community and the community at large every day, to make sure those opportunities continue to abound – and that the students keep coming to KU. Read More

April 26, 2014
The EcoHawks team that competed in the Shell Eco-Marathon this year within the Urban Concept division did a great job and had virtually no technical difficulties at the competition. Their best result was 94 mpg using gas-to-liquid fuel, an unofficial first place result in their category. Out of the three teams that competed in that specific fuel category, they were the only one to make it on the track and drive around the course. Two issues with size and weight prevented passing the complete technical inspection (we knew this heading into the competition, but we wanted the experience for helping out future teams); however, safety was passed with flying colors. Great job, and look forward to seeing a new team compete next year.

April 18, 2014
Nick Surface successfully defended his MS thesis titled "Small-Scale Smart Grid Construction and Analysis". Congratulations Nick, and well done!
Nicholas Surface

A hearty congratulations to former students Michael Mangus and Colter Ragone for their efforts as part of the newly published paper: "Ozone-Assisted Combustion—Part I: Literature Review and Kinetic Study Using Detailed n-Heptane Kinetic Mechanism". A nice review of the literature and our own modeling (while briefly mentioning the experimental) efforts involving the influence of ozone on combustion.

March 5, 2014
Research Scientist Derek Pickett is featured as part of an article about the next generation of biodiesel co-product research. Read about it here: Biodiesel Magazine
Derek Pickett

February 8, 2014
Prof. Depcik spoke at the Science Pioneers' Saturday Science Seminar program for students and teachers in the 8th to 12th grades at Union Station downtown Kansas City. The title of his talk was "Building the Car of the Future" and he covered electric and hybrid vehicles. It was fun to speak in front of the Extreme Screen, I hope students/parents/teachers got as much out of it as I did. Thanks for the invite!

January 27, 2014
Michael Mangus successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled "Implementation of Engine Control and Measurement Strategies for Bio-fuel Research in Compression Ignition Engines" with honors. Congratulations Dr. Mangus! Off to bigger and better things at GE.
Dr. Michael Mangus

January 22, 2014
Derek Pickett presented his MS thesis work at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in San Diego, CA. He went over the synergy between glycerin reformation and biodiesel production in the "The Next Generation of Biodiesel Research" session at 8:30 am.
Derek Pickett at NBB

January 18, 2014
Congratulations to Charles Sprouse III, Jon Mattson, Chenaniah Langness, Austin Hausmann, and Michael Mangus as their papers have just been accepted to the SAE 2014 World Congress. Five papers submitted, five accepted, great job all! The titles are as follows:

  • Efficiency and Emissions Mapping for a Single-Cylinder, Direct Injected Compression Ignition Engine
  • Combining a Diesel Particulate Filter and Heat Exchanger for Waste Heat Recovery and Particulate Matter Reduction
  • Construction, Instrumentation, and Implementation of a Low Cost, Single-Cylinder Compression Ignition Engine Test Cell
  • A Cost-Effective Alternative to Moving Floor Wind Tunnels in order to Calculate Rolling Resistance and Aerodynamic Drag Coefficients
  • Development of a Simplified Diesel Particulate Filter Model Intended for an Engine Control Unit

January 15, 2014
The EcoHawks facility (Hill Engineering Research and Development Center) has been selected by the staff of Architect magazine as one of the very best projects of 2013! Read more about it here & here.

December 18, 2013
Derek Pickett successfully defended his MS thesis on this date titled "Design and Operation of the Synthesis Gas Generator System for Reformed Propane and Glycerin Combustion". He received honors for his efforts, and did a tremendous job!

November 21, 2013
One of Dr. Depcik's graduate students, Chenaniah Langness, presented two papers at the annual IMECE Conference in San Diego titled "Proof-of-Concept Combined Shrouded Wind Turbine and Compressed Air Energy Storage System" (IMECE2013-62226) and "Small Scale Prototype Biomass Drying System for Co-Combustion with Coal" (IMECE2013-62188). Both papers were based on work accomplished by the EcoHawks capstone design project.

November 18, 2013
Prof. Depcik presented his graduate student's (Derek Pickett) paper at the annual IMECE Conference in San Diego titled "Combustion of Reformed Propane as Segue to Glycerin Reforming" (IMECE2013-62355). It received a positive response with a number of interested parties stopping to discuss the work with Prof. Depcik afterwards. The methodology presented using a by-production of biodiesel production (glycerin) for power generation at a biodiesel production facility is promising, especially considering that glycerin prices have previously dropped as low as $1.11 per gallon at the same equivalent energy content as biodiesel.

November 15, 2013
The presentation that I gave at the CEBC on the 24th of October has been uploaded to YouTube and is now available for viewing on the Facilities page.

November 6, 2013
Professor Depcik got a chance to chat and have lunch with the President of General Motors, Mark Reuss, as he toured KU. The dime tour of the Hill Center and the interaction with Prof. Depcik's students made for a number of good discussion topics. Read more about his visit here.
Mark Reuss at the Hill Center
General Motors President Mark Reuss talking with Prof. Depcik and his graduate student Ryan O'Malley about their on-going electric vehicle efforts

November 4, 2013
The EcoHawks and Prof. Depcik are mentioned by the Provost as an example of KU faculty engaging in experiential learning. Read more here.

October 24, 2013
Prof. Depcik will be presenting his research efforts on this day at the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis at 9 am (CEBC Seminar Room, B104, Building B, 1501 Wakarusa Drive). The title of his presentation is "Burning Man: Internal Combustion Engine Testing at the University of Kansas". Please attend if you are interested in seeing an overview of Prof. Depcik's laboratory efforts.

October 15, 2013
Congratulations to Jonathan Mattson on the acceptance of his paper titled "Emissions-Calibrated Equilibrium Heat Release Model for Direct Injection Compression Ignition Engines" in the journal Fuel.

September 26, 2013
Sudarshan Loya passed his PhD Comprehensive Exam titled "Dual-Leg Lean NOx Trap Modeling Including Fundamental Reaction Rate Expressions for NO Oxidation, Storage, and Regeneration"

September 20, 2013
Christopher Depcik, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is one of 10 KU faculty selected as a 2013 Docking Family Young Scholar. The program was established in 1999 by a $1 million commitment from former Kansas First Lady Meredith Docking. Read More

September 12, 2013
Prof. Depcik presents "Glycerin as a Hydrogen Carrier for Power Production" at the National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo in Omaha, NE. This project covers the continuous process of converting glycerin to a hydrogen rich synthesis gas that is subsequently combusted in a spark ignition engine.

September 6, 2013
Charles Sprouse's paper "Review of organic Rankine cycles for internal combustion engine exhaust waste heat recovery" is the #8 most downloaded Mechanical Engineering article from Elsevier in the first half of 2013. It is the #1 most downloaded Mechanical Engineering article in the world from Elsevier with a publication date of 2013.

August 27, 2013
Dan Rockhill, J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture, explains the innovative construction of the Hill Engineering Research and Development Center, the latest project of Rockhill's Studio 804. Architecture students designed and constructed the facility where KU's EcoHawks are developing alternative methods of charging electric cars.

August 22, 2013
Multi-cylinder AC dynamometer commissioning is complete!

Summer 2013
Ronald and Sue Hill, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., made a generous gift to support the construction and equipping of the Hill Engineering Research and Development Center on KU’s west campus. The center, which will be completed later this spring, will house KU EcoHawks, a student research program of the School of Engineering that focuses on developing innovative sustainable energy solutions for transportation and other areas of research. Read More