News

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!

重要提示如果您有兴趣来堪萨斯大学求学并加入我的实验室工作,请向我们提交正式的研究生项目申请。仅向我发送您的简历或其他材料对您并无帮助。我每天至少会收到一封来自于感兴趣的学生的邮件,邮件之多无法一一阅读。但提交一份完整的申请可确保我会看见并审阅你的材料,同时允许我考虑是否给您提供助研或助教岗位。谢谢!

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!



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 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S037838201530206X.


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: http://news.ku.edu/engineering-students-win-2nd-place-collegiate-wind-co...


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