Naeim Henein, is the director and founder of Wayne State’s College of Engineering’s Center for Automotive Research.
Mention engine optimization these days and minds instinctively turn to the Internet and improving the visibility of websites. But here in the Motor City, and especially at Wayne State University, engine optimization is defined literally.
When Wayne State College of Engineering faculty members and students talk about engines, they usually mean the kind that generate horsepower. And when they talk about optimization, they mean incorporating the latest research into engines and finding new ways to make them lighter, quieter, cheaper and more fuel efficient.
Research conducted at Wayne State’s College of Engineering’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR) by faculty members such as Naeim Henein, Nabil Chalhoub, Marcis Jansons and Dinu Taraza, prepares students to solve practical problems in areas such as the effects of diesel fuel properties, total engine friction, flexible body approaches and multi-cylinder turbocharged and intercooled heavy duty engines, to name a few.
Today, CAR is developing programs to support comprehensive, integrated fuel testing feedback for the military and the automotive industry, including research that could lead to omnivorous engines in the future. These engines can detect what type of fuel is being introduced and calibrate themselves to burn that fuel in the most efficient way possible.
Henein, director and founder of CAR, sees engine optimization as key to continuously maximizing the potential of a vehicle’s performance.
“Optimization is a necessity in order to develop the most efficient engines at a reasonable cost,” Henein said.
CAR’s research in the area of engine optimization reaches far beyond improvements in fuel economy.
“Our research covers combustion, performance, emission controls, friction and wear, and simulation of automotive engines, as well as alternative and renewable fuels and biofuels,” Henein adds. “The Center for Automotive Research is seen as a key contributor to engine optimization for the entire automotive industry.”
Because the college is in the heart of the Motor City, Henein said Wayne State engineering students are exposed to opportunities that students at other colleges never experience, and ultimately better prepares them for a career in engineering.
“Students leave here very well equipped to step right into an engineering career, because we talk to our students with the language of the industry that surrounds us,” said Henein. “Student success comes from three key components: theory, computer simulation and hands-on experimentation.”
Henein and the rest of the faculty members associated with CAR provide students with the exact valuable problem-solving experience in the lab that employers want.