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Enabling Sustainable Mobility Solutions
ME-EM Graduate Seminar Speaker Series
Dr. Tom Tzanetakis
Aramco Research Center
Abstract: Saudi Aramco is a fully integrated energy enterprise that manages the world’s largest proven conventional crude oil reserves. The company has established a global fuel technology research initiative to develop sustainable mobility solutions for the future. Among other research centers located around the world, the Aramco Research Center – Detroit is ideally situated to take advantage of the long standing automotive ecosystem in the region. The Center’s focus is aimed at improving the efficiency of current and future engines while reducing the overall environmental impact, cost, and complexity of engine systems. A holistic approach is applied to the fuel-engine technology research initiative. This includes consideration of fundamental combustion science, fuel chemistry and design, refinery operations, life-cycle analysis, and co-optimizing fuel-engine solutions towards the final goal of fully integrated vehicle demonstration. An example of this approach will be given as it applies to the heavy-duty, on-road transportation sector. In particular, the use of simulation-guided design to develop real engine hardware for novel fuel formulations will be presented. The importance of continuing to work on future petroleum-based mobility solutions is apparent from a wide variety of independent energy outlook assessments. Petroleum demand will continue to grow in the following decades and is projected to remain the dominant source of energy for the transportation sector. Therefore, developing new technologies through fuel-engine matching provides a path towards enabling sustainable mobility solutions in a global environment with continually emerging criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas regulations.
Bio: Tom Tzanetakis is currently a Research Engineer at the Aramco Research Center – Detroit. The Center’s focus areas include engine technologies, fuel design, and strategic transport research. Tom’s current responsibilities include developing and supporting various research projects in the areas of engine technology and fuel design. These duties encompass research activities ranging from fundamental combustion science to the emissions characteristics of novel fuels in next generation engines.
Tom has been at the Center since September 2013. He was previously a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Queen’s University, Canada, where he worked on developing chemical processes for producing metal powders and on optical sensors for non-ferrous metallurgy process control. Prior to that, Tom was a Research Assistant at the University of Toronto, Canada, where he helped manage an alternative fuels combustion laboratory and research program. His previous research experience includes homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) modeling and studying the combustion stability and emissions of biofuels for stationary heat and power applications. Tom holds a PhD from the University of Toronto, Canada in Mechanical Engineering.
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