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Dr. Elisa Toulson, Assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering delivered the Keynote Speech of the 3rd Annual Thermal and Fluids Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL this March 2018. 

Her talk was titled "Turbulent Jet Ignition for Improved Fuel Economy and Emissions" with the following abstract.

The United States’ increasingly stringent fuel economy standards require the development of new more fuel efficient combustion technologies as large gains with conventional spark ignition combustion decline. Turbulent Jet Ignition is an advanced pre-chamber initiated combustion system that replaces the spark plug in a standard spark ignition engine and enables very fast burn rates due to the ignition system producing multiple, distributed ignition sites, which consume the main charge rapidly and with minimal combustion variability. The large number of distributed ignition sites ensures that the flame travel distances are relatively small, enabling short combustion durations even in traditionally slow burning lean and dilute mixtures. Research has shown that these faster burn rates allow for a base compression ratio increase when compared to spark ignition and when combined with diluted mixture combustion, provide a near 20% peak thermal efficiency improvement relative to spark ignition combustion, resulting in both lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Bio: Dr. Elisa Toulson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. Prior to this she completed a postdoctoral appointment at Michigan State University’s Energy and Automotive Laboratory. Her PhD was awarded in 2008 from the University of Melbourne on the topic of applying alternative fuels to the jet ignition process through both experimental engine testing and CFD modeling. She has published over 40 archival papers and has recently been awarded the Society of Automotive Engineers Myers and Teetor awards. Dr. Toulson’s research interests include combustion, ignition and chemical kinetics with an emphasis on alternative and next generation renewable fuels.