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{Bob Koch Picture}
C. R. (Bob) Koch
Professor
Ph.D. (Stanford University, 1986-1991), P. Eng.
Tel: (780) 492-8821 Fax: (780) 492-2200
Office : 5-8C Mechanical Engineering Building
Email: bob.koch@ualberta.ca

Research Interest

Behaviour of internal combustion engines and fluid systems and the application of control to these systems. My research can be divided into three areas: internal combustion engines, engine control, and fluid mechanics of microdroplets.

Key Words:

Combustion Engines, Fluid Mechanics, Control Systems, Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI), Solenoid Valve Actuators, Variable Valve Timing, Thermokinetic Modelling, Alternative Fuels, Microfluidics, Computer Simulation , Experimental Testing

Brief Description

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is a promising new combustion concept for internal combustion engines in which a homogeneous air-fuel mixture auto-ignites without a spark. HCCI has a premixed charge like a spark-ignition engine but the ignition is triggered by the chemical kinetics similar to a diesel engine. The in-cylinder combustion process consisting of a turbulent reacting flow makes this flow extremely difficult to model numerically or mathematically. The problem becomes even more complex when variations in temperatures and pressures are present due to changing engine speeds and loads. It is thus essential to experimentally measure HCCI combustion. The autoignition in an HCCI engine must take place at the correct engine timing to maximize the useful mechanical work output and to avoid damaging mechanical stresses on the engine. To correctly control HCCI combustion an improved understanding of the HCCI combustion and the methods of control are needed. The goals of my research are to increase the fundamental understanding of HCCI combustion by generating unique experimental data useful for modelling, and to develop computational tractable models that can be used to develop engine control strategies for HCCI combustion.

The objective of this research is to develop and implement cutting-edge strategies for fluid handling in microfluidic lab-on-a-chip using feedback control strategies. A fundamental understanding of physical phenomena is combined with control concepts to create innovative ways of manipulating fluid systems at a small scale. These methods are expected to provide the basic building blocks to produce control mechanisms for moving fluids efficiently in lab-on-a-chips.

The objective of this research is to develop active control strategies for fluid jets with the goal of using large scale structures to either reduce fluctuations or to enhance mixing.

The objective of this research is to develop active control strategies for moving particles in a liquid using pressure fields created by ultrasound. One application is to enhance separation of small particles from water.

Motivation

Application of control can significantly enhance performance of some systems. A fundamental understanding of the system to be controlled is not only essential for design and implementation of a "good" control system but it allows for modification of the controlled system to allow for better control

HCCI combustion engines require precise control of the in-cylinder mixture to be useful. One way of doing this is with completely flexible valve timing. This allows for the composition cylinder charges to be controlled for each cylinder and for each combustion event. Perhaps the most practical way to obtain variable valve timing is to use electromagnetic solenoid valves. However, these valves require feedback motion control in order to be robust to disturbances and achieve the low valve seating velocity needed for engine wear and noise requirements.

Support

Financial support from the following agencies is gratefully acknowledged:

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

AUTO21, Network Centres of Excellence

Centre for Oil Sands Innovation (COSI)

BioFuelNet Canada (BFN)

Courses Taught

2007 - 2008 Sabbatical at IST Stuttgart Germany

EN PH 131: Mechanics (Winter 2002,Winter 2003)

MEC E 230: Introduction to Thermosciences (Fall 2011 with Kostiuk and Bhattacharjee)

MEC E 330: Fluid Mechanics (Fall 2001, Fall 2002 Fall 2003, Fall 2004, Fall 2005, Fall 2006)

MEC E 420: Control of Dynamic Systems (2003-2009, 2011-2012)

MEC E 758: Digital Control of Dynamic systems(Fall 2003, Fall 2004)

MEC E 653: Signal Processing of Time and Spectral Series(Fall 2005, Fall 2006, Fall 2008, Fall 2009)

MEC E 615: Control Methods Applied to Partial Differential Equations (Fall 2011, Fall 2012)

Research Information

Template for bi-weekly progress report

Direction to Mechanical Engineering

Conferences/Links/News

2013 American Control Conference

2013 - IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference

IFAC Technical Commitee Automotive Control - News

2014 - IFAC WORLD CONGRESS

IEEE Control Systems Society - List of Conferences

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Last Modified:Monday, January 27, 2014 20:47