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Advanced Powertrain Systems Overview

students working with Dr. Filipi

There are several strategic research areas within advanced powertrains: optimization of hybrid powertrain layout and operating strategy, advanced internal combustion engine concepts, emissions after treatment modeling and control, battery pack control and diagnostics, electric powertrains, model-based control,  and improving energy efficiency using vehicle connectivity.

Students who choose to specialize in this area will study several topics related to reducing the environmental impact and cost of ground vehicle powertrains. Courses offered in this area include a mix of fundamental principles, modeling and simulation, control system development, powertrain calibration, sub-system and component design, and extensive laboratory experiences.  


Zoran Filipi
Advanced engine concepts; multi-physics modeling; hybrid systems analysis and optimization; hardware-in-the-loop integration

Benjamin Lawler
Advanced Low-Temperature Combustion (LTC) strategies; renewable and sustainable fuels as a future low-carbon, engine-powered transportation solution; alternative engine designs; hybrid vehicle configurations and integration

Robert Prucka 
Focuses on optimization, control, calibration, and emissions of advanced powertrains to improve fuel economy and reduce the time to market of advanced technologies

Jiangfeng Zhang
Electric vehicle battery management and grid integration; electricity market; smart grid and renewables

Qilun Zhu


advanced powertrainsAdvanced powertrain systems research focuses on reducing the environmental impact of ground vehicles. A wide range of research topics is covered utilizing the world-class computational and experimental facilities available at CU-ICAR.

Here is a sampling of current research projects:

  • Hybrid Vehicle Modeling with Novel Internal Combustion Engines
  • Modeling and Optimization of Electrified Propulsion Systems for Military Trucks
  • Fault Tolerant Hydraulic Hybrid Systems
  • Diesel-Assisted Natural Gas Operation for Compression Ignition Engines
  • Physics-Based Spark Control Algorithm
  • Developing a HiL/MiL Simulation and Control Model of a Modern Automatic Transmission
  • Recirculated Exhaust Gas Intake Sensor (REGIS) Enabling Cost-Effective Fuel Efficiency Improvement
  • Ensuring Compliance while Developing Clean, Safe, and High-Quality Aftermarket Performance Products
  • Optimal PHEV Design and Adaptive Control Strategies concerning Battery Aging
  • Braking-Induced Vibrations in Coupled TWEEL-Suspension Systems
  • Experimental Investigation of the Influence of Tire/TWEEL™ Torsional Properties on ABS Performance
  • Electric Powertrain Simulation
  • Energy control strategy for driver eco-driving enhancement, feedback and driving style assessment
  • GATE Center of Excellence in Sustainable Vehicle Systems
  • Synthetic Drive Cycle Generation to Support Studies on the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Battery Aging

SAE International Symposium on Natural Gas at CUICAR

An international conference at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) examined the feasibility of natural gas as an alternative fuel. The SAE International Natural Gas Symposium opened with a high-level overview session providing natural gas production forecasts, infrastructure development, government initiatives and technology trends. The conference offered the perspectives of original equipment manufacturers (OEM), fuel system suppliers, infrastructure providers and fleet owners. Topics include the development of natural gas fuel systems, engine conversion technologies, home fueling options and fleet business cases.

Additional Resources
Beshah Ayalew's Applied Dynamics and Control Research Group site.

This research is made possible thanks to the generosity of the companies and organizations listed below.
A & D Technology
ADVANCED Motion Controls
BMW Group
Clearstone Technologies
Curtis Instruments

Johnson Controls Power Solutions
National Science Foundation
U.S. Department of Energy