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Education through Applied Learning and Hands-on Practical Experience with Flex Fuel Vehicles

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

ETD Learning Approaches

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Hazem Tawfik State University of New York, Farmingdale

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Prof. Tawfik obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has held a number of industrial & academic positions and affiliations with organizations that included Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Stony Brook University (SBU), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Atomic Energy of Canada Inc., Ontario Hydro, NASA Kennedy, NASA Marshall Space Flight Centers, and the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center at Carderock, Md. Dr. Tawfik is the co-author of more than 60 research papers in the areas of Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Biomass Energy, Thermo- fluids and Two Phase Flow published in prestigious peer reviewed journals and conference symposiums. He holds numerous research awards and owns the rights to four patents in the Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells area. Currently, Dr. Tawfik is a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and the Director of the Institute for Research and Technology Transfer (IRTT) at Farmingdale State College of the State University of New York.

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Yeong Ryu State University of New York, Farmingdale

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YEONG S. RYU graduated from Columbia University with a Ph.D. and Master of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering in 1994. He has served as an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Farmingdale State College (SUNY) since 2006. In addition, he has conducted various research projects at Xerox Corporation (1994-1995), Hyundai Motor Corporation (1995-1997), and New Jersey Institute of Technology (2001-2003).
He has been teaching and conducting research in a broad range of areas of system identification and control of nonlinear mechatronic systems and vibrations in structures requiring precision pointing to eliminate the detrimental effects of such diverse disturbance sources. He has authored or co-authored more than 70 publications. His work currently focuses on the development and implementation of modeling and control of renewable energy systems, characterization of nanomaterials, photovoltaics, and nanoscale integrated systems. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Materials Research Society (MRS).

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Rob Kowalski Farmingdale State College

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Rob Kowalski is a twenty three years old, and currently attending Farmingdale State college as a Mechanical Engineering Student. He works at the Institute for Research Technology Tranfer at Farmingdale. Previously Rob has graduated from Suffolk County Community College with an Associates degree in Automotive Technology and has a background specifically in automotive electronics and emissions. Rob is looking to peruse his future career in Mechanical Engineering within the transportation industry.

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The main goals of this research work are to conduct experiments, gather data and measure the horsepower of an internal combustion engine that runs on flex fuel. The tested fuels in this experiment include liquid gasoline, propane, and Syngas produced from woody biomass waste. The engine was first mounted on a stationary stand for ease of access to all of its components and for the convenience of installing a conversion kit for alternative fuels. Since the engine was previously proven to run on liquid gasoline with published specifications and known recorded data, the next step was to plan a conversion of the engine from liquid gasoline to a natural gas internal combustion engine. This was accomplished by a natural gas conversion kit. This kit is exactly like the one that would be used to convert generators to natural gas and can be purchased as a whole, making assembly and fitment faster and more accurate. The engine kit was installed, tuned and tested running on propane and syngas. The installed kit enabled the engine to run, as anticipated, on propane gas. Also, a secondary experiment was performed to test the engine power output as well as other factors such as efficiency and durability. In order to obtain measurements of power output, the engine was installed onto a rolling Dynamometer. The conclusions from these tests yielded high accuracy Horsepower results; however, more importantly for this research assignment, all of the data collected, experiments created, and information obtained were done in a hands on, active learning environment. This type of applied learning comes with many benefits in comparison to traditional learning in a classroom setting. One of the main benefits is that the student can immediately learn by doing and see the impact of a scientific or engineering theory on a subject in a real world application. Furthermore, the experiments were designed to give the students a sense of what it would be like to work as a professional and prepare them for post-graduation. Giving the students such hands on experience proved to be invaluable because this type of applied learning is very similar to how the industry operates on a daily basis.

Tawfik, H., & Ryu, Y., & Kowalski, R. (2017, June), Education through Applied Learning and Hands-on Practical Experience with Flex Fuel Vehicles Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27417

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