Purdue University Establishes Hybrid-Drive Lab

School to also develop an interdisciplinary hybrid-engine course for 2004

Published: 08-Aug-2003

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Aug. 1 (AScribe Newswire) -- Purdue University has created a new laboratory dedicated to research and teaching in hybrid-engine automotive technologies.

Hybrid technology supplements the internal combustion engine with an electric motor, enabling a car to get more miles per gallon than conventional cars. Purdue engineers and students will study how to most efficiently marry internal combustion engines with battery- and fuel-cell powered motors, said John Abraham, a professor of mechanical engineering who helped form the lab, which is expected to begin operating this fall.

Abraham and other faculty members also will develop an interdisciplinary hybrid-engine course, which is expected to be introduced in about a year. The course will be taught by a team of faculty members who specialize in internal combustion engines, fuel cells, batteries, motors, the "powertrains" that drive cars and the complex electronic controls needed to switch the car's power from its engine to the electric motor.

Hybrid cars offer promise in reducing emissions and fuel consumption, and several cars equipped with the technology are on the market. New hybrid technologies will be needed to increase the efficiency of cars in the near future, Abraham said.

"The lab and hybrid course are practical and important because a large number of our students are hired by companies in the automotive industry," Abraham said.

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