Transportation Research Authority at the EMS Energy Institute Heading to Michigan
Friday, May 25, 2012

After 18 years with Penn State University, Dr. André Boehman, professor in the John and Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and leading researcher in engines and fuel science, has accepted a position as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan.  Although he’ll be leaving the University in July, Boehman plans to continue to collaborate with Penn State on future projects.

As director of the transportation program and manager of the Diesel Combustion and Emissions Laboratory (DCEL) at the EMS Energy Institute, Boehman’s research revolves around alternative and reformulated fuels, and combustion and pollution control. Specifically his focus has been on alternative diesel fuels, diesel combustion, and diesel exhaust aftertreatment. Boehman was integral in setting up the DCEL, which is devoted to studies of fuel chemistry, combustion, and pollution control for diesel engines, and more generally for compression ignition combustion processes. The lab houses a variety of engines, engine test cells, emissions measurement instrumentation, and more. Typically there are more than a dozen students, graduates, undergraduates, and lab assistants, involved in research at the DCEL.

Boehman has made many notable contributions with his work at Penn State, including his work with Dimethyl ether (DME), a derivative of natural gas. Boehman is actively involved in the International DME Association and worked on engineering fuel systems with Volvo Trucks and Volvo Powertrain. In addition, he’s currently working with Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. in a techno-economic evaluation of the use of natural gas in a so-called “dual fuel” combustion process, which involves feeding both natural gas and diesel fuel simultaneously to the engine. In October 2002, he led a successful project with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and support from the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Lab to convert a Penn State shuttle bus to operate on a bled of DME and diesel fuel. This was the first vehicle in the world to use a DME-diesel blend and the first transit vehicle to be in service and carry passengers operating in whole or in part on DME.

Dr. Boehman came to Penn State in 1994 as an assistant professor of fuel science in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. In 2000 he became associate professor in the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering. In 2006 he was promoted to professor. During his tenure at Penn State, Dr. Boehman has supervised over twenty-nine master’s theses and fifteen doctoral theses and Penn State and has published more than seventy five refereed papers and book chapters based on his fuel research.

Dr. Boehman has received many awards both inside and outside of Penn State. From the college of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State, he received the 2009 Matthew and Anne Wilson Award for Excellence in Research, the 2007 Faculty Mentoring Award and the 1999 Matthew and Anne Wilson Award for Outstanding Teaching. In 2011, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) elected Dr. Boehman as an International Fellow. He served as the Editor of the journal Fuel Processing Technology from 2007-2011 and continues to serve as an instructor in the SAE Diesel Academy. He has also held executive positions with the American Chemical Society Division of Fuel Chemistry and with the International DME Association.

Dr. Chunshan Song, director of the EMS Energy Institute, spoke highly of Boehman. “Dr. Boehman has made important contributions to the EMS Energy Institute and to Penn State in all areas of research, education, and service. Personally I have really enjoyed working with Dr. Boehman. His excellent research program in internal combustion engine and alternative fuels research has attracted attention from the academic and industrial research community worldwide. We will miss him at Penn State but we wish him all the best in his continued success at University of Michigan, and look forward to continuing our interaction and collaboration.”