Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Mahdi Shahbakhti

Committee Member 1

Scott Miers

Committee Member 2

Seyyedmohsen Azizi


Reactivity controlled compression ignition (RCCI) is a combustion strategy that offers high fuel conversion efficiency and near zero emissions of NOx and soot which can help in improving fuel economy in mobile and stationary internal combustion engine (ICE) applications and at the same time lower engine-out emissions. One of the main challenges associated with RCCI combustion is the difficulty in simultaneously controlling combustion phasing, engine load, and cyclic variability during transient engine operations.

This thesis focuses on developing model based controllers for cycle-to-cycle combustion phasing and load control during transient operations. A control oriented model (COM) is developed by using mean value models to predict start of combustion (SOC) and crank angle of 50% mass fraction burn (CA50). The COM is validated using transient data from an experimental RCCI engine. The validation results show that the COM is able to capture the experimental trends in CA50 and indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP). The COM is then used to develop a linear quadratic integral (LQI) controller and model predictive controllers (MPC). Premixed ratio (PR) and start of injection (SOI) are the control variables used to control CA50, while the total fuel quantity (FQ) is the engine variable used to control load. The selection between PR and SOI is done using a sensitivity based algorithm. Experimental validation results for reference tracking using LQI and MPC show that the desired CA50 and IMEP can be attained in a single cycle during step-up and step-down transients and yield an average error of less than 1.6 crank angle degrees (CAD) in the CA50 and less than 35 kPa in the IMEP. This thesis presents the first study in the literature to design and implement LQI and MPC combustion controllers for RCCI engines.