Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Jeffrey Naber

Committee Member 1

Jason Blough

Committee Member 2

Darrell Robinette

Committee Member 3

Scott Wagner


An experimental effort has been completed in which water injection was investigated as a means of enabling increases in engine output and high load efficiency. Water was injected into the intake port of a direct fuel injected, 4-cylinder, boosted engine with dual independent variable valve timing. The water was shown to increase volumetric efficiency and decrease the onset of knock which in turn enable more optimal combustion phasing. Both of these affects resulted increases in load of up to 5.5% at the same manifold pressure as the baseline case. The advancement of combustion phasing, combined with elimination of fuel enrichment resulted in an increase in full load thermal efficiency of up to 35%. Analysis is provided around these affects, as well as the phase transformation of water throughout the engine cycle.