Aircraft engine testing research wins award

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Aircraft engine testing research wins University Aviation Association award

Published: October 25, 2012.

Alessandro Mazza

Lewis University student Alessandro Mazza along with alumni Julius Keller and Jordan Raess won second place in the Graduate Student division for their virtual poster entitled, “Lead Memory in General Aviation Aircraft Emissions” at the 2012 University Aviation Association Fall Education Conference held in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Along with the second place finish, the students won a $100 award.

The research project entailed comparing the engine emissions of the Swift Enterprises lead-free fuel, 100SF, to industry-standard low-lead avgas, 100LL. Five general aviation engines were measured during idle, cruise and maximum power configuration. Researchers observed a statistically significant decrease in measured pollutants, which include Carbon Monoxide, Nitric Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulfur Dioxide and Tetraethyl lead. The Lewis University research team served as an independent laboratory to validate earlier research findings that could lead to a new lead-free aviation gas.

At the time of the research, Julius Keller and Jordan Raess were graduate students in the Aviation and Transportation Studies Master of Science program at Lewis University and Alessandro Mazza was a freshman undergraduate student in Chemistry. Keller and Raess were awarded their master’s degrees in December 2011. Keller is currently a graduate teaching/research assistant in the Ph.D. program in Aviation Technology at Purdue University and Raess is employed at Argonne National Laboratory. Mazza remains an undergraduate student in Chemistry at Lewis University.

Faculty advisors and principle investigators for the research were Dr. Randy DeMik, associate professor of aviation and director of the master’s Aviation and Transportation program, and Dr.Jason Keleher, assistant professor of Chemistry.

This research was sponsored, in part, by a grant from The Colonel Stephen S. and Lyla Doherty Center for Aviation and Health Research. The Doherty Center funds research and scholarly initiatives and provides opportunities for research experiences for students with faculty mentors. Investigators supported by the Doherty Center have focused on several areas, such as cardiac therapy, wound management, flight deck laser illumination, the environment, diabetes, MRSA, and alternative fuels for aviation.

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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