Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Automotive Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Prucka, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Hussein Dourra

Committee Member

Dr. Zoran Filipi

Committee Member

Dr. Simona Onori


Pressure to improve spark-ignition (SI) engine fuel economy has driven thedevelopment and integration of many control actuators, creating complex controlsystems. Integration of a high number of control actuators into traditional map basedcontrollers creates tremendous challenges since each actuator exponentially increasescalibration time and investment. Model Predictive Control (MPC) strategies have thepotential to better manage this high complexity since they provide near-optimal controlactions based on system models. This research work focuses on investigating somepractical issues of applying MPC with SI engine control and testing.Starting from one dimensional combustion phasing control using spark timing(SPKT), this dissertation discusses challenges of computing the optimal control actionswith complex engine models. A nonlinear optimization is formulated to compute thedesired spark timing in real time, while considering knock and combustion variationconstraints. Three numerical approaches are proposed to directly utilize complex high-fidelity combustion models to find the optimal SPKT. A model based combustionphasing estimator that considers the influence of cycle-by-cycle combustion variations isalso integrated into the control system, making feedback and adaption functions possible.An MPC based engine management system with a higher number of controldimensions is also investigated. The control objective is manipulating throttle, externalEGR valve and SPKT to provide demanded torque (IMEP) output with minimum fuelconsumption. A cascaded control structure is introduced to simplify the formulation and solution of the MPC problem that solves for desired control actions. Sequential quadratic programming (SQP) MPC is applied to solve the nonlinear optimization problem in real time. A real-time linearization technique is used to formulate the sub-QP problems with the complex high dimensional engine system. Techniques to simplify the formulation of SQP and improve its convergence performance are also discussed in the context of tracking MPC. Strategies to accelerate online quadratic programming (QP) are explored. It is proposed to use pattern recognition techniques to “warm-start” active set QP algorithms for general linear MPC applications. The proposed linear time varying (LTV) MPC is used in Engine-in-Loop (EIL) testing to mimic the pedal actuations of human drivers who foresee the incoming traffic conditions. For SQP applications, the MPC is initialized with optimal control actions predicted by an ANN. Both proposed MPC methods significantly reduce execution time with minimal additional memory requirement.



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