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Wai Cheng

Contact Info

room 31-285

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 1974


  • 1975


  • 1979



Research Interests

  • Engine performance and emissions
  • Combustion science related to engine behavior
  • Novel energy conversion means
  • Impact of transportation system on quality of life and society

Honors + Awards

  • 2004 Society of Automotive Engineers Oral Presentation Award
  • 2003 Fellow, Society of Automotive Engineers
  • 2002 Society of Automotive Engineers Oral Presentation Award
  • 1984 Society of Automotive Engineers Teetor Award
  • 1982 Carl Richard Soderberg Professorship in Power and Propulsion
  • 1975 Lester Gardner Fellow


  • Society of Automotive Engineers

Professional Service

  • 2002 – Present    Member of the editorial board, International Journal of Engine Research
  • 1994 - 1996    Associate editor, Internal Combustion Engines, ASME J. of Gas Turbines and Power

MIT Service

  • 2013-present Committee on Library System
  • 2013-present Committee on transportation and Parking
  • 2011-present Graduate Admission Committee
  • 2008-2010 Graduate Admission Committee
  • 2004-2007 Graduate Admission Committee
  • 2007 Div. II Faculty Search Committee
  • 1998-2004 ME Sophomore Registration Officer
  • 1989-1992 Div. II Faculty Search Committee
  • 1990-1991 Graduate Admission Committee
  • 1980-1987 Graduate Admission Committee


  • Thermal Fluids Engineering I (2.005)
  • Thermal Fluids Engineering II (2.006)
  • Project Development Process (2.009)
  • General Thermodynamics (2.42)
  • Internal Combustion Engines (2.61)
  • Measurement and Instrumentation (2.671)


1.              Smith, P., Cheng, W., and Heywood, J., "Crevice Volume Effect on Spark Ignition Engine Efficiency," SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-2602, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-2602.

2.              Pritchard, J. and Cheng, W., "Effects of Secondary Air on the Exhaust Oxidation of Particulate Matters," SAE Int. J. Engines 8(3):2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0886.

3.              Rodriguez, J. and Cheng, W., "Effect of Operation Strategy on First Cycle CO, HC, and PM/PN Emissions in a GDI Engine," SAE Int. J. Engines 8(3):2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0887.

4.              Lim, E.G., Dames, E.E., Cedrone, K.D., Acocella, A.J., Needham, T., R., Arce, A., Cohn, D., Bromberg, L., Cheng, W.K., Green, W.H., “The Engine Reformer: Syngas Production in an Engine for Compact Gas-to-Liquid Synthesis,” Can. J. Chem. Eng., 94, pp. 623-635, 2016.

5.              McKenzie, J. and Cheng, W., "Ignition Delay Correlation for Engine Operating with Lean and with Rich Fuel-Air Mixtures," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0699, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0699.

6.              McKenzie, J. and Cheng, W., "The Anatomy of Knock," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0704, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01- 0704.

7.              Rodriguez, J. and Cheng, W., "Cycle-by-cycle analysis of cold crank-start in a GDI engine," SAE Int. J. Engines 9(2):2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0824

8.              Rodriguez, J. and Cheng, W., "Reduction of Cold-Start Emissions through Valve Timing in a GDI Engine," SAE Int. J. Engines 9(2):2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0827.

9.              Rodriguez, J., and Cheng, W., “Fuel carbon pathway in the first cranking cycle of a gasoline direct injection engine,” Int. J of Eng. Research, Vol. 17(6) (2016), pp 690–701; DOI: 10.1177/1468087415609852.

10.           Chen, Y., Wolk, B., Mehl, M, Cheng, W.K., Chen, J.Y., Dibble, R.W., “Development of a reduced chemical mechanism targeted for a 5-component gasoline surrogate: A case study on the heat release nature in a GCI engine," Combustion and Flame 178 (2017), pp 268–276.