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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


Online Data

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 – 2019    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.  McKenzie, J. and Cheng, W., "The Anatomy of Knock," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0704, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01- 0704.
2.  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
3.  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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Oh, C. and Cheng, W., "Assessment of Gasoline Direct Injection Engine Cold Start Particulate Emission Sources," SAE Int. J. Engines 10(4):2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0795.
7. Rodriguez, J. and Cheng, W., "Analysis of NOx Emissions during Crank-Start and Cold Fast-Idle in a GDI Engine," SAE Int. J. Engines 10(2):646-655, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0796.
8. Chen, Y., Zhang, Y., and Cheng, W., "Effects of Ethanol Evaporative Cooling on Particulate Number Emissions in GDI Engines," SAE Technical Paper 2018-01-0360, 2018,
9. Anandhan, M. and Cheng, W., "Performance Assessment of Extended Stroke Spark Ignition Engine," SAE Technical Paper 2018-01-0893, 2018,
10. Ketterer, J.E. and  Cheng, W., “A Study of Soot Formation in a Rapid Compression Machine at Conditions Representative of Cold-fast-idle in Spark Ignition Engines,” Int. J. of Engine Research, 20, 6, pp 670-677, 2019,



Detection of ethanol emission from a spark ignition engine, US Patent 8589084, filed 10/8/2010; issued 11/18/2013.