Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tour of GM Powertrain testing lab facilities

Yesterday the REU students got to meet with Dr. Ed Groff. Dr. Groff spent over 30 years in different capacities at General Motors (GM) working on engine and powertrain research and design, including the development of stratified charge engines. Dr. Groff discussed his career and experiences with the students, then took them on a tour of GM's powertrain testing labs at the General Motors Global Propulsion Systems facility in Pontiac. There they got to tour the engine mockup lab, engine test cells, powertrain test cells and various labs that are used to test various powertrain components. It is amazing how much testing must be done during the development of a vehicle!

One of the cool things that they got to saw and try out are special hovercraft-like pallets that GM uses to instrument and move engines for testing in the dyno. When the pallets were lifted off the ground using a layer of air, the students could easily move a 3000+ lbs system around. Images of the systems and information about them can be found at

Image from

Thank you Dr. Groff for arranging the tour for us!

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