Campus News in Brief

Professor gains prestigious Westinghouse Chair position

For his contributions to automotive research at Carnegie Mellon, Ragunathan Rajkumar has earned the Westinghouse Chair in Electrical Engineering. Rajkumar is a professor in the departments of electrical and computer engineering and robotics as well as the head of Carnegie Mellon’s GM Collaborative Lab.

Rajkumar has worked for over a decade to make driving safer for consumers and encourage modernization of the industry. For this work, Rajkumar recently was honored as a Distinguished Engineer by the Association for Computing Machinery, and six of his more than 150 publications have won Best Paper awards in peer-reviewed forums. Other awards include the Technical Achievement and Leadership Award by the IEEE Technical Committee on Real-Time Systems. Rajkumar earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon in 1986 and 1989, respectively.

According to a university press release, Rajkumar is also the primary founder of Pittsburgh-based TimeSys Corp., a company which focuses on embedded Linux products and related services. Rajkumar also played a key role in a National Science Foundation research initiative to study cyber-physical systems, with “applications in transportation, health care, green buildings, manufacturing, agriculture, aerospace, and defense.”

Diesel car study proves they have lower ownership cost

A study by researchers in the Tepper School of Business concluded that diesel-engine vehicles are a better value than gasoline-engine vehicles over time.

The study, titled “Comparing Resale Prices and Total Cost of Ownership for Gasoline, Hybrid and Diesel Passenger Cars and Trucks,” was presented Jan. 27 at the Washington Auto Show. Positives of diesel-engine vehicles include lower operating costs, better fuel economy, and higher resale possibilities, among others.

According to a university press release, Lester Lave, university professor and Higgins Professor of Economics in the Tepper School of Business, used auction data from Manheim Auctions and Cox Enterprises, Inc. to aid research. He was able to better study the resale values of diesel and gasoline vehicles through this data.
Bosch Diesel Systems, a producer of clean diesel fuel injection systems for passenger cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles, underwrote the cost of the study so as to provide real-world data of the lower cost of ownership of diesel vehicles. “This study is unique because it compares actual auction prices of alternative power trains such as clean diesel and port-fuel injection gasoline engines,” said Lars Ullrich, director of marketing for Bosch, in a university press release.