Colorado State University Professor Bryan Willson Named 2010-2011 SAE International Fellow

Note to Reporters: A photo of Bryan Willson is available with the news release at

Bryan Willson, professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado State University and founder and director of CSU Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory, has been elected as an International Fellow by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

The SAE International Fellow honor recognizes “outstanding engineering and scientific accomplishments by an individual that have resulted in meaningful advances in automotive, aerospace and commercial-vehicle technology.” Willson was one of 28 SAE inductees in 2011.

Willson’s research has always been conducted with a strong emphasis on clean-energy technology. Since founding the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory, or EECL, in 1992, Willson has been committed to using innovative science and engineering coupled with an entrepreneurial, market-based approach. The ultimate goal is to develop and disseminate solutions to global, large-scale energy problems.

“The Department of Mechanical Engineering is very proud of the work that Dr. Willson and his colleagues at the EECL are involved with and pleased by this deserved recognition,” said Susan James, chair of the department.

Through his research, Willson helped develop two-stroke engine retrofit technology to clean up the more than 100 million polluting taxis used for transportation in Asia – work that directly addresses a source of the Asian brown cloud and chronic physical ailments. The concept behind retrofitting existing engines with technology to make them more efficient and cleaner burning developed out of Willson’s work on large-bore natural gas pipeline engines.

Willson co-founded Envirofit International in 2003 to commercialize technology solutions to energy issues in the developing world. Envirofit continues to work closely with the EECL in their efforts to develop and disseminate cleaner burning biomass cookstoves for the developing world. Envirofit has sold more than 250,000 stoves in India, Africa and South America.

He also is founding director of the CSU Clean Energy Supercluster – a campuswide effort to foster and support clean energy research in all eight CSU colleges. This effort seeks to maximize the impact of energy solutions developed in laboratories across campus.

Willson, who received his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, has spent 23 years at CSU teaching design, energy and sustainable development.

About SAE

SAE Fellow is the highest grade of membership bestowed by SAE International. It recognizes outstanding engineering, scientific and leadership accomplishments by an individual that have resulted in meaningful advances in automotive, aerospace and commercial vehicle technologies. The program, established in 1975, recognizes an average of 20 recipients worldwide for this honor each year.

SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle industries. SAE International’s core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development.