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Combustion Performance & Emission Engineer - Emeka Ene


This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees. The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.

Our Combustion Engineers are focused on ensuring each Cummins engine performs within emission design standards.  Our product innovation depends on reducing exhaust contaminates to minimal levels while enhancing torque and acceleration.  Emeka Ene is charged with leading development programs to match modern innovation with performance standards.

Emeka, an Ohio State University graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, enjoys the challenge of balancing the design dynamics.

“Performance is just one element of engineering at Cummins.  We’re very focused on how smooth the ride is, how safe the emissions are for the environment and finding the right balance.” 

Emeka originally connected with Cummins through the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

“I was a leader in NSBE and Cummins was an attractive company to me because they integrated affinity groups into employee work life.  When I would go to NSBE career fairs, they shared the same values and embraced the diversity of international students.  I’m from Nigeria and it’s important to me that Cummins is willing to accept a broader range of diverse perspectives.”

And now for your All Access Pass:

Emeka’s morning starts early with a trip to Cummins Technical Center where his test cell has been running a prototype engine overnight.  He begins his visit by checking the data report.

“I’m looking at specific systems to see if there were any fault codes with the prototype components.  I’m also analyzing the cycle running rate and reviewing overall emissions performance.  We look for how much particulate matter is in the exhaust and if the emissions are below EPA requirements.”

Emeka enjoys the hands-on approach to his role and being able to interact with the product.

“This definitely is not one of those ordinary jobs.  We’re analyzing the real engine perform inside the test cell.  It is exciting to be able to tune and test the next iteration of the 6.7liter Dodge Ram turbocharged diesel engine.”

Emeka’s report looks good, but he wants to test experimental prototype hardware and compare the results.

“Now we’re going to run a torque curve test, which is the maximum torque of every break speed of the engine.  The analysis helps us understand if the engine will run correctly after component changes.  After the testing report is complete, I’ll examine the prototype component and discuss the results with our test cell technician team.”

Emeka is always looking for environmental performance when it comes to interchanging components. 

“We are developing prototype parts to be a higher performing component that ideally costs the same or less.  I want to see how robust it is and if it makes engines perform better.  So we test if the component can go through a higher range of values and heat capacity than the previous part did.”

At lunch time, Emeka leaves the office with a few other Test Engineers.  It’s fun and relaxing to connect with his colleagues and try out a new restaurant that recently opened.

“We’re talking about what projects are coming in the future and new engines in development.  It’s a collaborative network where thinking beyond our desk isn’t part of the job, it is the job.”

After lunch, Emeka attends a meeting where he’s presenting testing data to the mechanical development group.  The team is reviewing how his prototype engine performed in recent testing.

“The group asks me to provide an unbiased perspective on the data.  Sometimes we’re presenting to director-level employees who want to review the development program.  Our decisions on Dodge Ram projects have had CEO visibility, so we’re doing important work here.” 

After the meeting, Emeka is off to an African African-American affinity group meeting to discuss upcoming events.  He’s on the communication committee to help build awareness for new events.

“We’re hosting a lunch-and-learn event next week for a member of Cummins leadership team in our distribution business.  It helps us stay connected with employees around the company in a friendly, relaxed setting.  Networking with different employees from around the Company helps me to learn more, plus I enjoy learning about opportunities inside Cummins.”

Late in the afternoon, Emeka returns to the test cell and connects with members of his team.

“We’re discussing today’s new engine setup and comparing with the previous setup to eliminate design variance.  We’re making sure fuel lines are connected, oil levels are accurate and there are no fault codes.  We restart the engine, warm it up and set the revised test program to run.  We’ll let the engine run all night long and review performance again tomorrow morning.”

At the end of his day, Emeka carpools with a friend to his home and then heads for the gym.

“My wellness is important to me— and to Cummins.  A healthy mind and body helps with my personal growth.  I’m consistently on the move with my job and don’t have time to feel groggy.”

Emeka knows that many employees at Cummins embrace the Company’s philosophy on wellness and taking care of their physical and mental well-being.

“When you’re at work and feeling good, it helps us stay focused on our careers.  I’m in a basketball league here and employees like to get together and play.  I want to feel and look good, and Cummins supports employees in their work-life balance.  We’re literally Cummins diesel strong here.”