Jim Wallace received his BA and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and his Masters and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He joined what was then the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1978 as an Assistant Professor and was immediately immersed in the challenges faced by a young academic new to teaching. During his first term, he taught a course on Direct Energy Conversion to Engineering Science students. While this was an existing course, the topic of Direct Energy Conversion was novel at the time, not something in every mechanical engineer’s repertoire. In the second term, he received a crash course in course development by being assigned to teach a completely new course on Combustion Theory.
Over the following years, Jim has taught a number of undergraduate courses on mostly energy related topics, including Thermodynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer, Engineering Analysis II, Energy Systems Analysis, and Design for the Environment. His current courses, Thermal Energy Conversion and Alternative Energy Systems, have benefited from the experience he has gained in teaching topics across the discipline. At the graduate level, he has over the years developed three courses, MIE 1122 Combustion Engine Processes, MIE 1123 Physical Aspects of Combustion, and MIE 1124 Advanced Topics in Combustion. Jim served as Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from 1998-2003, overseeing a number of improvements and updates in the department’s programs and facilities. He has continued to be active in administration and curriculum development on the departmental and faculty levels.
Jim’s teaching has also benefited from his research program. The Director of the Engine Research and Development Laboratory at the University of Toronto, he has more than 30 years of experience conducting research on the topics of internal combustion engines, combustion, and fuels. His internal combustion engine research is specialized in the combustion of alternative fuels, including biogas, methanol, natural gas, propane and hydrogen in spark ignition engines and biodiesel in diesel engines. The focus of his work is on reducing engine exhaust emissions. Recent projects have also investigated exhaust aftertreatment systems, including diesel particulate filters and SCR systems for nitrogen oxides control. Jim’s current sustainable energy system interests include organic rankine cycle power systems for waste heat recovery, solar thermal power generation, wave power generation, distributed cogeneration, and fuel cell ancillary systems and systems integration issues. These research projects have provided a wealth of knowledge and examples that have been incorporated into the courses he teaches.
Jim was made a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in 2001 for his contributions in the area of alternative fuels. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME) and the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) and received the Robert W. Angus Medal from the CSME in 2011. Jim has also received a number of awards for his contributions to education. These include the SAC-APUS Teaching Award, the SAE Ralph Teeter Educational Award, the SAE Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering’s departmental teaching award, and the Faculty Teaching Award from the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.