Baranescu, who is also chief engineer of Engine Technology for International Truck and Engine Co., was asked by local engineering groups to talk about the value of the modern diesel engine in helping to meet global environmental expectations of the future.
Her visit was a prelude to an international lecture on the topic that she is presenting in Great Britain this week, and to her participation in the SAE International Truck and Bus Meeting in Portland, Ore., on December 4, 5, and 6.
In her address, Dr. Baranescu noted that "diesel engines produced today are virtually smokeless, and are 90 to 95 percent cleaner than their counterparts of the 1970s."
She went on to explain that, currently, available diesel engine technology achieves 35 to 45 percent thermal efficiency, compared to the efficiency of gasoline powered engines at around 15 percent.
"The diesel cycle (engine) has the highest thermal efficiency of all the internal combustion engines," she said. "In a time where crude oil costs are at or near an all-time high, it is important to get the most out of every barrel."
Baranescu added that, contrary to popular opinion, the diesel engine is also the lowest emitter of carbon dioxide.