Where Are They Now Wednesdays: Mike Duoba

After getting involved as a co-team leader during the Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) Challenge at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1991, Mike Duoba realized his life would never be the same.

During his time at IIT, Duoba’s passion for advanced vehicles and hybrid technology grew, and upon completion of his undergraduate degree, he went on to complete his Masters of Science in mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After graduation, Duoba had the chance of a lifetime: working for Argonne National Laboratory as an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) organizer.

“I was in charge of writing the rules, facility and vehicle inspections, scoring, and more,” he said.

Duoba was also essential in dynamometer testing during the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) Challenge.

“When I was an organizer, we were holding four to five different competitions a year,” he said. “We would have up to 40 vehicles doing dynamometer testing at three different locations!”

Working with dynamometer testing for competitions lead him to his current work at Argonne.  As a key founder and now the technical lead for Argonne’s Advanced Powertrain Research Facility (APRF), Duoba contributes to the testing and analysis of advanced propulsion systems using novel instrumentation and state-of-the-art dynamometer test equipment.

It was Duoba’s work with Argonne and APRF that lead Chicago Business to name him one of Chicago’s “Top 40 Under 40” in 2000.

Since then, Duoba’s passion for vehicle emissions testing and advanced technology has translated into many notable activities. In particular, Duoba chaired the task force that revised the important SAE J1711 ‘Recommended Practice for Measuring the Exhaust Emissions and Fuel Economy of Hybrid-Electric Vehicles Including Plug-in Hybrids’ standards and was a key advisor in helping to implement those standards into the emissions testing practices for EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge and EcoCAR 2.

The AVTC program has seen Duoba grow from a co-team leader at IIT during the NGV Challenge to one of the world’s leading experts on hybrid vehicles, but he still finds time to occasionally judge at the AVTC finals.

“I have seen a lot of improvement over the years from students,” he said. “But the biggest is how the engineers have become ambassadors for advanced technology. You can really tell that these students are interested in this field and want to make a difference.”