Andrew Baur

Aramco Innovators

Meet Aramco innovator Andrew Baur who has always had an innate curiosity for mechanics.

As team lead for Transport Technology Integration, he is working with colleagues at the Aramco Research Center-Detroit to lower emissions and optimize performance of gasoline-powered engines.

Baur was surrounded by science and engineering growing up.  His mother taught science and his father worked as an engineer in the automotive industry.  This ignited a natural curiosity.

“My whole life I've always been curious; always wanted to know how things work,” he recalled.  “I constantly tried to make things work better or faster.”

This same curiosity led Baur to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.  During his time at Michigan State University, Baur led and participated in several engineering organizations: Pi Tau Sigma – a mechanical engineering honor society, and Tau Beta Pi – a national engineering honor society. In 2005, Baur went on to receive his master's in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.

Baur is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

Aramco Innovator Andrew Baur
Andrew Baur works as team lead for Transport Technology Integration at the Aramco Research Center-Detroit.

He joined Aramco in 2015 working on several research and development engine and control projects.  He was drawn to Aramco for the opportunity to apply his creativity to mechanical engineering.   “Aramco allows me to have a fresh look at engines and their controls,” he said.

Baur currently leads a turbulent jet ignition project (TJI) to improve engine efficiency for vehicles.

With TJI, as with typical gasoline engines, the engine's furnace, or combustion chamber, must be lit for the engine to function.  For existing gasoline engines, the combustion ignition process is similar to dropping a single pebble in a pond – with its singular wave formation propagating to the edge, representing the speed of combustion powering the engine.

TJI is like having multiple boat motors propelling waves all at once into the pond, he explains, allowing for a much faster propagation process.  TJI's faster ignition process leads to better gasoline engine efficiency, helping to reduce the engine's CO2 output while still being incredibly cost-effective.  If a few key challenges are solved, this technology “could be amazing for the industry,” he added.

For Baur, the ability to optimize different processes is all part of the engineering experience.  “Being the first to figure something out or make something happen that hasn't happened yet – is what drives me,” he said.

Aramco Innovator Andrew Baur
Andrew Baur discusses engine technology with Aramco CTO, Ahmad Khowaiter, during a tour of the Detroit Research Center's facilities