Sandia Labs News Releases

Sandia engine efficiency expert named SAE fellow

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Sandia National Laboratories combustion researcher Mark Musculus has been named a fellow of SAE International, formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Established in 1975, the fellow designation honors long-term SAE members who have made a significant impact on society’s mobility technology through leadership, research and innovation. Only about 20 of SAE’s more than 138,000 members are elected fellows each year.

Mark Musculus

Mark Musculus has been named a fellow of SAE International. (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

Musculus is recognized for “his pioneering research on in-cylinder processes of conventional and low-temperature combustion direct-injection engines and the international leadership he has brought to the field. His contributions are providing both a new understanding of the fundamental in-cylinder processes of low-temperature combustion as well as new laser/imaging diagnostic techniques for optical engine research.”

Since 2000, Musculus has been the principal investigator for the heavy-duty, optical diesel engine project in the Combustion Research Facility (CRF) at Sandia’s California site. Musculus’ research focuses on providing a detailed understanding of new clean-combustion strategies for high fuel-efficiency internal-combustion engines. He uses advanced optical and laser-based diagnostic techniques coupled with high-speed cameras to probe real-time combustion processes in operating engines.

Musculus said he is honored to be selected as an SAE fellow and proud to work with a world-class group of scientists, engineers and technical staff in the CRF.

“The staff and research capabilities at the Combustion Research Facility are among the most highly regarded in the world,” Musculus said. “Working with so many giants in engine research at Sandia, many of whom are also SAE fellows, enabled me to learn and grow in the field. The CRF hosts numerous students, faculty, postdocs and visitors from around the world year-round, and the opportunities this provides for collaboration and fresh perspectives on our work have been invaluable to me.”

Sandia has six additional SAE fellows: John Dec, Dennis Siebers and Pete Witze (retired), all named in 1998; Paul Miles, named in 2005; Chuck Mueller, named in 2011; and Lyle Pickett, named in 2013.

Musculus will be honored as a new SAE fellow April 11, at the SAE World Congress in Detroit, Michigan.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California, Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Michael Padilla,, (925) 294-2447