Diesel Engine Technology

Regulations and consumer expectations have shaped the modern diesel engine. Enhancements have resulted in more power, fuel efficiency, reliability, and lower emissions, an indication that diesels will remain popular in the future. This technology is most widely used in commercial applications, such as trucking, shipping, construction, busing, and more. Each year, many light and medium duty car and truck manufacturers introduce diesel vehicles worldwide. A fundamental knowledge of diesel technology is critical for anyone involved in the diesel engine support industry.

The SAE Diesel Engine Technology on-demand course, featuring instructor Magdi Khair, begins with a brief but thorough history and introduction to diesel engines. It then covers the importance of the fuel injection system, air management systems, and other aspects of diesel engine combustion. It explains formation of each of the regulated emissions species with details of those emission control design changes, including some sample cases quantified through the use of actual examples. An overview of fueling diesels, developing technologies, and a comprehensive section on exhaust aftertreatment are also included.

What Will You Learn

By participating in this on-demand course, you'll be able to:
  • Summarize the technological advances in modern diesel engines
  • Evaluate the sources of emissions from diesel engines and the influence of engine component design on curbing these emissions
  • Explain the diesel exhaust after-treatment systems and their effectiveness in reducing emissions
  • Recognize the importance of fuel injection parameters to performance and emission control

Course Information

13.00 Hours
90 Days

Is This Course For You

Engineers involved in diesel engine support industries, such as catalytic converters, lube oils, gaskets, and turbochargers as well was individuals who are not well versed with diesel engines, but in careers where diesels play a major role can benefit from this course.


During the presentation, the instructor makes reference to his book, Diesel Emissions and Their Control, co-authored with W. Addy Majewski and also available from SAE International.

This course satisfies a requirement in the Diesel Technology Certificate Program.


Have colleagues who need this course? See Special Offers to the right.

Click on the Requirements tab to make sure you are properly equipped to interact with this course.

Materials Provided

  • 90 days of online single-user access (from date of purchase) to the 11-hour video presentation
  • Integrated knowledge checks to reinforce key concepts
  • Course handbook (downloadable, .pdf's)
  • Online learning assessment (submit to SAE)
  • Instructor follow up to your content questions
  • 1.3 CEUs*/Certificate of Achievement (with satisfactory learning assessment score)

*SAE International is authorized by IACET to offer CEUs for this course.

Course Requirements

  • Windows or macOS
  • Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari (Other OSs and browsers including mobile devices are not supported by may work)
  • Broadband-3Mbps minimum


Module I: The Case for the Diesel Engine
[Total Run Time: 30 minutes]
  • Explain the benefits of diesel engines based on what the industry needs and what diesel engines deliver
Module II: Fuel Injection Systems
[Total Run Time: 2 hours]
  • Diesel fuel injection systems and their components
  • Explain the impact of fuel injection systems on performance and emissions
  • Describe the functions of different types of fuel injection systems
    • Pump Line Nozzle or P-L-N (In-line, unit, distributor/ rotary)
    • Unit injector
    • Common-rail
  • List the three systems and their impact on engine performance and emissions
Module III: Air Management Systems
[Total Run Time: 40 minutes]
  • Define air management systems
  • Explain the purpose of air management systems
  • Recognize the types of air management systems
  • State the characteristics of air management systems
  • Identify future trends of air management systems
Module IV: Combustion in Diesel Engines
[Total Run Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes]
  • Compare and contrast spark-ignited (SI) and compression-ignited (CI) engines
  • Explain the effect of various design parameters on fuel consumption
  • Describe energy balances and losses
  • Diagram a four-stroke operation
  • List the characteristics of each engine type
Module V: Basic Types of Diesel Engines
[Total Run Time: 20 minutes]
  • Explain the difference between rotating and reciprocating internal combustion engine designs as well as the various designs in reciprocating diesels
  • State the features and benefits of each type of design
  • List improvements that have been made to diesel engines
Module VI: Emission Formation in Diesel Engines
[Total Run Time: 1 hour]
  • Describe hydrocarbon (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), particulate matter, and smoke formation in diesel combustion
  • Describe emission sources
  • Explain the heat release diagram and its relevance to emission formation
Module VII: The Modern Diesel Engine
[Total Run Time: 3 hours]
  • Describe the regulatory environment and how the characteristics of the modern diesel engine allow it to meet these regulations
  • Describe the effects of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) on particulate matter (PM) and nitric oxides (NOx) emissions, carbon dioxide (CO2), oxygen (O2), piston ring wear, and cylinder wear
Module VIII: Fueling Diesels
[Total Run Time: 45 minutes]
  • Diesel Fuel
  • Emulsions
  • G-T-L Fuels
  • Biodiesel
  • Synthetic Fuels
Module IX: Diesel Engine Aftertreatment
[Total Run Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes]
  • Detail the various diesel aftertreatment systems and list their advantages and disadvantages
  • Determine the importance of integrating engine and aftertreatment controls
  • Compare and contrast the problem of engine-out diesel vs. gasoline
  • Describe a “bird’s eye view” of auxiliary emission control devices