The Basics of Internal Combustion Engines
I.D. # C0103 Duration 2 Days
In your profession, an educated understanding of internal combustion engines is required, not optional. This two-day technology survey seminar covers the most relevant topics - ranging from the chemistry of combustion to the kinematics of internal components of the modern internal combustion engine - for maximum comprehension. Attendees will gain a practical, hands-on approach to the basics of the most common designs of internal combustion engines, as they apply to the gaseous cycles, thermodynamics and heat transfer to the major components, and the design theories that embody these concepts.

Learning Objectives
By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Discuss in detail the basic functioning and component interaction in a modern internal combustion engine, specifically; two and four-stroke cycles as they relate to reciprocating and rotary engine designs
  • Describe the general thermodynamic concepts governing the operation of an internal combustion engine and its various cycles
  • Compare the principle operational differences of the various fuels used in internal combustion engines, their availability, and understand the applicability of each
  • Discuss the function and operation of all major components and systems within a modern internal combustion engine
  • Identify the operational principles behind the timing and working relationships among all internal components, and articulate the importance of this inter-relationship
  • Recognize the limitations of the current designs and implementations of the modern internal combustion engine
  • Perform a basic assessment and evaluation of new, cutting-edge designs and new powertrain initiatives as they apply to the mobility industry

Who Should Attend

Designed for powertrain engineers, component suppliers, vehicle platform powertrain development specialists, and those involved in the application, design and discussion of engines. It is recommended that seminar attendees have an undergraduate engineering degree.

Also available as an SAE On Demand Course!
Basics of Internal Combustion Engines (PD730944)

Instructor(s): William Mark McVea

markMcVea_headshotDr. William Mark McVea, P.E., is currently President and Principal Engineer of KBE , Inc. where he and his team design and develop complete powertrains for automotive and off-highway vehicles. Dr. McVea has held many positions within the mechanical drive and powertrain industry; most recently as Chief Technology Officer for Torvec, Inc., an industry leader in the design and development of patented powertrain engineering technology used primarily in the automotive industry. His prior positions include Professor of Vehicle Dynamics and Powertrain Sciences in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology and adjunct professor at Purdue University in their Automotive Sciences Department. He was also formerly a manager of the CAE group within a tier-one powertrain supplier to global automotive markets, a consulting engineer in vehicle dynamics with Gear Consultants, Inc., and a project manager of traction systems for off-highway vehicles with Clark-Hurth International. Dr. McVea has published extensively on the topics of transmission systems, automated design assistant systems, knowledge systems and knowledge based engineering in general. He also holds or is listed as co-inventor on numerous patents related to mechanical power transmissions. Dr. McVea holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in Design Engineering from Purdue University and is a licensed Professional Engineer.


"The SAE Instructor, Dr. William Mark McVea, made difficult concepts understandable and provided real-world examples of application.

Helenann Gabler

Certification Staff

Toyota Technical Center

"The course is well-designed and expertly taught. It far exceeded my expectations and is a great introduction to internal combustion engines."

Matt Jackson


Southwest Research Institute

"I was challenged to learn more. It was a great introduction to Internal Combustion Engines."

Paul Slater

Wescast Industries, Inc.

"Highly recommend to new hires."

Brian Gross

Senior Project Engineer

Polaris Industries, Inc.

"Great class and very well taught. Perfect refresher for anyone!"

Paul Connor

Calibration Engineer

Ilmor Engineering, Inc.

"Very competent instructor with immense knowledge. Very entertaining and keeps everyone engaged.

Sonya Zanardelli

Powertrain Supervisor


Fees: $1299 SAE Members: $1169


CEU 1.3