The North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) recently held its 34th annual conference aboard the seventy-three year old RMS Queen Mary. The ship, which is now a hotel and conference center, is docked in Long Beach, California. It became home to all NACAT participants and attendees during the event which provides continuing education seminars to automotive instructors from the United States and Canada.

RMS Queen Mary

The RMS Queen Mary played host to more than 250 automotive instructors during the 2007 NACAT conference. Photo courtesy of Wake Technical College

This year’s NACAT conference was packed with more than 250 automotive instructors in attendance, and seventy-five seminars and workshops were presented. Of the seventy-five seminars and workshops, fifteen dealt with either hybrid vehicles or renewable fuel technologies. Representatives from General Motors (GM), Toyota, The Fuel Cell Store, Pacific Gas & Electric, Federal Mogul, Ferris State University, Perfect Sky, Prentice Hall, Thomson/Delmar Publishing, and Wake Technical College, an NAFTC member, all presented on hybrid vehicle and renewable fuel technology.

Two workshops were presented by Wake Technical College’s instructor, Rich Cregar. “Fueling Around with Diesels,” is a comprehensive examination of the chemistry and physics of compression ignition. The behaviors of various fuels including fatty acid methyl esters (biodiesel) and second generation renewables, such as dimethyl ethers (DME), were covered as well as the latest technology updates on high-pressure injection and exhaust after-treatment systems.

wake flame

Supplementing the “Fueling Around with Diesels” presentation, this graphic illustrates chemical reactions and temperature surrounding each spray jet as it emerges from the injector nozzle. Photo courtesy of Wake Technical College

Mr. Cregar also presented an update of the NAFTC’s 2005 NACAT presentation on direct injection (DI) and homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) technologies. Since the 2005 presentation, direct injection has become a reality and is now available in several vehicles on the market. HCCI technology is also developing at a fast pace. GM recently demonstrated its HCCI engine prototypes.

wake panel nacat

Participants were invited to discover the many fascinating sights aboard the RMS Queen Mary. Pictured here is a view of the main engine room’s control panel. Photo courtesy of Wake Technical College

The RMS Queen Mary makes a fine venue for conferences and other such events. For more information, visit the vessel’s Web site. For more information on the NACAT conference, visit the council’s Web site.

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