Conference on Portable Emission Testing Instruments Planned

Presentations and test drives are scheduled for the conference March 29 and 30 at the Center for Environmental Research and Technology

From left, Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge, Wayne Miller, associate director of CE-CERT, and Kent Johnson, an assistant research engineer at CE-CERT, at the conference.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The University of California, Riverside is hosting a conference and workshop March 29 and 30 that will focus on the latest developments in using portable instruments that measure the environmental impact of vehicles and also provide participants the chance to test drive vehicles with the devices.

The 2012 Portable Emissions Measurement Systems (PEMS) Conference & Workshop is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 29 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 30. It’s being held at the Center for Environmental Research and Technology, which is part of UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering.

On March 29, more than 15 presentations from university researchers, manufacturers and users of the PEMS and government officials are scheduled. For a list of the presentations visit:

One presentation of note is from the Environmental Protection Agency at 9 a.m. March 29. It will focus on recent regulatory changes that require heavy-duty diesel vehicles – such as delivery trucks, buses and construction vehicles – to be tested using PEMS.

Previously, engines from the heavy-duty vehicles were removed, attached to a dynamometer and tested in a lab environment, said Kent Johnson, an assistant research engineer at CE-CERT and an organizer of the conference.

Kent Johnson, an assistant research engineer at CE-CERT, talks to conference attendees about his appearance on the Discovery Channel show “Mythbusters.”

Now, in what Johnson calls a paradigm shift, regulators want to know how the engines work while being used for the application they are designed for, such as delivering bread, shuttling school children or moving dirt. That has created a market for PEMS, he said.

The conference continues on March 30, when vehicles equipped with PEMS equipment, on-board fuel measurement systems and portable combustion measurement instruments will be available to drive on a test track.

Drivers will be able insert a memory stick into the dashboard, test drive the car, remove the memory stick, put it in a computer and get instantaneous feedback on how much air pollution the car emitted and predict how changes in the vehicle or driving style could affect air pollutants and fuel economy.

The PEMS conference, which was held for the first time last year at UC Riverside, continues a nearly 20-year history of emissions testing at CE-CERT.

Initial research focused on cars in a stationary setting. Later projects shifted trucks and on-the-road testing. Today, much of the work is done with PEMS, which have been used on everything from on-road and off-road vehicles, stationary sources, locomotives, port vehicles, air craft, harbor craft, and ocean-going vessels.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Additional Contacts

Kent Johnson
Tel: 951-781-5786

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