Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI Engineer Recognized as UT Austin Mechanical Engineering Distinguished Alumnus

July 24, 2018 — Dr. Terry Alger, a director in the Powertrain Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has been named a Distinguished Mechanical Engineer by The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. As part of this recognition, Alger will be inducted into the Mechanical Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

The Academy of Distinguished Alumni, established in 2004, recognizes the accomplishments and careers of outstanding alumni and facilitates networking between students, faculty, alumni and corporate partners. This year, the department is recognizing 12 alumni in four categories: Outstanding Young Mechanical Engineer; Distinguished Mechanical Engineer; Mechanical Engineering Hall of Fame (for retired alumni); and Honorary Mechanical Engineer. 

“It’s a real honor to be recognized in this group of outstanding engineers,” said Alger.  “I believe that the instruction and training I received at UT prepared me for success in the world of research.  I am very grateful that I was able to attend and graduate from the university.”

At SwRI, Alger oversees a team improving powertrain efficiency through advancements in engine hardware, electrification components and transmissions. Alger was the technical leader and manager of SwRI’s High Efficiency Dilute Gasoline Engine consortium, leading a group of 26 engine and vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers in work to improve gasoline engine efficiency. Alger is one of the inventors of SwRI’s DCO® (Dual Coil Offset) Ignition system and the D-EGR® (Dedicated Exhaust Gas Recirculation) engine, both winners of R&D 100 Awards. His current research interests involve understanding the efficiency potential of engines paired with electric machines, the use of connected and autonomous features to improve fuel economy and the sources and preventative measures for abnormal combustion.

Alger holds doctorate and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from UT Austin, a master’s degree in business administration from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the United States Military Academy. He joined SwRI in 2003.

Alger is a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers. He has been awarded 23 patents and published over 50 papers on topics covering engine efficiency and emissions. Alger will be inducted into the Mechanical Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at a ceremony in Austin on Friday, September 14.

For more information, visit Automotive Vehicles, Engines & Drivelines or contact Lisa Peña, (210) 522-2357, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.