Mazda Researchers to Receive 2011 Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Medal for New Technology

Press Release

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation announces that five Mazda researchers are to receive the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME) Medal for New Technology for 2011. An award ceremony will take place at Meiji Kinenkan building in Tokyo on Friday, April 20, 2012.

Awarded for:   Development of gasoline engine (1.3L) with a super-high compression ratio and achieving fuel efficiency of 30km per liter*1


   Mitsuo Hitomi                                  Powertrain Technology Div.

   Takashi Yoso                                  Powertrain Technology Div.

   Kiyotaka Sato                                  Powertrain Technology Div.

   Kunitomo Minamitani                       Powertrain Technology Div.

   Yasushi Nakahara                            Powertrain Technology Div.


Achieving a high compression ratio in conventional gasoline engines has been difficult due to the phenomenon of abnormal combustion, widely known as “knocking”. The SKYACTIV-G 1.3, however, achieves a compression ratio of 14.0:1, the highest in the world*2 for a mass-produced gasoline automobile engine. The award is in recognition of Mazda’s discovery that a low-temperature oxidation reaction (in which bonds within molecules of fuel break and produce energy) occurs before ignition at high compression ratios. This leads to a reduction in knocking and increase in output. The reward also praises Mazda’s innovative use of this discovery in the development of its vehicles.

Further, the fact that the face-lifted Mazda Demio (known overseas as Mazda2), equipped with the SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine, achieves a fuel efficiency rating of 30km/L*1 without reliance on a hybrid system was recognized and highly praised. This outstanding achievement is thanks to a thorough reduction of mechanical friction, improvements to Mazda’s unique idling stop system “i-stop“, and precisely controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Every year, the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers awards JSME Medals for the best research papers in each field and for developing new technologies or machines. The awards are presented in an effort to encourage research activities and the development of mechanical engineering. Other awards presented by the Society include the JSME Award for Young Engineers and the JSME Education Award. This is the seventh time Mazda employees have received a JSME Medal for New Technology. Previous medals were awarded for the “Application of Automotive Rotary Unit,” the “Development of Miller-cycle Engine” and “Development of functional integration modules using high-strength plastics with long glass-fiber reinforced polypropylene material and injection molding process” and “Development of rotary engine with side exhaust port layout for automobile (RENESIS).”

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The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers



*1: Fuel economy measured under Japan’s 10-15 mode test cycle at the sales start of the facelifted Mazda Demio (June 2011)

*2: As of April 2012 (Mazda data)



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