Philip G Hill, principal inventor of Westport Innovation’s founding technology using natural gas in diesel engines, won the 2011 $100,000 Encana Principal Award granted by the Ernest C Manning Awards Foundation. The award will be presented October 14 Edmonton AB, Canada.
Hill’s innovation of high-pressure direct injection (HPDI) allows diesel engines—the world’s workhorses of transportation—to operate with the same power and efficiency that they are known for, but with reduced emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxides and particulate matter and 21% to 27% less greenhouse gas emissions.
Hill conceived and first developed the technology in the late 1980s in his research laboratory at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research group’s work led to the founding in 1995 of Vancouver BC-based Westport Innovations, now a company of more than 650 employees and whose technology portfolio includes more than 200 patents, many of them stemming from Hill’s original series of inventions.
Westport’s growing number of joint ventures and strategic partnerships with industry giants such as Cummins, Volvo, and Weichai signal both the economic benefits to Canada arising from Hill’s innovation and its (the technology’s) growing global social and environmental impacts,” says Murray Goldberg, BC Chapter Chairman with the Ernest C Manning Awards Foundation.
Adds David Demers, Westport founder and chief executive officer, “Philip Hill’s passion for knowledge continues to inspire innovation at Westport. His revolutionary technology and the inspired brilliance of the team at Westport have led Westport to places we never imagined back in 1995. I heartily congratulate Phil for this tremendous achievement.”