Prof. Reitz received his PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1978. He joined UW-Madison in 1989 and was named Wisconsin Distinguished Professor in 1999, a position he held until he was awarded Emeritus status in 2015. He is also the former director of the Mechanical Engineering Department's world-renowned Engine Research Center.
Prof. Reitz is a member of the Combustion Institute, and Fellow member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has also had an extensive record of achievement in the private sector as staff at the General Motors Research Laboratories (1982-89) and as co-founder of Wisconsin Engine Research Consultants, LLC 1999-present.
Reitz served as Chair of the Institute of Liquid Atomization and Spraying Systems—(ILASS) North and South America and is co-founder and Editor (Americas) of the International Journal of Engine Research. He was also the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Frontiers Journal of Engine and Automotive Engineering.
His publication record includes over 550 journal papers with a Google h-index over 100. He has received numerous professional awards, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Soichiro Honda Medal and Internal Combustion Engine awards, the U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies R&D Program award, the ETH Zurich Aurel Stodola Medal, the ICLASS Arthur H. Lefebvre Award, plus several prestigious Society of Automotive Engineers awards including the Myers, Johnson, and Horning awards.
A major research focus of Prof. Reitz’ work is the development and application of advanced computer models for the design of fuel injected engines, including diesel and spark-ignited engines. His engine laboratories provide validation data for his computer models, which feature genetic algorithm search techniques to find optimum engine designs. His group has pioneered a high efficiency, low pollutant emissions, dual-fuel engine technology, known as Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI).