Holistic approach to engine development fast-tracks transition to zero-emissions in marine industry

CASEMATE project develops technology to validate engine functionality in early development phase.

Combustion of new zero-emission fuels presents a set of new challenges for engine development, as prior knowledge is often limited. Both the environment and the economy profit from creating better products faster to address the global environmental issues.

Business Finland has granted funding for the University of Oulu and four other academic partners (University of Vaasa, Aalto University, Tampere University, Åbo Akademi) to develop and apply the Model Based Systems Engineering methodology to engine development for new zero-carbon fuels.

The project Computer-Aided Systems Engineering for Marine Advanced Technology for the Environment takes on the challenge to provide a toolset for the Finnish marine industry to virtually verify the functionality of their products in a realistic environment to ensure a first-time-right design for each customer application. CASEMATE will advance the research of systems engineering and system simulations as a tool to couple different domain-specific engineering processes

-The simultaneous development of the combustion process, controls and the mechanical concept is an inherently a multi-domain problem, says Professor Juho Könnö, the responsible leader of the project from the University of Oulu.

-We strive to make an impact by looking at the performance of the complete engine in its operating environment, not forgetting the economic and environmental impact. It’s like being able to take a set of new skis for a virtual run in the Alps at the comfort of your local sports goods store before committing to buying the pair, Könnö continues.

CASEMATE develops a general-purpose toolset for system modelling that allows for rapid deployment of engine-level models. Furthermore, specific case studies develop the domain-specific knowledge for the key technologies related to the use of zero-carbon fuels such as pure hydrogen, ammonia and their blends which will be widely used in the very near future.

-Future zero-carbon energy solutions present a huge global challenge, and the CASEMATE project supports this by delivering key solutions enabling faster introduction of green fuels in marine and land-based power generation, says Jari Hyvönen, GM, Advanced Concepts, R&D and Engineering, Marine Power at Wärtsilä.

The CASEMATE project is part of Wärtsilä’s Business Finland Veturi “Zero Emission Marine” (ZEM) ecosystem programme (2022–2025) and it contributes to ZEM by providing valuable knowledge on technologies that enable the introduction of green fuels.

In addition to Wärtsilä, the project steering group guiding the work consists of AGCO Power, Meyer Turku, Global Boiler Works, Dassault Systemès, and InfiniSpring. CASEMATE is an individual research project (of “Research networked with economic life”). The project started on 1. October 2022 and lasts for three years. Total project volume for all partners is 3 M€, with 70% funded by Business Finland and the rest covered by contributions from the companies involved and the research institutions.

Further information:

Professor Juho Könnö, tel. +358 50 34 35 385, juho.konno@oulu.fi

Materials and Mechanical Engineering research unit at the University of Oulu https://www.oulu.fi/en/university/faculties-and-units/faculty-technology/materials-and-mechanical-engineering

Project update Annual Seminar 31.10.2023


  • A new kinetics mechanism for RCCI engine on ammonia
  • Coupled thermo-structural workflow for cylinder head
  • MBSE methodology study completed
  • First version of a configurable system simulation tool

Next steps

  • Building the SysML system model to couple product-level requirements to technical attributes
  • Working prototype of online durability assessment tool