Development of novel turbine concepts merging experimental and computational tools

Interdisciplinary Areas: Data and Engineering Applications, Power, Energy, and the Environment

Project Description

Flow separation inhibits the development of ultra-efficient turbines. Commercial flow solvers employed by the power generation industry typically use steady or unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes, with a limited validity when dealing with massively detached flows. To address this challenge, we propose a comprehensive numerical-experimental multi-step investigation to minimize the negative effect of the turbine seal leakages. To accomplish this task, the proposed research team utilizes multi-level modeling tools of Prof. Shih and the world's largest experimental turbine facility of Prof. Paniagua (PETAL: Purdue Experimental Turbine Aerothermal Lab).

Optimize the stator rim - rotor platform cavity using computational tools. Testing at PETAL enables full similarity to the real engine conditions. The wind tunnel comprises over 1,000 sensors, as well as numerous optical diagnostic tools.

Develop a framework to assess the uncertainty in the fused experimental and computational data in cooperation with Prof. Guang (Mathematics). Detailed measurements in a small core turbine are very challenging. Indeed, adequate performance measurements require minimal size, characterize the flow distortion, and the instrumentation frequency-response. The correct estimation of all the performance figures of merit of the turbine requires a very detailed joint computational analysis of all the experimental sensors to assess their distortion. 

Start Date


Postdoc Qualifications

Two years of demonstrated experience of performing measurements in a turbomachinery facility. A publication record in turbomachinery aerodynamics. Experience in the design of turbomachinery will be preferred. Expertise in measurement techniques and data processing. Knowledge of numerical techniques.

Excellent interpersonal skills. Ability to work with a diverse population at various levels, including international graduate research assistants. Project management experience preferred.


Prof. Guillermo Paniagua (Mechanical Engineering)

Prof. Tom Shih (Aeronautics and Astronautics)


au M., Paniagua G., 2010, “Investigation of the Flow Field on a Transonic Turbine Nozzle Guide Vane with Rim Seal Cavity Flow Ejection”. Journal of Fluids Engineering. Vol. 132, Issue 11, 111101, pp 1-9. November. ISSN: 0098-2202. (in 2010 – JCR Impact factor 0.440 - ENGINEERING, MECHANICAL, 83rd of 122 journals)

Pau M., Paniagua G., Delhaye D., de la Loma A., Ginibre P., 2010, “Aerothermal impact of stator-rim purge flow and rotor-platform film cooling on a transonic turbine stage”. Journal of Turbomachinery. Vol. 132, No. 2, 021006, pp 1-12. April. ISSN: 0889-504X. (2nd Place EREA Best paper award on evolutionary research in 2009). (in 2010 – JCR Impact factor 0.345 - ENGINEERING, MECHANICAL, 97th of 122 journals)

Pau, M., De La Loma, A., Paniagua, G. and Delhaye, D., 2008, “Film Cooling and Hub Disk Leakage Flow Experiments in a Fully Rotating HP Turbine Stage”. WSEAS Transactions on Fluid Mechanics. Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 56-67. January. ISSN: 1790-5087.

Paniagua G., Dénos R., Almeida S., 2004, “Effect of hub endwall cavity flow ejection on the flowfield of a transonic high pressure turbine”. Journal of Turbomachinery. Vol. 126, No. 4, pp 578-586. October.

Juangphanich P., Paniagua G., 2020, “Aero-thermal optimization of the rim seal cavity to enhance rotor platform thermal protection”. International Journal of Turbo & Jet Engines.