Since 1948, Purdue researchers have set the standard for combustion and propulsion experiments. Work at Zucrow Labs led to the development of the original Space Shuttle Main Engines. Today, new technologies allow propellants, combustors, and rocket engines to be conceived, constructed, and tested with unprecedented accuracy. With the blossoming private space industry, Purdue combustion engineers are in high demand.
In addition, Purdue has unmatched research facilities in the diagnostics of flames and combustion. The High Pressure Combustion Laboratory at Zucrow Labs is the only facility of its kind in the world. It includes the Tebbe TDI Laser Lab, a 2,000 square-foot climate controlled facility, runs adjacent to 5 brand new test cells, for optimal inclusion of laser diagnostic measurements in combustion experiments.
Purdue is also well known for its work with energetic materials: propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics. At the Purdue Energetics Research Center, new advancements are being made in the formulation of rocket fuel, ammunition, controlled detonations and explosions, and much more.
Faculty in Combustion
- Laser-absorption spectroscopy, laser-induced fluorescence, & IR imaging sensors for gas temperature, pressure, velocity, and chemical species
- Molecular spectroscopy, photophysics, & energy transfer in gases
- Energetic materials (e.g., explosives & propellants) detection & combustion
- Combustion and propulsion systems (small and large scale)
- Biomedical sensing
- Laser spectroscopy and imaging for combustion, sprays, energetics, hypersonics, plasmas, and non-equilibrium flows
- Applications to gas-turbine, rocket, internal combustion, and scramjet engine performance, efficiency, and emissions
- Thermal-fluid behavior at the extremes, including turbulent, high-temperature, high-pressure, multiphase, and non-equilibrium reacting flows