Jump to page content

Purdue Engineering Podcast

All Episodes RSS

Advanced Propulsion and Combustion Research with AAE's Carson Slabaugh

Hosted by Spencer Dorsch, senior in aeronautics and astronautics

In this episode highlighting the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AAE), we meet Carson Slabaugh, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue University. He'll share how he started on a path toward aerospace engineering and about his current propulsion and combustion research.

Carson Slabaugh describes his work in propulsion and combustion at Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories, the largest academic propulsion lab in the U.S.  He also shares about memorable projects from the design, build, test courses he teaches. One project was called the Big Friendly Flame, built for the 2018 Burning Man celebration (pictured below).   

Professor Slabaugh obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida, where he studied convective heat transfer in turbine engine components. He completed his Ph.D. at Purdue, working on the development of high-speed laser-diagnostics for applications in high-power-density turbulent flames. He has worked extensively in the design and implementation of optically accessible combustion test rigs to apply these techniques at realistic engine conditions, with strategic developments to support complementary experimental-numerical datasets.

Slabaugh's research is focused on the physics of fluid mechanics and combustion in the operating regimes of advanced propulsion and energy systems. Ongoing projects cover a wide spectrum of topics; from fundamental exploration of turbulence-chemistry interactions to development of advanced combustion technologies for liquid rocket engines. The group also maintains a continuous effort in the advancement of high-bandwidth (typically, laser-based) measurement techniques to non-intrusively probe the physics of these complex, reacting flows.

Learn more about Professor Slabaugh's advanced propulsion and combustion research group

This is one of two episodes featuring Purdue University's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Listen to more about AAE and other engineering topics at the Purdue Engineering podcast website


Spencer DorschSpecial thanks to Spencer Dorsch, our guest host for this podcast. Spencer is a senior in aeronautics and astronautics and an AAE student ambassador. He chose to study aerospace because of his love of airplanes and hopes to one day work on new and innovative aircraft that will have an impact on the future.  Learn more about Spencer. 

Presented by

Purdue College of Engineering