Combustion and Propulsion

Professor Ö. L. Gülder
University of Toronto
Institute for Aerospace Studies
4925 Dufferin St., Ontario, Canada M3H 5T6

Phone:  +1-416-667-7721
Fax:  +1-416-667-7799
Email:  ogulder (at)


  • Ph.D. – University of Manchester
  • M.Sc. – Middle East Technical University
  • B.Sc. – Middle East Technical University

Research Overview

Dr. Gülder joined UTIAS in November 2001 and leads an experimental and computational research program in combustion and propulsion. Before coming to UTIAS, he worked at the National Research Council Canada as head of the Combustion Research Laboratory. His research has been in the field of turbulent combustion, premixed flame propagation, soot formation in combustion, development and use of experimental optical diagnostics in combustion systems, combustion in gas turbines and reciprocating engines, and alternative transportation fuels. He is the author and coauthor of more than 250 papers in these areas. He had served on the editorial boards of the journals Combustion and Flame, International Journal of Engine Research, International Journal of Thermal Sciences, and Atomization and Sprays. He served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Combustion Institute between 2000 and 2012, and was the Chair of the Canadian Section of the Combustion Institute from 1991 to 2001. His current commitments of scientific and technical advisory nature include: Scientific Advisory Committee Member, biennial International Sooting Flame Workshops since 2011; Co-organizer of the biennial International Premixed Turbulent Flames Workshops since 2008.

A key element of many of modern society’s critical technologies, combustion accounts for approximately 85 percent of the world’s energy usage and is vital to our current way of life. Spacecraft and aircraft propulsion, electric power production, home heating, ground transportation, and materials processing all use combustion to convert chemical energy to thermal energy or propulsive force. Professor Gülder’s research aims to improve our understanding of this essential process and paving the way for more efficient and environmentally friendly combustion of both traditional and alternative fuels.

The Combustion and Propulsion group’s experimental facilities include several generic burners for laminar and turbulent flames, a high-pressure combustion chamber capable of 100 atm; a unique set up for jet fuel oxidative thermal stability research, and various optical and laser-based combustion and flow field diagnostics such as Rayleigh scattering, soot emission spectroscopy, laser-induced incandescence, two-line atomic fluorescence, particle image velocimetry. The group’s recent accomplishments include (a) revealing the flame front structure in turbulent combustion, and (b) pressure dependence of soot formation in gaseous flames.

Current research activities of the Combustion and Propulsion group focus on (a) fundamental combustion properties of biofuels for aviation and ground transportation; (b) soot and particulate formation in liquid and gaseous fuel flames at elevated pressures representative of gas turbines; (c) dynamics and structure of premixed and non-premixed turbulent flames; (d) structure of laminar diffusion flames; (d) thermal oxidative stability of conventional and alternative aviation fuels; (e) laser-induced incandescence technique for soot and particulate diagnostics. These experimental studies are complemented by high-fidelity numerical simulations in collaboration with CFD and Propulsion Group (Prof. Groth). Combustion and Propulsion Group have been collaborating with national and international groups in some of these subject areas.

Current funding of the Combustion and Propulsion Group comes from Rolls Royce Canada – CRIAQ; Biofuel Network; NSERC (Strategic, Discovery, and RTI); Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN); CFI; and Pratt and Whitney Canada.