Propulsion and Energy Conversion

Associate Professor S. Chaudhuri
University of Toronto
Institute for Aerospace Studies
4925 Dufferin St., Ontario, Canada M3H 5T6

Phone:  +1-416-667-7734
Fax:  +1-416-667-7799
Email: schaudhuri (at) utias.utoronto.ca
Web: utias.utoronto.ca/pec

Education

  • Ph.D. – University of Connecticut
  • B.E. – Jadavpur University

Research Overview

Welcome to the Propulsion and Energy Conversion Laboratories at UTIAS. Here we investigate, discover and engineer different phenomena pertaining to turbulent reacting flows involved in aerospace propulsion and energy conversion. Turbulent reacting flows, in particular turbulent combustion is responsible for most aircraft propulsion, significant fraction of electricity generation and wildfire propagation in our planet. It also causes astrophysical explosions that disseminate heavy elements like iron throughout the universe thereby ensuring advanced life form and advancement of their civilization. Climate change is another manifestation of turbulent reacting flow dynamics. Turbulent reacting flows thus involves length scales from few angstroms where bonds break to make reactions happen, to few centimeter - the size of the largest flow structures in a gas turbine combustor, to few tens of thousands of kilometers – the size of a Type Ia Supernova. It is this range of scales combined with intersection of multiple branches of science finding home in the ultimate engineering marvel – aircraft engines; that makes turbulent reacting flows a subject of great complexity and engineering relevance where even small but solid progress can provide quantum leaps in solving some of the greatest challenges in energy and environment.  There is a pressing need to understand turbulent reacting flows to improve the efficiencies of aero-propulsion engines and mitigate their harmful emissions. Scientific understanding and engineering turbulent reacting flows to achieve breakthroughs for next generation aircraft engines is thus the primary objective of the Propulsion and Energy Conversion Laboratories at UTIAS.

At the Propulsion and Energy Conversion Labs, we adopt a two-pronged research approach.

  1. Explore the unknown – solve the unsolved phenomena in turbulent reacting flows. These could be answering questions such as how does engine noise transition to instability inside a gas turbine engine or how does a turbulent flame transition to an explosion? How to stabilize flames in supersonic flows? How does turbulence influence transport and overall reaction rates to alter properties of supercritical fuels in small channel flows? We set out to address these questions by doing experiments and performing diagnostics with lasers and/or numerical simulations with supercomputers bolstered with theoretical insights in laboratory scale experiments: physical or numerical.
  2. Translation to industry - convert the above discoveries into results useful for the industry. This is achieved by constructing industrial scale facilities and performing careful experiments in conditions that emulate the actual engine operating conditions.

Please visit the website of Propulsion and Energy Conversion Laboratories for further details. We are always looking for bright and highly motivated students, who would like to make outstanding contributions in propulsion and turbulent reacting flows that would result in high quality doctoral theses. Applications from potential post-doctoral scholars with motivation for discovery are also welcome.

Propulsion and Energy Conversion Laboratories is directed by Prof. Swetaprovo Chaudhuri.

Professor Chaudhuri  is a leading expert in turbulent reacting flows and propulsion and known for his original contributions on turbulent flame stabilization, propagation and structure using experiments, theory and computations. After his Bachelors from Jadavpur University (2006), he earned his PhD from University of Connecticut in 2010. He worked at Princeton University as a research staff (2010-13) and then at Indian Institute of Science, as an Assistant/Associate Professor.

In 2019, he joined University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies as a tenured Associate Professor. Prof. Chaudhuri has authored/co-authored over hundred articles in top journals, conferences and books, and has been honored by ASME, UConn, INSA, IAS, UTIAS. He is an elected Associate Fellow of AIAA (class of 2021) and a member of its Propellants and Combustion technical committee.

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