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Computational Reacting Flows Laboratory
Hong Im's group develops advanced computational methods for modeling turbulent reacting flows applicable to internal combustion engines and gas turbines. The figure shows a snapshot of what would happen inside an HCCI (homogeneous charge compression ignition) engine during the ignition event in the presence of fuel and air that are not perfectly mixed. Red color indicates peak heat generation, leading to a propagation of ignition front.
Arvind Atreya's group studies fire and combustion, including advanced techniques for pollutant reduction such as radiative homogeneous combustion.
The Heat Transfer Physics Laboratory
The Heat Transfer Physics Laboratory studies nanoscale phonon/photon/electron energy conversion processes using advanced molecular dynamics simulations as well as material growth and MEMS fabrication.
The Multiscale Computational Nanoscience Laboratory
The Multiscale Computational Nanoscience Laboratory studies the formation and transport of nanoparticles during combustion. The Combustion Laboratory uses optical, thermal, and chemical sensors to probe combustion dynamics, including ignition and reaction kinetics.
Direct-injection lean-burn engines use highly stratified fuel/air mixture and flow conditions at the time of spark ignition to increase efficiency and reduce pollutant formation. Reliable ignition then requires that energy transfer from the spark plasma channel to the fuel be guaranteed even under highly transient mixture and turbulence conditions. High-speed laser imaging diagnostics that was developed at UM enabled studies that revealed the physics and chemistry of unsuccessful engine cycles.
The Combustion Laboratory
The Combustion Laboratory uses optical, thermal, and chemical sensors to probe combustion dynamics, including ignition and reaction kinetics.
A significant portion of the research in thermal sciences at UM has applications in automotive engineering. The development of new, more sustainable technologies is a strong focus. Topics of research include automotive systems design, internal combustion processes and systems, friction in spark ignition engines, development of transient diesel engine simulation, diesel engine combustion, natural gas operation of diesels, hybrid propulsion technology, alternative fuels, and fuel cells for HCCI engines. Researchers also work on related topics such as pollution formation and nanoparticle interactions with biomolecular systems.
Other areas of research include heat and mass transfer, energy conservation, fire suppression and flow spread, refrigerant properties, metal hydride heat pumps and hydrogen storage, micro-scale power generation as an alternative energy source, thermoelectric energy conversion, and nanoparticle growth and self-assembly. Researchers have ties to other departments and programs at UM including Chemical, Biomedical, and Aerospace Engineering; and the Applied Physics Program. Work in the thermal sciences is funded by diverse sources, including the NSF, the Airforce Office of Scientific Research, the US Army, the US Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Combustion, fire, heat and mass transfer, fire suppression
Metal hydride heat pumps and hydrogen storage
Computational methods for reacting flows
Heat transfer physics related to novel and efficient energy conversion
Microscale heat transfer, photovoltaic energy conversion
Molecular spectroscopy, development and application of laser techniques for combustion diagnostics
Nanoparticle interactions with biomolecular systems
Reburn and co-firing technologies, pollution mitagation