Principal Investigators

Dr. Harsha Chelliah joined the University of Virginia in the Fall of 1992. He received his B.Sc. degree (First-Class Honors) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka in January 1981, MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from SUNY at Stony Brook in August 1984, and Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in January 1989. After completion of his Ph.D., he continued his research work at Princeton University as a Research Associate/Staff Member from 1988-1992.

Professor Chelliah is an active member of the Combustion Institute, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He is a Fellow of ASME, an Associate Fellow of AIAA and a member of the AIAA Technical Committee on Propellants and Combustion. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Combustion Theory and Modelling.

Dr. Chelliah’s Google Scholar Profile

Dr. Chloe Dedic received her BS and Ph.D. degrees from Iowa State University in 2012 and 2017, respectively. After graduation she worked as a visiting scientist with the National Institute of Aerospace at NASA Langley Research Center and joined the University of Virginia in the spring of 2018.

Professor Dedic’s research interests are centered around the development and application of advanced laser-based diagnostics and nonlinear spectroscopy techniques to study nonequilibrium, reacting, and multiphase flow environments with the goal of furthering the development of technologies related to clean energy and hypersonic propulsion and aerodynamics. In particular, Dedic has experience in applying complex laser measurements to study harsh environments while emphasizing measurement accuracy and spatial and temporal resolution.

Dr. Dedic’s Google Scholar Profile

Graduate Students

KHANH DANG is a fifth year PhD student in aerospace engineering. His research focuses on the chemical kinetics of two different systems: 1) jet fuel thermal decomposition and 2) silicon carbide (SiC) formation in chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. After graduation, Khanh aims to use this expertise to design jet engine components.

ANDREAS RACUH is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering specializing in computational fluid dynamics simulations of reacting flows. His primary research focus is the Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) of cavity stabilized flames for ramjet and scramjet engines. Andreas has developed a novel Immersed Boundary method that enables the 3D DNS of complex geometries such as the AFOSR ramp cavity flameholder. He also interested in the development of turbulent combustion models for predictive engineering simulations to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency for the next generation of combustion devices.

CLAYTON GEIPEL is a Ph.D. student researching laser diagnostics for reacting flows, with a focus on high-spatial-resolution planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) measurements of the UVa Supersonic Combustion Facility. He has also worked with particle image velocimetry (PIV) and coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) techniques. In Fall 2018, he was an instructor for MAE 2010 Introduction to Aerospace Engineering through the SEAS Graduate Teaching Internship. Clayton received a BS in Aerospace Engineering at UVa in 2015 and worked at the NASA Langley Research Center through the NIFS program in 2014-15.

SEAN ALBERTS graduated with a bachelor’s degree in applied physics from Bridgewater College in 2018.  His previous research experience focused primarily in astrophysics studying the evolution of young massive clusters.  Sean’s current research interests include studying sooty flames using laser diagnostics including laser induced incandescence.

YIFEI LI completed his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the Dalian University of Technology and obtained his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in 2017. His research interests include studying fundamental reaction mechanisms relevant to combustion processes using advanced optical diagnostic techniques.

Undergraduate Students

Ari Goldman, a fourth-year Aerospace Engineering major, is conducting research focusing on the characterization of flame extinction under the extreme conditions experienced in jet combustors.
Miles Coe is a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student interested in machine design and combustion research. He is currently working on developing a novel combustion measurement system.
Ian Davis is a 3rd year Aerospace Engineering major with interests in astronautics, space propulsion, and space resources. He is from Frederick, MD and enjoys mountain biking. 
Nick Winans is a 2nd year student from Clifton, VA studying Computer Science and Physics. He is interested in research at the intersection of both fields.
Dominic Pinnisi is a third-year undergraduate double majoring in Aerospace Engineering and Physics. In the lab, he has worked on instrument control and the development of a Schlieren imaging system.
Naja Tyree is a 3rd year Aerospace Engineering major and technology entrepreneurship minor from Atlanta, Georgia. She is interested in pursuing a graduate degree, possibly studying fluid mechanics, propulsion, or sustainable energy and fuels.