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McManus and Sutton win AIAA Best AMT Paper Award

Associate Professor Jeffrey A. SuttonAssociate Professor Jeffrey A. Sutton As a leader in the aerospace industry, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) ignites and celebrates ingenuity and collaboration within the aerospace community.

This June, the AIAA honored a student and faculty team from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) for their groundbreaking research innovations.

Thomas McManus and Jeffrey A. Sutton were named the 2017 recipients of the AIAA Best Aerodynamic Measurement Technology (AMT) Paper Award from SciTech 2017.

Thomas McManus Thomas McManus McManus, a mechanical engineering PhD student, and Associate Professor Sutton presented their paper, “Quantitative 2D Temperature Imaging in Turbulent Non-Premixed Jet Flames Using Filtered Rayleigh Scattering,” at the 2017 AIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition in Grapevine, Texas, on Jan. 13.

The aim of their research is to demonstrate the application of filtered Rayleigh scattering (FRS) as a method for temperature measurements in non-premixed combustion environments. Their paper focuses primarily on the accuracy of the measurement technique and the potential use of FRS for simultaneous velocity and scalar measurements in turbulent combustion environments.

“These measurements are very challenging yet would lead to better fundamental understanding of turbulent combustion, a phenomena critical to over 80 percent of power production in the U.S.,” said McManus. “Additionally, these measurements will provide validation data for researchers to compare to results from cutting edge combustion models.”

The duo’s research is especially timely because, in the past, concurrent velocity and temperature measurements have been very difficult to gather in combustion environments.

“The method that has been presented in this paper provides a path forward for quantitative temperature and velocity measurements,” said Sutton. “This will allow us to produce high-fidelity data to both understand turbulence-induced scalar transport and provide benchmark data for combustion model assessment.”

As the director of the university’s Turbulence and Combustion Research Laboratory, Sutton focuses on understanding the turbulent, multi-phase and reactive flows that underpin the majority of energy-conversion systems and environmental processes that we encounter each day. As a graduate research associate in the lab, McManus explores a multitude of complex combustion and fluid mechanics processes using advanced laser-based techniques.

“Working in the Turbulence and Combustion Research Laboratory with Dr. Sutton has been an interesting and rewarding experience,” said McManus. “I’ve developed a lot of valuable skills during my time here, and I’ve really enjoyed experimental work as it allows me to indulge my craving to tinker.”

On June 6, the AIAA Best Aerodynamic Measurement Technology (AMT) Paper Award was presented at the AIAA Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition in Denver, Colorado.