Our research interests and current activities include a wide range of topics ranging from shock wave phenomena and propulsion to combustion chemistry and spectroscopy. The work in our group is mainly experimental in nature and spans several disciplines including mechanical engineering, physical chemistry, aerospace engineering, and basic physics. Applications of the research include power generation gas turbines, rockets, aviation jet engines, land-based propulsion systems, and high-speed aircraft.
The research that we conduct is both challenging and rewarding, and we are always looking for good people who can bring to the group a strong and diverse set of skills. If you are interested in pursuing graduate or post-graduate opportunities that are commensurate with the research interests of our group, please contact Dr. Petersen directly for more information.
Although varied, the work in our group can be divided roughly into three main categories: 1) gas dynamics and chemical kinetics; 2) rocket propellants and energetics; and 3) optical diagnostics and spectroscopy. Overviews of some of the recent and ongoing topics within these areas are provided in the links below.