The Turbomachinery Research Consortium (TRC), established in 1981, is an organization of major turbomachinery developers and users who have united with the Turbomachinery Laboratory to find answers to important questions about turbomachinery performance and reliability through cutting-edge research. With a focus on rotordynamics and mechanical systems, the TRC has continued to be a foundation for support of graduate student researchers, enabling the Turbomachinery Laboratory mission of creating “Engineers Ready to Work.”
As the Turbomachinery Laboratory has continued to expand into research and testing areas beyond rotating equipment that includes but is not limited to thermal fluids and combustion, and computational modelling and design, an additional research consortium to address topics specific to these areas is now being organized. The Energy and Propulsion Research Consortium (EPRC) will give faculty and graduate students working in these two areas the opportunity to participate in consortium research projects that, up until now, has not been available to them through the TRC.
The EPRC is being developed in tandem with a new expansion facility that will break ground in the coming months. This facility, the Energetics and Propulsion Research Lab, will greatly expand the capabilities at the Turbomachinery Laboratory in high-energy, high-flow experiments at both component and system levels.
Members of the new EPRC will have access to an array of new capabilities with researchers and their students working in various areas of energy conversion technology. Specific topics that may be addressed in both the research facility and the new EPRC include:
- Heat Transfer
- Reacting Flows
- Chemical Kinetics and Flames
- Laser Diagnostics and Spectroscopy
- Battery Flammability
- Ammonia Combustion and Safety
- Turbine Blade Cooling
- Combustion and Gas Dynamics
- Rocket Propellants and Energetics
- Advanced Optical Techniques
- Fuel and Lubricant Flammability
- Hydrogen Combustion and Safety
- Computational Fluid Mechanics
- Design Optimization
- Uncertainty Quantification
- Internal Flows of Turbomachines
- Machine Learning
- Process Safety and Risk Analysis
Dr. Eric Petersen, Nelson-Jackson professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, and the Director of the Turbomachinery Laboratory, says this new facility and consortium will enhance the opportunities for expanding research activities for many faculty and students that do not participate in the current Turbomachinery Research Consortium. “Thermal fluids and combustion is one thematic area of activity at the Turbo Lab that continues to grow. Building on the foundation of rotordynamics that will continue to be a strong and important part of the Turbo Lab, the new EPRC will give more students the opportunity to participate in consortia activities and build relationships with industry and government partners. Both consortia have a primary focus of educating our students and creating engineers ready to work in a variety of diverse fields”, Petersen remarks.
An information session for the EPRC will be included in the upcoming TRC annual meeting to be held in June 2023 in College Station, Texas. Petersen adds, “Companies who are members of the TRC will be invited to hear proposals for the new EPRC and may elect to join the EPRC while still maintaining membership in the TRC. We know there are many other companies, government entities, and national labs that have interest in the thermal fluid and combustion areas that will find value in this new research consortium, too. Members of either consortium will have access to the XLTRC2 rotordynamic codes that have always been a benefit of TRC membership as well.”
Sample proposals for the EPRC will be presented during the information session at the annual TRC meeting, and membership applications will be accepted at that time. Projects may be funded as early as September 2023 and will be fully underway by May 2024.
ABOUT TURBOMACHINERY LABORATORY
The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Turbomachinery Laboratory makes a vital impact on turbomachinery and related industries through research, education, and professional workforce development. Visit turbolab.tamu.edu for more information.