• Dr. Matthew Fotia
  • Air Force Research Laboratory
  • 155 Goodwin Hall
  • 2:00 p.m.
  • Faculty Host: Dr. Kevin Wang

Alternative pressure gain combustion thermodynamic cycles are being investigated in the effort to provide a step function increase in the performance available to aerospace propulsion systems. Detonation based cycles are one such technology that holds this promise. Current areas of research include the development of air-breathing, rotating detonation engine devices that allow for the continuous combustion of reactants through a detonation wave. Both high-speed and gas turbine based applications are currently being examined.

Rotating detonation engines are closely coupled systems in which the detonating combustion process directly feeds back into the internal shock-wave mechanics of the device, influencing both the operability and performance attainable from these systems. The basic wave mechanics will be presented, as well as some of the current efforts to address the thrust production, the harsh thermal environment and the influence of propellant mixing on ignition.


Dr. Fotia is currently a Research Engineer working as a contractor to the combustion branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RQ). His research has been focused on the design and development of rotation detonation engines for aerospace applications, including the experimental performance, device nozzling and acoustic coupling with in these systems. Previous to his current position, Dr. Fotia has been a National Research Council research associate at AFRL and a research assistant with the University of Michigan, where he conducted ram/scram transition and shock-train/combustion coupling experiments, as well as design work on highly turbulent flame experiments.