People Research Faculty

Research Faculty

Research Engineer II

Dr. Acharya began his research experience at the Rarified Gas Dynamics Lab of IIT Madras in 2003 where he worked on Combustion Instability Modeling for Solid Rocket Motors. During this time, he also worked with the Indian Space Research Organization in applying his research to their GSLV Mark 3 launch Vehicle. He graduated with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in July 2007 soon after which he joined the Combustion Lab at Georgia Tech in Fall 2007 for MS/PhD. A primary driver for global energy requirements in the modern age is power generation using gas turbine technology for both land-based power (electricity) and aircraft engine propulsion. However, with strict environmental regulations, gas turbine emissions have been heavily constrained. This requires operating under conditions wherein several sub-optimal combustion behaviors occur, significant of which is the problem of thermoacoustic combustion instability. During this process the acoustics of the combustor volume and the heat output from the combustion couple in an unfavorable manner resulting in severe structural damage to engine components, reduced operability, and inefficiency that eventually increase emissions. This is a significant challenge for gas turbine design engineers and manufacturers as it leads to increased development costs for the gas turbine company as well as increased maintenance and insurance costs for the customers. Dr. Acharya’s PhD thesis presents a theoretical model for the response of three-dimensional swirling premixed flames to non-axisymmetric disturbances. These models are important for linear stability analysis of swirl combustors commonly used in air-breathing gas turbines. Since his graduation in 2013, he has continued as a Research Engineer in the Aerospace Combustion Lab, focusing on R&D that transitions academic research to practical applications in the industry as well as fundamental research problems focused on unsteady combustion using theoretical, numerical, statistical and computational tools. These research tasks utilize a coupled application of acoustics, unsteady fluid mechanics and unsteady combustion in both a reduced order framework as well as a numerical simulation framework.

Research Engineer I

Senior Research Scientist

Research Engineer II

Ben Emerson completed his Ph. D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in August, 2013. Since then, Ben has worked as a Research Engineer at the Ben T. Zinn Combustion Lab at Georgia Tech. Ben’s research portfolio includes projects on combustion instabilities, alternative fuels, and combustion system R&D with a core focus and motivation of cleaner combustion. Ben’s research primarily consists of three core competencies, which are experimental combustion system development, combustor diagnostics, and combustion theory and modeling. Ben’s combustion system development work spans a wide variety of applications, from small lab-scale burners to combustor rigs that test full-scale gas turbine combustor hardware. His combustor diagnostics work encompasses the state of the art optical diagnostic techniques for reacting flow field measurements and imaging, and aims to implement those techniques in both laboratory-scale and large-scale rig tests. Finally, Ben’s combustion theory and modeling work is geared towards analysis of experimental datasets, development of reduced-order engineering tools, and the development of a suite of hydrodynamic stability analysis tools. Together, these core competencies form the pillars of Ben’s research, which facilitates the design of cleaner-burning combustion systems.

Laboratory Technician

Seth Hutchins began working at the Combustion Lab as a Technician in August of 2012. In August of 2013, he transitioned to serve as Combustion Lab Building Coordinator.

Principal Research Engineer

Dr. Lubarsky received his doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from the TECHNION – Israel Institute of Technology specializing in suppression of instabilities in liquid spray combustors and in optical diagnostics of propulsion systems. He received his engineering diploma with highest honors from the Moscow State Aviation Institute and worked in the aerospace industry of the former Soviet Union on various propulsion systems including liquid rocket engines for satellites, liquid fueled ramjets for cruise missiles, thrust augmenters for the modern turbojets. He concentrated on the combustion dynamics including diagnostics and suppression of ramjet rumble and afterburner “screech”. He focused on development and application of novel fuel injection schematics including fuel carburetors incorporated into the flame holders. Dr. Lubarsky studies resulted in the design of the fuel injection systems for <Moskito>, and <Raduga> cruise missiles and MiG-29 afterburner. In GaTech Dr. Lubarsky serves as a Co-Principal investigator in many ongoing research projects involving combustion dynamics and fuel spray diagnostics. Recent projects conducted by Dr. Lubarsky included experimental development of the flame holding unit for the modern afterburning turbojet, auto-ignition of jet fuel at elevated temperatures and studies of the liquid fuel jet disintegration in the crossing air flow at potentially supercritical conditions.

Laboratory Manager

Kristopher Manion completed his Bachelors of Science in Building Construction from Georgia Tech in August 2015. Since then, he has served as the Combustion Lab’s Building Manager.

Senior Research Engineer

Research Engineer II

Research Engineer I