Penn State

Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering

Turbine Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics Group

2017


Phase II Upgrades on the START Test Turbine Complete

August 1, 2017

Completion of the second phase of the facility for the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Lab at the Pennsylvania State University was completed this past year. Through strong support of Pratt & Whitney and the Department of Energy-National Energy Technology Lab, the lab was founded in 2011 to study aerodynamics, heat transfer, and secondary air systems using turbine hardware from operating engines at continuous, engine-relevant conditions. To perform the research aligned with the lab’s focus, a modern, one stage, test turbine is operated in a continuous flow mode. The vane/blade static and rotating Reynolds and Mach numbers are representative of current gas turbine engines. Prior to 2017, the facility provided unheated flow from one compressor for half-span airfoils. The upgrades in 2017 now provide the designed capabilities of heated flow for full-span airfoils. Two parallel compressors followed by a natural gas burner provide 25 lbm/s of air up to 70 psia. The natural gas combustor provides the capabilities of heating the flow as high at 750°F. There are independently controlled feeds to several turbine locations for the coolant, which is controlled to temperatures at 70°F to allow for accurate turbine heat transfer measurements. The outer casing was also modified in the test turbine to allow for real hardware, full-span vanes and blades.

Upgrades on instrumentation were also integrated and are continuing. A new torquemeter was installed to provide higher accuracies; and numerous traverse systems were installed to provide the means for traversing the flowpaths. Additive manufactured vanes enable placement of pressure taps and instrumentation routing beyond installations requiring line-of-sight. Instrumentation currently used is carbon dioxide flow tracing measured through additively manufactured pressure taps to track ingestion under the platform. In progress is the expansion of measurement sensors including thermal imaging for measuring spatially and temporally resolved surface temperatures of passing blades; unsteady pressures and discrete heat flux measurements with the use of a telemetry system; and fast responding aero probes (FRAP). Supported by the Navy, there has been a strong collaboration between START and Oxford University in the development of next generation of heat flux sensors. The heat flux sensors being developed, which is a derivation of Oxford gages, are being manufactured in the Nanofabrication Facility at Penn State.


Katie Kirsch Wins 2016 Turbo Expo Best Heat Transfer Paper

July 3, 2017

Katie Kirsch, PhD student in the START Lab, was recognized with a best heat transfer paper at the 2017 ASME Turbo Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina in June. The award she received was for her paper entitled, Heat Transfer and Pressure Loss Measurements in Additively Manufactured Wavy Microchannels, which she presented at the 2016 TurboExpo in Seoul. The same paper was recently published in the Journal of Turbomachinery. The paper was the first of its kind to show the advantages of producing shapes through the additive manufacturing process which have not been possible before with conventional manufacturing methods. Not only has Katie’s research been recognized, but also her service leadership through the Gas Turbine Segment’s Student Advisory Council (SAC). She recently served as the Chair of the SAC during which they broadened their activities to include several professional development opportunities for the students in SAC.


Stimpson Receives Alumni Association Dissertation Award

April 26, 2017

Curtis Stimpson, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the START Lab, received a 2017 Alumni Association Dissertation Award from the Graduate School. This award is considered to be among the most prestigious available to Penn State graduate students and recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship and professional accomplishment. Stimpson was recognized for his experimental convective heat transfer research evaluating the use of additive manufacturing to cool components in gas turbine engines. He received his medal at the Graduate School Alumni Society's Recognition Program April 18. Read More...


START Lab Expansion Complete

March 21, 2017

Through strong support from United Technologies-Pratt & Whitney, a 2000 sq ft addition to the START Lab was recently completed. The additional space significantly increases available space for testing and fabrication to support the development and research for gas turbines. The new space will house a dedicated additive manufacturing research facility, a high speed linear cascade, a machine shop, and room for future test rigs and turbine assembly. A ribbon cutting event was held to celebrate this major milestone in the START Lab history. Attendees include representatives from United Technologies and Pratt and Whitney, the sponsors for the lab expansion, as well as College of Engineering Dean Amr Elnashai, and University Vice President for Research, Neil Sharkey. View Event Photos...


Lynch receives Volvo's Innovation Gateway Prize

February 6, 2017

Dr. Stephen Lynch, director of the ExCCL, has been awarded an Innovation Gateway prize for a nine-month study with Volvo titled “Optimized Diesel Engine, Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery Components via Additive Manufacturing.” Volvo is the first industry partner to complete a research challenge through Innovation Gateway, which aims to connect faculty ideas with organizations that can bring them to the marketplace. Read more...


Thole named Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

January 9, 2017

Dr. Karen Thole, professor and department head of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Penn State and director of the START lab, has been named a Penn State distinguished professor. The title of distinguished professor was established by the Office of the President to recognize the academic contributions of a select group of current, full-time faculty members who hold the rank of professor and are acknowledged leaders in their fields of research or creative activity. Distinguished professors demonstrate significant leadership in raising the University's standards in teaching, research or creative activity and service, and exhibit excellent teaching skills. Read more...


2016


Shawn Siroka Receives ASME-IGTI Scholarship

October 21, 2016

Shawn Siroka, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Penn State, was selected to receive a 2016 ASME-IGTI Scholarship.Shawn completed his BSME degree from Penn State in May 2016 after which he completed an internship at Pratt & Whitney. In August 2016, Shawn returned to Penn State to join the START lab where he plans to complete his doctoral degree. During his undergraduate program, Shawn completed undergraduate research with Professor Steve Lynch in which he worked on developing the use of heat flux gages. As a graduate student, Shawn is continuing his work on the use of heat flux gages for measuring heat transfer in the turbine test rig. Shawn was also the recipient of the Dr. John P. Karidis Award for Research Achievement in Mechanical Engineering, which is annually awarded to an undergraduate in mechanical engineering at Penn State.


START Graduates First PhD

August 24, 2016

The START Lab can now proudly boast about the successful completion of the first doctoral student to have completed his degree in the newly commissioned laboratory. Dr. Kenneth Clark successfully defended his dissertation entitled "Sealing Effectiveness of a Turbine Rim Seal at Engine-Relevant Conditions " on August 24, 2016. Ken had a unique doctoral experience in which he saw the full completion of the START facility and test turbine. He played a critical role in the building of the new facility and, in particular, made major contributions to the instrumentation of the test turbine.

Ken completed his BSME and MSME at Brigham Young University in 2009 and 2011, respectively. He was awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship and joined the Penn State START team in August 2011. He developed a new measurement technique for the START facility that involved the use of CO2 as a flow tracer to be able to distinguish the secondary air supply from the turbine main gas flow supply. He conducted the first successful test campaigns for both a stationary and rotating turbine configuration. The data he collected is the first of its kind made available to the sponsor with turbine engine hardware operating under turbine relevant flow conditions.

While in START, he co-authored the first three publications based on the test turbine. Throughout his degree program, Ken's work was awarded the Best Student Poster at the NASA Thermal & Fluids Analysis Workshop and he was also awarded the Alan J. Brockett Pratt & Whitney-Penn State Outstanding Student Award. He was also recognized by the College of Engineering by being awarded a Distinguished Teaching Fellow position in which he taught an undergraduate course in gas turbines.

After completing his degree, Dr. Clark along with his supportive wife Kari and two children, will move to Connecticut. Ken will start his career at United Technologies-Pratt & Whitney where he will be a Senior Engineer working on the development of a new compressor test rig.


START Completes First Successful Test Campaign

June 16, 2016

Since 2011, planning, designing, and building have occupied those working in the START Lab, especially Dr. Michael Barringer, PhD candidate Ken Clark, and Dave Johnson. Alongside these individuals was the continued support and efforts by many engineers at United Technologies-Pratt & Whitney and at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory.

In February 2016, after much anticipation, the START test turbine and all the laboratory subsystems were completed, commissioned, and ready to operate. During the next three months, the first official test campaign was enacted that included 22 test days operating the turbine between 8 to 12 hours per day without interruption. Over 150 flow conditions were simulated with over 1800 data points acquired.

The focus of this first test campaign was on the sealing effectiveness in the rim cavity area upstream of the first blade, which was rotating at nearly 10,000 rpm. The data acquired from this first campaign made use of CO2 as a flow tracer to distinguish the secondary flow supply from that of the main gas path flow supply. Pressure taps that were additively manufactured into the turbine components were used to sample the flow. Additive manufacturing was used to place taps in locations that would not have otherwise been possible. The experimental results that were acquired were the first of its kind given the use of engine relevant hardware in the most relevant turbine conditions, outside of an actual operating engine. Comparisons of the data are being made to well-accepted correlations given in the public literature.


PSU ExCCL and START Attend IGTI's TurboExpo in Seoul, South Korea

June 16, 2016

Members of PSU ExCCL and the START lab attended the ASME TurboExpo 2016 in Seoul, South Korea to present their gas turbine research findings to an international audience. Graduate students Ken Clark, Curtis Stimpson, Eric Lange, and Shane Haydt recieved Student Advisory Committee Travel Awards, while Katie Kirsch and Jacob Snyder traveled to Seoul as the Student Advisory Committee's Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively. Lab members who presented papers included:

— Ken Clark, "Using a Tracer Gas to Quantify Sealing Effectiveness for Engine Realistic Rim Seals";

— Ken Clark, "Effects of Purge Jet Momentum on Sealing Effectiveness";

— Jeff Gibson, "Pressure Distortion Effects on Rim Seal Performance in a Linear Cascade";

— Shane Haydt, "The Effect of Meter-Diffuser Offset on Shaped Film Cooling Hole Adiabatic Effectiveness";

— Katie Kirsch, "Heat Transfer and Pressure Loss Measurements in Additvely Manufactured Wavy Microchannels";

— Eric Lange, "Computational and Experimental Studies of Midpassage Gap Leakage and Misalignment for a Non-Axisymmetric Contoured Turbine Blade Endwall";

— Robert Schroeder, "Scaling Roughness Effects on Pressure Loss and Heat Transfer of Additvely Manufactured Channels";

— Robert Schroeder, "Thermal Field Measurements for a Shaped Hole at Low and High Freestream Turbulence Intensity";

— Curtis Stimpson, "Effect of In-Hole Roughness on Film Cooling from a Shaped Hole";

Other attendees included Dr. Karen Thole, Dr. Stephen Lynch, and graduate students Jacob Snyder and Adam Shrager.


Allan J. Brockett Pratt & Whitney - Penn State Student Award Give to Shane Haydt

June 6, 2016

The annual Allan J. Brockett Pratt & Whitney - Penn State Student Award was announced at the Pratt & Whitney semi-annual review meeting for the Penn State Center of Excellence. The award honors the support given by Mr. Allan J. Brockett, VP Engineering at Pratt & Whitney, and is given to a graduate student who demonstrates "technical excellence and leadership to the gas turbine industry".

The winner of the Allan J. Brockett award for 2016 is Mr. Shane Haydt. Mr. Haydt received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Penn State's ExCCL Lab. For his doctoral research at Penn State, Shane is focusing on the flowfield and heat transfer related to coolant injection from compound angled film cooling holes. Shane's research is supported by Pratt & Whitney, and he also did two internships at the company in 2012 and 2013. Shane also served as the graduate assistant for the Engineering Ambassadors program for the past two years.


Melissa Shallcross presented with the Thomas Briggs Hunter Memorial Award for Student Leadership

March 24, 2016

Melissa Shallcross, and undergraduate student in the ExCCL lab, recently recieved the Thomas Briggs Hunter Memorial Award for Student Leadership. The award is named for Thomas Hunter, a mechanical engineering graduate student who was a leader in volunteerism. Melissa has completed two internships with Pratt & Whitney and plans to return this summer. Upon graduation, Melissa intends on pursuing a graduate degree in mechanical engineering.

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Shawn Siroka honored with the Dr. John P. Karidis Department Head's Award for Research Achievement in Mechanical Engineering

March 24, 2016

Shawn Siroka, an undergraduate student currently pursuing research in both the ExCCL and START labs, recently received the Dr. John P. Karidis Department Head's Award for Research Achievement in Mechanical Engineering. The award is given in honor of John P. Karidis, a 1983 mechanical engineering alumnus, and it is for making important contributions in forwarding research in mechanical engineering. After he graduates this spring, Shawn plans to intern at Pratt & Whitney in their turbine aero group and then pursue a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering.

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2015


Kirsten Muirhead wins undergraduate presentation competition at AIAA regional conference

November 15, 2015

Kirsten Muirhead, an undergraduate research in the ExCCL lab, recently won first place in an undergraduate presentation competition for her presentation titled "Interaction of High Turbulence Dilution Flow with Turbine Vanes in Gas Turbine Engines." Kirsten presented at the AIAA Region I Young Professional, Student, and Education Conference, held at the Kossiakoff Center at Johns Hopkins University. Kirsten is a junior studying Aerospace Engineering and has worked in the ExCCL lab since spring of 2015.

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START Lab receives $2.5 Million as Part of FAA Environmental Program

November 24, 2015

The Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Laboratory received $2.5 million as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN II) program. Penn State is working as a subcontractor with Pratt & Whitney.The five-year CLEEN II program builds on the success of the original CLEEN program, a public-private partnership that began in 2010 and is a key part of the FAA’s NextGen efforts to make aviation more environmentally friendly. In total, the FAA awarded $100 million in contracts to eight companies for CLEEN II.

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START Lab receives DOE agreement to improve turbine efficiency

September 10, 2015

Penn State’s Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Laboratory has signed a six-year, $5 million agreement with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to continue work on improving turbine efficiencies.

Specifically, this project, which is a partnership between Penn State, DOE-NETL, and Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies, will explore ways to cool gas turbine components with minimal cooling air to allow for higher operational temperatures and minimized aerodynamic losses.

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Thole to Receive the ASME George Westinghouse Medal

September 10, 2015

Dr. Karen Thole, professor and department head of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Penn State and director of the START lab, will be honored with the George Westinghouse Gold Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The award was established in 1952 to recognize eminent achievement or distinguished service in the power field of mechanical engineering.

Thole was selected for her outstanding contributions toward better cooling of gas turbine airfoils, particularly the discovery of a leading-edge fillet to reduce vortices in airfoil passages and the development of physics-based correlations used by industry for predicting micro channel cooling and film cooling.


Allan J. Brockett Pratt & Whitney - Penn State Student Award Give to Ken Clark

August 6, 2015

The annual Allan J. Brockett Pratt & Whitney - Penn State Student Award was announced at the Pratt & Whitney semi-annual review meeting for the Penn State Center of Excellence. The award honors the support given by Mr. Allan J. Brockett, VP Engineering at Pratt & Whitney, and is given to a graduate student who demonstrates "technical excellence and leadership to the gas turbine industry".

The winner of the Allan J. Brockett award for 2015 is Mr. Ken Clark. Mr. Clark received his BSME and his MSME degree from Brigham Young University and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Penn State's START Lab. For his doctoral research at Penn State, Ken has been instrumental in developing the test turbine in START. He will be the first to graduate from the new START Lab. His research will lead to a fundamental understanding of the cavities between blades and vanes under the turbine platform. This month, Ken was also awarded best poster at a student conference held at NASA-Langley.


PSU ExCCL Attends IGTI's TurboExpo in Montréal, Canada

June 15, 2015

Members of PSU ExCCL and the START lab attended the ASME TurboExpo 2015 in Montréal, Canada to present their gas turbine research findings to an international audience. Graduate student Jacob Snyder recieved a Student Advisory Committee Travel Award, while Katie Kirsch travelled to Montreal as the Student Advisory Committee's Vice-Chair. Lab members who presented papers included:

— Dr. Stephen Lynch, "Comparison of the Three-Dimensional Boundary Layer on Flat versus Contoured Turbine Endwalls";

— Dr. Stephen Lynch, "Heat Transfer and Film Cooling on a Contoured Blade Endwall with Platform Gap Leakage";

— Curtis Stimpson, "Roughness Effects on Flow and Heat Transfer for Additively Manufactured Channels";

— Jacob Snyder, "Build Direction Effects on Addtively Manufactured Channels";

— Robert Schroeder, "Effect of High Freestream Turbulence on Flowfields of Shaped Film Cooling Holes";

— Amy Mensch, "Overall Effectiveness and Flowfield Measurements for an Endwall with Non-Axisymmetric Contouring";

— Jeff Gibson, "Effects of the Main Gas Path Pressure Field on Rim Seal Flows in a Stationary Linear Cascade";

Graduate student Ken Clark presented a poster titled:

— "First Vane Gap Leakages for a High Pressure Turbine at Engine-Relevant Conditions"

Other attendees included Dr. Karen Thole, and Research Associate Dr. Michael Barringer


Lynch recieves prestigious Young Investigator Grant

May 12, 2015

Stephen Lynch, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was awarded the Young Investigator Grant from the Office of Naval Research, one of the oldest and most selective scientific research advancement programs in the country. This grant supports the professional development of early-career faculty in both research and teaching. Read more...


Thole recognized with Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award

April 9, 2015

Karen Thole, professor and department head of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, is the recipient of the 2015 Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award, an award that honors and recognizes outstanding achievement by a faculty member with at least five years of service who effectively guides junior faculty. It is named for Howard Palmer who served as senior associate dean of The Graduate School from 1984 to 1991. Read more...


2014


PSU ExCCL Attends ASME 2014 IMECE in Montreal, Canada

November 24, 2014

Undergraduate student, Yuvraj Rathore, and Ph.D. student, Amy Mensch, both presented at the 2014 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Expo (IMECE) in Montreal, Canada. Raj presented a poster on Nov. 19 based on his research performed during a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) fellowship from Penn State’s College of Engineering in summer 2014. Raj is currently a sophomore in Mechanical Engineering at Penn State. Also on Nov. 19, Amy presented the technical paper, "Simulations of Multiphase Particle Deposition on a Gas Turbine Endwall with Impingement and Film Cooling."


Thole named Society of Women Engineers' Distinguished Engineering Educator

August 29, 2014

Karen Thole, head of the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, has been named the Society of Women Engineers' (SWE) 2014 Distinguished Engineering Educator. The award is presented to a woman who, as a full-time or emeritus engineering educator, has made significant contributions to the engineering profession. She was also recognized in 2011 by the White House as a Champion of Change for her work in helping to recruit and retain women in engineering. In 2012, Thole received the Penn State Commission for Women's Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award. Read more...


PSU ExCCL Student Corey Anderson Wins Best Poster Award at GE Research Summit

August 15, 2014

Corey Anderson recieved a best poster award for "Time Resolved PIV (particle image velocimetry) Measurements of the Horseshoe Vortex System in Pin Fin Arrays" at a recent GE research summit. Corey attended the third annual General Electric Student Research Summit on August 15 in Niskayuna, New York. Corey is entering his second year of graduate school with advisor Stephen Lynch, and received his B.S. from Michigan State University in 2013.

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PSU ExCCL Attends IGTI's TurboExpo in Düsseldorf, Germany

June 20, 2014

Members of PSU ExCCL and the START lab attended the ASME TurboExpo 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany to present their gas turbine research findings to an international audience. Dr. Karen Thole was this year's Chair of the IGTI Board of Directors and welcomed everyone to the Grand Opening Awards and Keynote Session. Graduate students Robert Schroeder and Katie Kirsch were each awarded a 2014 Young Engineer Travel Award. Lab members who presented papers included:

— Research associate, Dr. Michael Barringer, "The Design of a Steady Aero Thermal Research Turbine (START) for Studying Secondary Flow Leakages and Airfoil Heat Transfer";

— Katie Kirsch, "Row Removal Heat Transfer Study for Pin Fin Arrays" and "Heat Transfer Measurements of Oblong Pins";

— Robert Schroeder, "Adiabatic Effectiveness Measurements for a Baseline Shaped Film Cooling Hole" and "Blockage Effects From Simulated Thermal Barrier Coatings for Cylindrical and Shaped Cooling Holes";

— Amy Mensch, "Conjugate Heat Transfer Measurements and Predictions of a Blade Endwall With a Thermal Barrier Coating";

Other attendees included Dr. Stephen Lynch, and graduate students Corey Anderson, Jeff Gibson, Shane Haydt, Michael Leonetti, Curtis Stimpson and Jacob Snyder.

Allan J. Brockett Pratt & Whitney - Penn State Student Award Given to Robert Schroeder

June 5, 2014

The annual Allan J. Brockett Pratt & Whitney - Penn State Student Award was announced at the Pratt & Whitney semi-annual Review Meeting for the Penn State Center of Excellence. The award honors the support given by Mr. Allan J. Brockett, VP Engineering at Pratt & Whitney, and is given to a graduate student who demonstrates "technical excellence and leadership to the gas turbine industry".

The winner of the Allan J. Brockett award for 2014 is Mr. Robert Schroeder. Mr. Schroeder received his BSME degree from Valparaiso University and his MSME degree from Penn State, and he is currently working on his Ph.D. at Penn State. As an undergraduate, he interned at Caterpillar Inc. and worked four cooperative-education rotations at NASA Johnson Space Center. For his doctoral research at Penn State, he has been characterizing performance of a public shaped film cooling hole, focusing on the effects of the in-hole surface roughness on film cooling performance. Additionally, he is serving on the Student Advisory Committee of the International Gas Turbine Institute as the 2014 student liaison to the heat transfer committee.


Ph.D. Student Katie Kirsch to Receive Penn State Alumni Association Award

May 15, 2014

Mechanical engineering graduate Katie Kirsch has been named the 2014 recipient of the Penn State Alumni Association's (PSAA) Joan M. McLane Recent Alumna Award. The award recognizes a recent alumna or alumnus who has provided exemplary vounteer service to the PSAA. Eligibility is limited to individuals who have graduated from the University within the last 10 years. Kirsch received her bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Currently, Kirsch is a mechanical engineering doctoral candidate working in the Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory at Penn State.

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2013


PSU ExCCL and START visit Pratt & Whitney, Hartford, CT

November 14, 2013

ExCCL and START students visited the Pratt & Whitney Customer Training Center on November 14 during the annual Penn State Center of Excellence Review Meeting. Pictured here clockwise from bottom left are Robert Schroeder, Ken Clark, Jeff Gibson and Curtis Stimpson.


PSU ExCCL Attends IGTI's TurboExpo in San Antonio

June 10, 2013

Members of PSU ExCCL and the START lab attended the ASME TurboExpo 2013 in San Antonio, Texas to present their gas turbine research findings to an international audience. Former student, Dr. Jason Ostanek ('12g ME) was awarded one of the 2013 Young Engineer Travel Awards. Current and former lab members who presented papers based on PSU ExCCL work included:

— Research associate, Dr. Michael Barringer, "Manufacturing Influences on Pressure Losses of Channel Fed Holes";

— Amy Mensch, "Overall Effectiveness of a Blade Endwall With Jet Impingement and Film Cooling";

— Katie Kirsch, "Comparison of Pin Surface Heat Transfer in Arrays of Oblong and Cylindrical Pin Fins";

— Molly Eberly ('12g ME), "Time-Resolved Film-Cooling Flows at Low and High Density Ratios";

— Dr. Michael Hargather, "Characterization of Flow Through Porous Metals";

— Dr. Jason Ostanek ('12g ME), "Effects of Non-Uniform Streamwise Spacing in Low Aspect Ratio Pin Fin Arrays" and "Improving Pin-Fin Heat Transfer Predictions Using Artificial Neural Networks";

— Dr. Stephen Lynch ('11g ME), "Endwall Heat Transfer for a Turbine Blade With an Upstream Cavity and Rim Seal Leakage" and "Aerodynamic Loss for a Turbine Blade With Endwall Leakage Features and Contouring";

Other attendees included Research Associate, Andrew Coward, and current students Jeff Gibson, Ken Clark, Robert Schroeder, Chris Whitfield, Curtis Stimpson and Jacob Snyder.

Inaugural Recipient Announced for the Allan J. Brockett Pratt & Whitney - Penn State Student Award

March 19, 2013

A new award, announced at the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) lab's ribbon cutting on March 19, 2013, has been established in the College of Engineering at Penn State to honor the support given by Mr. Allan J. Brockett, VP Engineering at Pratt & Whitney. Mr. Brockett has been instrumental in providing research support to Pratt & Whitney's Center of Excellence at Penn State and has been a strong supporter of the formation of the START lab. He has also supported the expansion of the Engineering Ambassadors and has devoted his time to serve on the Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department's Industrial and Professional Advisory Council. The award, entitled the Allan J. Brockett Pratt & Whitney - Penn State Student Award, was announced at the ribbon cutting ceremony and will be awarded annually to a student who demonstrates "technical excellence and leadership to the gas turbine industry".

The inaugural winner of the Allan J. Brockett award for 2013 is Ms. Amy Mensch. Ms. Mensch received her MSME degree from Penn State in 2009 and is currently a doctoral student in the Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department. After receiving her MSME degree and prior to starting her doctoral degree, she held the position of mechanical engineer at NIST. For her doctoral work, she is researching better ways to predict heat transfer in the endwall region of a turbine airfoil through the use of a conjugate surface in which both convective and conductive effects are simulated. She is also one of four graduate students who are organizing an international student committee associated with the International Gas Turbine Institute. The student group will hold their first meeting in June at the 2013 Turbo Expo in San Antonio.

Ribbon Cutting for the new Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Lab

March 19, 2013

Penn State and Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. company, officially unveiled the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) facility, the country's most advanced turbine testing laboratory, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 19 at Cato Park. The new facility is supported by Pratt & Whitney, the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory and Penn State.

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2012


Presentations given at 2012 UTSR Workshop, Irvine, CA

Oct 4, 2012

Ph.D. student, Amy Mensch, and Dr. Karen Thole presented at the National Energy Technology Laboratory's 2012 University Turbine Systems Research (UTSR) Workshop hosted by the University of California-Irvine on October 2-4. Amy presented an update of her work on the DOE funded project, "Improving Durability of Turbine Components Through Trenched Film Cooling and Contoured Endwalls." Amy also presented a poster at the meeting. Dr. Thole gave an invited talk summarizing PSU ExCCL's work over the years on the impacts of particle injestion on the turbine.


PSU ExCCL Attends IGTI's TurboExpo in Copenhagen

June 15, 2012

Several current personnel and recent graduates from PSU ExCCL attended the ASME TurboExpo 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark, to present their gas turbine research findings to an international audience. Dr. Karen Thole was the Chair of Conferences, and therefore spoke at the Grand Opening presenatations. Former student, Dr. Seth Lawson ('11g ME) was awarded one of the 2012 Young Engineer Travel Awards.

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PA Middle School Students Visit PSU ExCCL

April 26, 2012

As part of an effort to attract more students into STEM fields, 20 Pennsylvania middle school students visited PSU ExCCL from schools across the state: Milton Hershey Middle School, Moon Area High School, and North Allegheny School District Middle Schools.

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2011


Rep. Glenn Thompson Visits Penn State Labs including PSU ExCCL

October 11, 2011

On October 11, U. S. Rep. Glenn Thompson visited the PSU Experimental and Computational Convection Lab (ExCCL), a lab focused on turbulent flow and heat transfer in modern gas turbines and directed by Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department Head Karen Thole, and the Turbulent Combustion Lab, directed by Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dom Santavicca.

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Penn State Receives Gift for PSU ExCCL's Advanced Turbine Lab

September 23, 2011

A gift from United Technologies Corp. (UTC) will help build the most advanced turbine testing facility in the United States. Officials from UTC's Pratt & Whitney division presented a check to Penn State President Graham Spanier on Sept. 23 as the second installment of a three-year commitment for the facility.

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PSU ExCCL Attends IGTI's TurboExpo in Vancouver

June 10, 2011

Several graduate students and personnel attended the TurboExpo 2011 in Vancouver, Canada, in June to present their gas turbine research findings to an international audience. Ph.D. candidate Jason Ostanek presented a paper titled, "Flowfield Measurements in a Single Row of Low Aspect Ratio Pin-Fins"; Seth Lawson ('11g ME) presented "Simulations of Multi-Phase Particle Deposition on Endwall Film-Cooling Holes in Transverse Trenches" and "Simulations of Multi-Phase Particle Deposition on a Showerhead with Staggered Film-Cooling Holes"; and Alan Thrift ('11g ME) presented "Effects of Orientation and Position of the Combustor-Turbine Interface Gap on the Cooling of a Vane Endwall." Other attendees included Drs. Thole and Barringer as well as Ph.D. candidate Robert Schroeder. The conference boasted approximately 3,000 engineers working in the field. Nearly 1,000 presentations were made during the weeklong conference.


2009


Penn State is Named a Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence

June 1, 2009

Representatives from Pratt & Whitney visited Penn State to review the Center of Excellence on May 26-27. Those representatives included Tom Prete, Director of the Turbine Module Center, Penn State Executive Champion; Atul Kohli, Turbine Durability, Penn State Focal Point; and Chris Lehane, Manger of the Turbine Module Center.

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