(Information on students who have graduated can be found here)



Post Doctoral Students

  Lydia Shi, PhD Mechanical Engineering

Lydia joined the combustion laboratory in Summer 2012 as a post-doctoral fellow after receiving her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at WPI with a concentration in electrified droplet fission. Lydia has worked on several projects related to fire research such as evaluation of a photomechanical thermal imager’s ability to view reflecting objects in a smoke chamber up to a distance of 15 ft, flammability of role paper, and more recently on flammability of crude oil. Her current research is related to in situ burning of crude oil in the Arctic. https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=150425497


http://ksarsava.com/sadsadasda.jpg Kemal Sarp Arsava, PhD Civil Engineering

Kemal earned his M.S. degree from Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara-Turkey. The main objective of the study is to evaluate the structural post-fire performance of sample cut and cover tunnel roof segments at positive moment region without using a protection.  In his Ph.D. study, he worked as a member of a research group that develops novel algorithms for modeling, controlling and monitoring of smart building and bridge structures. His research focused on in a variety of areas of smart structures, structural health monitoring, system identification, MR dampers, high impact damage mitigation and structural damage classification. He joined the combustion laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow (10/2014). The objective of his study is to analyze the behavior of crude oil spills. https://sites.google.com/site/kemalsarparsava/


 Hayri Sezer, PhD Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Sezer received his B.Sc. degree in physics engineering (2005) and M. Sc. in defence technologies (Material Science) from Istanbul Technical University (2009), and he got his Ph.D. degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from West Virginia University (2014). His research interest is in the field of computational fluid dynamics and its application in combustion, fire dynamics and electrochemical energy storage and conversion devices (Fuel cells and Batteries). He has developed and refined 1D and 3D dynamic solvers for species transport, heat transfer, electrochemical reactions (adsorption and desorption), impedance, polarization and electrical potential for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and sodium sulphur batteries (Na-S). He also has developed a novel model to predict the nickel coarsening in high temperature SOFCs based on electro-migration.  His current research is related to computational modeling of nucleate boiling, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) application in fire dynamics and combustion.

Shijin Kozhumal, PhD Mechanical Engineering
Shijin joined the combustion laboratory in March 2016 as a post-doctoral fellow. He has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras (2015). During his Ph.D. study, he conducted experimental and numerical investigations on flame stabilization in laminar cross-flow non-premixed flames in the presence of bluff bodies. His primary research interests are computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and combustion.



Research Engineers

 Trevor Borth

Currently serving as the lab manager of the Combustion Lab, Trevor brings 10 years of experience in naval engineering and a broad spectrum of manufacturing skill sets to the team.  Trevor Borth will graduate with a B.S. in Fire, Arson and Explosion Investigation from Eastern Kentucky University May, 2016. 

 Raymond T. Ranellone

Ray earned his M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering in 2014 and is currently a Research Engineer in the FPE department. Ray’s research since 2009 has concentrated on developing safety equipment for the fire service including a flashover predictor, asphyxiant gas sensor, and a helmet which can detect burn potential. His current research is split between developing a more fire resistant fire hose, assessing community risk, and studying the ignitability of crude oil in arctic conditions.


PhD Students

 Brian Elias (Start date: Spring 2011)

Brian joined the PhD program at WPI after finishing an MS thesis related to investigating the vapor components and concentrations that collect in a portable gasoline container.  Specifically, he worked to characterize the conditions that cause a flammable mixture to develop in the vapor space above the gasoline.  When these conditions exist, a flame may be able to propagate from the pouring gas stream into the container causing an explosion. 


Description: C:\Users\NEERAJ\Desktop\ASR\pic.jpg Sreenivasan Ranganathan (Start date: Spring 2012)

Sreenivasan completed his MS thesis from IIT Chennai on the topic of burning velocity of oxy-methane flames. He joined the PhD program in Spring 2012 and is working on the topic of turbulent dust combustion. Google scholar profile http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=kyI9besAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao


 Hamed Farahani (Start date: Spring 2014)

Hamed's research is on the topic of in-situ burning of oil spills in the Arctic. The environmental impact of an oil-spill in the sensitive ecosystem of Arctic could be devastating. In-situ burning is one of the viable options to clean up an oil spill however the interaction of ice with a burning liquid fuel is not studied well. His research goal is to study different aspects of liquid fuel burning (pool fires) in an icy medium.  http://www.isboil.dtu.dk/

MS Thesis Students

 Samim Safaei

Samim received his Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Engineering from UBC in Canada, focusing on mechanical and electrical engineering. After several years of engineering consulting in various industries, he came to WPI to develop new tools for fire protection. His M.S. research focus is flame radiation. In most naturally occurring fires, flame radiation makes up a significant portion of the overall heat release, and is responsible for important factors such as flame spread and compartment flashover. Current tools available for detecting and analyzing this radiation are very resource intensive (cost, infrastructure, power, expertise), which limits their use to very few applications. Samim’s goal is to develop more practical tools for flame radiation sensing; enabling new and improved tools for fire protection and analysis.


Independent Study

 Apoorv J. Walawalkar

Apoorv is a master's student at WPI. He started working in the combustion lab in the spring of 2015. He is working on a project related to in situ burning of the oil spills using immersed conducting media.

 David J. Petrow

Dave graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fire & Safety Engineering where he is also currently finishing his Master’s in Safety, Security, & Emergency Management.  His Master’s thesis involves the study of radiation hazards associated with solid phase fueled flash fires.

Undergraduate Students

 Panyawat “Oat” Tukaew

Oat joined the Combustion Laboratory in January 2015. He is pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering. His work is currently split between studying the ignitibility of crude oil in arctic conditions and a Major Qualifying Project (MQP) in design and development of a new test apparatus for testing fire attack hose.

 John Peter Ramos

JP is a member of the class of 2018 and is pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering.  He began working in the combustion laboratory in October 2015.  Current research work includes analysis of the smoke point of crude oil.

 Nathan Ghion

Nathan joined the Combustion Laboratory in April 2015. He is a senior pursuing both a B.S. and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. His work at the lab is focused on investigating the effects of wicking agents on the burning behavior of crude oil spills.

 Francisco Kang

Francesco volunteers as a Junior Fire Fighter in Long Island, New York. He is working on projects related to pool fires.

 Karl Sundberg

Karl is a Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate that specializes in design and manufacturing. He works in both the Washburn Shops Manufacturing Labs and the Fire Protection Engineering Combustion Lab. Karl assists with several design and construction projects using his skills with CAD software’s such as Solidworks and AutoCAD Fusion 360.

MQP Students

Josh Baptiste, Samuel Russell, Emmit Joyal, and Grace Berry (from left to right) are 4 undergraduate mechanical engineering students at WPI who joined the combustion lab in 2014. They are working to research, design, and build a prototype bio-fuel vaporizer as part of their capstone design project. The purpose of a fuel vaporizer is to increase an internal combustion engines efficiency and power, without major modification.

Michael Vaudreuil is an undergraduate mechanical engineering student at WPI who joined the combustion lab in 2014. He is working to research, design, and build a prototype feeder for 5 – 50 micrometer sized powders.