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START and ExCCL Labs

The Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Laboratory focuses on innovating turbine cooling using true-scale engine hardware, developing sensors and instrumentation for smart turbines, advancing additive manufacturing for turbine applications, and integrating and embedding sensors through additive manufacturing.

The Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory (ExCCL) conducts experimental and computational studies of fundamental turbulence and applied convective heat transfer. Subjects being researched include freestream turbulence effects on gas turbine blade boundary layers, endwall secondary flow effects, turbine blade cooling techniques, and additively manufactured heat exchangers.

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START and ExCCL students visit Pratt & Whitney in December 2019.

Latest News

Brian Knisely Receives 2020 Allan J. Brockett Award

Dr. Atul Kohli, Technical Fellow at Pratt & Whitney, presented Brian Knisely with the 2020 Allan J. Brockett Award during the annual Center of Excellence meeting at Penn State on June 24th. Brian is a doctoral student who is doing research in the Steady Thermal Aero...

Dr. Reid Berdanier earns award for advancing turbomachinery

Erin Cassidy Hendrick June 01, 2020 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Reid Berdanier, assistant research professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State, has been selected by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) as the...

Dr. Stephen Lynch chosen as ASME Fellow

Stephen Lynch, the Shuman Family Early Career Professor and associate professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State. Image: Penn State   Erin Cassidy Hendrick February 27, 2020   UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Stephen Lynch, the Shuman Family Early Career...

Mechanical engineering grad student innovates gas turbine heat sensors

Erin Cassidy Hendrick January 14, 2020 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Shawn Siroka, a doctoral student in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering, is using his talents to innovate new heat flux sensors in gas turbine engines. In the Steady Thermal Aero Research...

Bashir Mekki Awarded the Prestigious NASA ARMD Fellowship

Bashir Mekki, a second-year graduate student at ExCCL lab recently received NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) fellowship. The award is one of only five fellowships awarded to majority serving institutions across the nation. Mekki’s research work...

About the Turbine Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics Group

We welcome you to the website for our ExCCL and START Labs in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State.  These two laboratories have a long history of doing relevant research applied to gas turbine engines and, in particular, cooling of turbine airfoils.  We also have a long history of providing exciting research projects for our students who gain a deep understanding of fluid dynamics, heat transfer, experimental methods, and computational methods.  Our labs are honored to have been named Centers of Excellence by two turbine manufacturers:  Pratt & Whitney and Solar Turbines.  These two companies along with several other engine manufacturers as well as government agencies provide relevant and challenging research projects to which we contribute innovative solutions.  We hope you enjoy learning more about what we do from our website.