Administrative Staff

Research Scientists


PhD Candidates

Masters Students

Alumni (Post-Docs)

Alumni (Ph. D.)

Alumni (S. M.)


Prof. Ahmed Ghoniem

Professor Ahmed F. Ghoniem

Professor Ghoniem is the Ronald C. Crane ('72) professor of Mechanical Engineering and the director of the Center for 21st Century Energy at MIT. He holds B. S. (1973) and M. S. (1975) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cairo University in Egypt and a Ph. D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley (1980). He served as a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory from 1980-83. Since 1983 he has been at MIT where he established the Reacting Gas Dynamics Laboratory and has supervised a number of M.S. & Ph.D. students, post-docs and research scientists. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

His research interest lie in the areas of high performance computing in turbulent reactive flow, computational mathematics, combustion dynamics and active control, modeling and simulation of transport-chemistry interactions in thermochemical and electrochemical systems including high temperature fuel cells, gasification processes and fuel production and analysis of high-performance, zero-emission integrated energy systems with CO2 capture.

Professor Ghoniem's ResearchGate Page

Research Scientists

Santosh Shanbhogue

Santosh Shanbhogue, Ph. D.

Santosh does research in the areas of Efficient Energy and Clean & Quiet Propulsion. These lead him into fundamental research in Combustion Dynamics, Turbulent Combustion, Experimental Fluid Mechanics, Flow Diagnostics and Aeroacoustics.

At MIT, he is presently working on understanding and control of combustion instabilities in swirl and backward step combustors that burn carbon-monoxide/hydrogen/propane blends. He also oversees the design and devlopment of the Oxy-Fuel Combustion Laboratory.

Santosh earned his doctoral and masters degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. He received his undergraduate degree, also in Aerospace Engineering, from the Indian Insitute of Technology, Madras, in India.

Dr. Shanbhogue's Google Scholar Page

Mruthunjaya Uddi

Mruthunjaya Uddi, Ph. D.

Uddi's research in the RGD focuses on study of clean combustion technologies such as using Ion Transport Membrane (ITM), Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC) and their practical applications. Uddi studied plasma combustion kinetics at Ohio State University for his Ph.D. thesis, developed Mid-IR laser absorption measurement techniques at University of Connecticut for RCMs (Rapid Compression Machine) and for plasma combustion kinetics studies at Princeton University during his CEFRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Princeton University.

Byung Chul Choi

Byung Chul Choi, Ph. D.

Choi joined the department of mechanical engineering at MIT in February 2015 as a visiting research scholar. His research interest includes the areas of fundamentals of combustion, internal combustion engine, thermal energy conversion & storage, and fire & explosion safety. His current work at RGD lab focuses on the flame stabilization and combustion instability of lean-premixed turbulent flames in a backward-facing step combustor.

Dr. Byung Chul Choi 's Page

Post-Doctoral Associates

Christos Altantzis

Christos Altantzis, Ph. D.

Christos' postdoctoral research focuses on computational modeling of the reacting hydrodynamics in fluidized bed reactors with applications in the gasification of biomass. Christos earned his Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) at Zurich in 2011. His doctoral research focused on the influence of hydrodynamic and thermal-diffusive instability mechanisms on the structure and dynamics of laminar premixed flames. He received his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece in 2007. He has been a member of the Reacting Gas Dynamics Lab since September 2011.

Ping Liu

Ping He, Ph. D.

Ping's postdoctoral research focus on computational modeling of crude oil desulfurization process using supercritical water. Ping earned his Ph.D. from Clemson University in 2011. He has worked in Southeast University in Nanjing, China for two years. He joined the Reacting Gas Dynamics Lab in October 2013. Ping's research interests are in multiphase flow and Fluid-structure interactions.

Noura Mansouri

Noura Mansouri, Ph. D.

Noura's post-doc research focuses on sustainable desalination, she is comparing the coupling of solar versus nuclear in desalination from a techno-economic perspective, taking Saudi Arabia as a case study.

Noura Y. Mansouri is an Ibn Khaldun fellow as a part-time post-doc and also currently works in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as the manager of strategy and marketing at AREVA, the global leader in nuclear energy and major player in renewable energy. She earned her PhD in clean energy transition from Queen Mary, University of London, she also holds an MBA in technology exploitation and management (clean energy) from the same univesity (graduated with distinction, London, August 2004). Noura has done her first degree BSc in MIS (with honours) at Dar Al Hekma University (Jeddah, June 2003).

Dan Michaels

Dan Michaels, Ph. D.

Dan’s postdoctoral work focuses on computationally modeling combustion dynamics and instabilities in premixed flames. Understanding the fundamental physical and chemical processes that govern combustion dynamics is essential for achieving cleaner and more reliable energy production. Dan earned his Ph.D, MA and BSc at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa. His PhD work was on the interior ballistics of a combustion chamber discharging a concentrated mass.

Ph.D. Candidates

Anton Hunt

Anton Hunt

Anton’s PhD research involves developing the ion transport membrane (ITM) reactor for experimental characterisation of ITMs in oxy-fuel combustion processes, suitable for carbon capture. He will be working on the development of laser gas analysis techniques to spatially measure species around the combustion zone, to complement the modelling work carried out by James Hong.

Anton earned his Masters degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University. Before joining the RGD group here at MIT he worked as an offshore drilling engineer for BP out in the North Sea oilfields for a year. Outside of the lab Anton enjoys going on outdoor adventures.

Soufien Taamallah

Soufien (Sof) Taamallah

Soufien is primarily interested in the different technologies for efficient and clean energy conversion and utilization to meet the challenges of both sustainable development and climate change. His doctoral research focuses on novel hybrid concentrated solar-natural gas power generation systems. His work includes experimental an numerical investigation of fuel-flexible combustion techniques, with a focus on stability and low greenhouse gases emissions.

Soufien earned his B.Sc from Ecole Polytechnique in Mechanical Engineering and Economics, while also visiting MIT Microfluidics Lab (HML) in 2008. He received his M.Sc in Energy Engineering and Science from Ecole des Mines de Paris in 2009. After two years working as a consultant with Cambridge Energy Research Associates (IHS CERA), he was back to MIT, during the summer of 2011, for his PhD research.

Soufien's Google Scholar Page

Soufien's ResearchGate Page

Richard Bates

Richard Bates

Richard’s Master’s research at the RGD Lab focused on modeling the coupled particle scale, physico-chemical processes occuring during biomass torrefaction- a thermochemical pretreatment process. His present doctoral research relates to the development of models of fluidized bed biomass gasification.He joined the RGD lab in February 2010 after earning his B.Sc. in Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Richard's Google Scholar Page

Richard's ResearchGate Page

Zhenlong Zhao

Zhenlong Zhao

Zhenlong’s present research focuses on the numerical and experimental study of chemical-looping combustion with carbon capture.

Zhenlong earned his B.S. degree in College of Engineering, Peking University (China) for researches of high dimensional modeling representation (HDMR) method on combustion simulation. He has been a member of the Reacting Gas Dynamics Lab since September 2010.

Chukwunwike Illoeje

Chukwunwike Illoeje

Nwike's research interest is in modeling energy conversion systems with CO2 capture . His current research at the RGD lab focuses on modeling, thermodynamic analysis and optimization of Chemical looping combustion systems.

Chukwunwike got is Bachelors degree at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MSc in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Katherine Mary Ong

Katherine Mary Ong

Katherine's PhD research is in the area of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) thermal and electrochemical modeling. The purpose of this study is to determine how solid carbon could be effectively utilized as a fuel source for SOFC systems. Katherine earned her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2010, and her M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in May 2012. She joined the Reacting Gas Dynamics Lab in September 2012, and is funded by the MITEI Energy Fellowship for 2012-2013.

Xiaoyu Wu

Xiaoyu Wu

Xiaoyu has just begun his PhD researches on splitting water by ion transport membrane.

Before studying at MIT, Xiaoyu did his undergraduate and master studies in Department of Energy Engineering at Zhejiang University, China, and worked on falling film evaporation and nanofluid fuels. He won the Chu Ko-Chen Scholarship in his undergraduate studies. Now Xiaoyu is sponsored by Chiang Chen Overseas PhD Fellowship for the academic year 2012-2013.

Xiaoyu's Web page

Elysia Sheu

Elysia Sheu

Elysia's PhD research focuses on the concept of solar reforming which can be utilized in hybrid concentrated solar-natural gas power generation systems. In particular, her work includes modeling and simulating solar reforming systems/reactors to evaluate and improve performance.

Elysia received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in 2010. In 2012, Elysia received her M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT. Her master’s research also focused on hybrid solar-natural gas power generation systems with solar reforming, but with a focus on hybrid cycle systems level analysis and optimization.

Georgios Dimitrakopoulos

Georgios Dimitrakopoulos

George’s research focuses in the numerical modeling of Ion Transport Membrane (ITM) reactors. He develops novel computational models of the reactor in order to predict its performance, while he also validates them with the experimental results. His research includes the study of the mechanisms of oxygen transport through the membrane, the chemistry on the surface of the membrane and the oxidation reactions for different operating conditions of the reactor. He is also dealing with problems related with the optimization of the ITM reactor.

George joined the RGD laboratory in September, 2012. He holds B. S. and M. S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens-NTUA (2012). He has also worked as a researcher at the Parallel CFD & Optimization Unit (PCOpt) of NTUA for one year (2011-2012), while he was a member of this group for more than four years (2008-2012). During this period, he was developing state of the art optimization methods using continuous adjoint techniques for automotive industry applications in internal and external aerodynamics.

Akhilesh Bakshi

Akhilesh Bakshi

Akhilesh's research interest is in developing models for fluidized bed biomass gasification. He is currently working on the the accurate prediction of granular flow including mixing and segregation effects, both at the laboratory scale as well as the commercial bed scale.

Prior to joining the RGD lab in Fall 2012, Akhilesh got his Dual Degree (Integrated Bachelor's and Master's in Science) in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Outside school, he loves traveling, and enjoys music and photography.

Akhilesh's Google Scholar Page

Kevin Kung

Kevin Kung

Kevin Kung is working on a multi-scale analysis of the thermochemical treatment of biomass as a potential waste management solution in the context of India. Kevin received his A.B. in Physics from Princeton University, M.Phil. in Physics from University of Cambridge, and S.M. in Biological Engineering from MIT. He founded a profitable biomass waste management project in Kenya called Takachar.

Kevin's Google Scholar Page

Ashwin Raghvan

Ashwin Raghavan

Ashwin Raghavan joined the RGD Lab as a Masters student in the fall of 2011. His interests lie in the field of reactive turbulent flows and combustion. Currently, Ashwin is working as part of a diverse team looking into the process of desulfurization of crude oil using supercritical water and is specifically looking to perform simulations of the multiphase turbulent reactive mixing process.

Ashwin earned his bachelor's degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay.

Nadim Walid Chakroun

Nadim Walid Chakroun

Nadim's main interests are in the areas of clean energy and zero-emission integrated energy systems with CO2 capture. His current research focuses on experimental and numerical investigations of the stability of oxy-fuel combustion processes for use in power generation plants for the purpose of carbon capture and sequestration.

Nadim is currently pursuing his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 2014, Nadim earned his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. His Master's research focused on sour gas oxy-fuel combustion power cycles for carbon capture. Prior to entering MIT, he earned his B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University He has been a member of the Reacting Gas Dynamics Lab since September 2012. Outside of school, Nadim enjoys playing basketball and soccer and he loves to travel and discover new places.

Masters Students

Rajesh Sridhar

Rajesh Sridhar

Rajesh’s research interests are in the modeling and optimization of energy conversion systems. His current research focuses on the optimization of a novel coal slurry feeding system with application in Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plants with carbon capture. Prior to joining MIT, Rajesh earned a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters degree in Product Design from Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), India. He joined the RGD Lab in the spring of 2014.