Dr. Ma received his B.S. in thermal engineering at Tsinghua University in 2000. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Stanford University in 2001 and 2006, respectively. He is currently an Associate Professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, and also Mechanical Engineering (Affiliate) at Virginia Tech. His research focuses on the study of propulsion and energy systems, with a special strength in the development and application of advanced optical diagnostics. Other representative projects include the study of aerospace propulsion devices, fuel spray physics and chemistry, and nano-scale energetic materials.
He is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the Optical Society of America and Society of Automotive Engineers. He is a 2009 recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award to study turbulence-chemistry interactions. His academic achievements include 37 refereed journal paper, 37 conference papers, one book chapter, and one patent application. His research has received considerable media exposure, including a recent report by US News and World Report
The study of modern propulsion systems calls for innovative and effective experimental methods. This talk describes our efforts to develop such methods and apply them to study modern propulsion devices. A suite of advanced laser diagnostics has been developed to address the experimental challenges posed by modern propulsion systems, including the extreme temperature and pressure, highly transient physiochemical processes, control and stability issues, and multi-phase environment. This talk focuses on three topics to illustrate the unique opportunities enabled by these diagnostics for propulsion research: 1) the study of the control and stability of propulsion devices using absorption spectroscopy, 2) the study of dense fuel sprays using ballistic imaging, and 3) the study of fundamental turbulent combustion using particle image velocimetry and photodissociation spectroscopy. The applications of these topics in other cross-disciplinary areas will also be discussed.