Turbomachinery Laboratory Names New Director

The Turbomachinery Laboratory (Turbo Lab), a center of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and part of The Texas A&M University System, has appointed Dr. Eric Petersen as its new director. Petersen assumes the post from Dr. Dara Childs, who retired in January after serving as director for more than 30 years.

Petersen will oversee all operations of the Turbo Lab and Symposia Office, including industry- and government-sponsored research, education, and workforce development initiatives including short courses and symposia.

Petersen is a 10-year veteran of the Turbo Lab. His research encompasses gas dynamics, propulsion, combustion, shock waves, chemical kinetics, optical diagnostics and spectroscopy, laminar and turbulent flames, and rocket combustion. He has authored more than 400 journal and conference papers in these areas. He is vice-president of the Institute for Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems and an associate editor of the Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power and the Journal of Propulsion and Power. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The Combustion Institute and the American Society for Engineering Education.

Petersen holds three degrees in mechanical engineering: a bachelor’s from the University of Central Florida, a master’s from the University of Florida, and a doctorate from Stanford University. Before coming to Texas A&M, Petersen taught at the University of Central Florida. Prior to becoming a professor, he was an analytical engineer in the combustion group at Pratt & Whitney for three years, and a research scientist in the propulsion science group at the Aerospace Corporation for four years.

Turbo Lab faculty, staff, and students conduct research for industry and government entities in a state-of-the-art facility located in College Station, Texas, USA. The 37,000 sq.ft. foot high-bay facility is equipped with 12 vibration damped test cells and a variety of compressors that provide air for test rigs with capacities ranging from 4000 scfm at 120 psig to 1350 scfm at 300 psig.