INSPIRE INSpiring Pressure gain combustion Integration, Research, and Education



Introduction and contact info:

Gregory Uhl
Safran Tech
Rue des Jeunes Bois, 78117 Châteaufort, France

PhD project:

Project Title: Numerical analysis of the interaction between a Rotating Detonation Combustor and an axial turbine

A Rotating Detonation Combustor (RDC) generates a complex, unsteady flow pattern that would reach the inlet of the High-Pressure Turbine (HPT) in a gas turbine engine environment. The interaction between this flow and the turbine may have adverse effects on the performances and operability of both the turbine and the combustor. The objectives of this project are to improve the understanding of the aerodynamic interactions between these components, to identify the potential issues generated by the coupling between a RDC and a HPT, and to investigate innovative solutions to solve them. The work will be primarily performed through numerical computations (using AVBP from CERFACS), and it will probably be supported by an experimental campaign at the ENSMA-Pprime laboratories (t.b.a.).

Supervisors: Prof. Marc Bellenoue (ENSMA), Prof. Thierry Poinsot (CERFACS), Dr. Daniel Mejia (Safran)

Mentor: t.b.a.

Planned secondments:

CERFACS Toulouse (6 months, from 11/2021 – 04/2022)
ENSMA-Pprime Poitiers (t.b.a.)


Gregory Uhl graduated from TU Munich with a B.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering and a M.Sc. degree in aerospace. During his studies, he conducted a variety of numerical analyses and experimental validations in the fields of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. He joined the Institute of Internal Combustion Engines at TU Munich after his graduation to work on the optimization of a multi-physics combustion model, using machine learning models and genetic algorithms. In October 2021, he joined the INSPIRE-ETN project as a PhD fellow within Safran, ENSMA and CERFACS.

Research highlights:


ESR1: Constant volume combustion and its reduced order model - ENSMA (FR), Supervisor: Prof. M. Bellenoue
ESR2: Experimental investigation of an industrial constant volume combustion system - SAFRAN Tech (FR), Supervisors: Dr D. Mejia
ESR3: Simulation of CVC combustor - CERFACS (FR), Supervisors: Prof. T. Poinsot)
ESR4: Experimental characterization of ignition events in CVC like conditions - ENSMA (FR), Supervisor: Prof. J. Sotton
ESR5: Control and impact of RDC wave direction - TUB (DE), Supervisors: Prof. M. Bohon and Prof. C. O. Paschereit
ESR6: LES of flow and combustion in a rotating detonation engine coupled to a turbine - CERFACS (FR), Supervisor: Prof. T. Poinsot
ESR7: Experimental investigation of rotating detonation combustors including ignition processes and turbine-integration effects - TUB (DE), Supervisors: Prof. M. Bohon and Prof. C. O. Paschereit
ESR8: Computational aeroacoustics of the exhaust flow for noise assessment and control - KTH (SE), Supervisor: Prof. M. Mihaescu
ESR9: Deflagration-Autoignition-Detonation transition - TUB (DE), Supervisor: Prof. N. Djordjevic
ESR10: Numerical modelling and optimization of cooling solutions for PGC concepts - UNIFI (IT), Supervisor: Prof. A. Andreini
ESR11: Experimental study of cooling solutions for PGC concepts - UNIFI (IT), Supervisor: Prof. B. Facchin
ESR12: Unsteady numerical simulation of the interaction between pressure-gain combustors and high-pressure turbine stages - POLITO (IT), Supervisors: Prof. D. A. Misul and Dr. S. Salvadori
ESR13: PGC power plant analysis and cycle thermo-economic optimization - UNIGE (IT), Supervisor: Prof. A. Sorce
ESR14: PGC propulsion application with part load and dynamic analysis - UNIGE (IT), Supervisor: Prof. A. Traverso)
ESR15: Full gas dynamic and exergetic analysis of PGC cycles with rotating detonations - TUB (DE), Supervisor: Prof. P. Stathopoulos