Jonathan MacArt receives NSF CAREER award to model high-efficiency, low-emission engines

Jonathan MacArt

Jonathan MacArt, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, one of the highest honors awarded to young faculty.

MacArt’s CAREER research project will create a mathematical and software framework to help develop high-efficiency, low-emission engines. 

A key factor limiting the advancement of combustion engine design has been the inadequacy of the models used to simulate combustion-affected turbulence. Current modeling techniques can’t accurately predict how alternative fuels will combust, and lab experiments are time-consuming and expensive. 

MacArt’s proposed software will combine numerical and experimental data with predictions of combustion-affected turbulence. Using advanced optimization techniques, his team in the MacArt Reacting Turbulence Lab (MacRTL) will create more realistic simulations of the chaotic thermal and chemical conditions combustion causes.

“This project will develop a new paradigm in combustor modeling and design, which will hopefully enable a cleaner energy future,” said MacArt.  

For the educational component of his CAREER project, MacArt will organize a summer symposium on data and modeling for turbulent combustion. His team also will create a high-school program to encourage understanding of energy science among diverse groups of students.

— Karla Cruise, Notre Dame Engineering