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Welcome to Prof. Qiao’s Propulsion and Energy Lab!

Professor Li Qiao’s research focuses on the development of new technologies and the understanding of basic science in the areas of fuels, propulsion and sustainable energy.  Research interests include energetic materials, alternative and synthetic fuels, advanced ignition methods, high-pressure reacting flows, microscale gas turbines and MEMS power devices.

Current Research Areas

Sustainable aviation research aims to make aviation environment-friendly and socially responsible by reducing aviation-caused carbon emissions and noise, and improving waste management and infrastructure.

Turbulent jet ignition is a pre-chamber initiated combustion method that allows faster combustion and allows the engine to run at ultra-lean conditions. TJI has been used in large-bore natural gas engines and F-1 racing cars.

UAVs have a widespread application due to their precision, remote operation, and extended flight duration. The propulsion system of a UAV consists of an IC engine, a starter generator, and a battery pack. A small scale propulsion systems are designed to provide small amounts of thrust ranging from micro-newtons to a few milli-newtons that are used for precise altitude and orbit corrections, drag compensations, and small impulse maneuvers.

Hydrogen can be a viable replacement for fossil fuel due to its higher energy density, higher laminar burning speed and abundance in nature. The combustion of hydrogen produces only water vapor, making it a zero-emission fuel when used in fuel cells or hydrogen combustion engines.

Principal Investigator

Dr Li Qiao


School of Aeronautics and Astronautics,

Purdue University

Pre-chamber Turbulent Jet Ignition for IC Engines
Sustainable Aviation Talk by Professor Li Qiao

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