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Pinaki Pal

Research Scientist


Dr. Pinaki Pal is a research scientist in the Center for Transportation Research (CTR) within Argonne’s Energy Systems division. His research interests broadly lie in the areas of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), turbulent combustion modeling, data-driven modeling, low temperature combustion, combustion dynamics, extreme combustion events, and high-performance computing, for a wide range of applications, such as propulsion (automotive and aerospace), power generation, and material synthesis.

At Argonne, Dr. Pal developed a turbulent combustion modeling framework to capture knocking combustion and extended the state-of-the-art models by incorporating fuel composition effects on turbulent flame propagation. He has led multiple numerical studies utilizing this combustion modeling approach in a first-of-its-kind virtual cooperative fuel research (CFR) engine configuration to investigate the impact of gasoline-biofuel blending on knock-limited performance of boosted spark-ignition (SI) combustion and autoignition propensity in advanced compression ignition (ACI) mode; which won the ASME International Combustion Engine Division Best Paper Award 2020 (in Fuels category).

Dr. Pal has also led the development of novel machine learning (ML) algorithms and reduced-order models to accelerate stiff chemical kinetics and turbulent combustion CFD simulations as well as engine design optimization. These research efforts have resulted in six software copyrights and one patent (pending). The ML-based design optimization algorithms co-developed by Pinaki have been leveraged/licensed by a wide range of industries for rapid product design at low cost.

Dr. Pal also initiated and led the computational research effort at Argonne pertaining to numerical modeling and design of rotating detonation engines (RDEs), which are promising candidates for stationary power generation and hypersonic propulsion. His work pioneered the application of chemical explosive mode analysis (CEMA) technique for combustion mode detection and quantification of non-ideal deflagrative losses in RDEs. Dr. Pal received the Impact Argonne (formerly Pacesetter) Award in 2019 for computational research on RDEs.

Dr. Pal’s active areas of research include:

  1. High-fidelity CFD modeling and analysis of combustion dynamics in rotating detonation engines (RDEs)
  2. Deep learning techniques for accelerating chemical kinetics and turbulent combustion simulations
  3. Analysis of stochastic cycle-to-cycle combustion variability in advanced spark-ignition engines using large-eddy simulations (LES) and machine learning
  4. Application of machine learning, CFD, and HPC for rapid optimization in high-dimensional design spaces
  5. Physics-informed data-driven near-wall turbulence modeling for gas turbine film cooling flows 
  6. Numerical investigation of fuel-engine interactions in the gasoline compression ignition (GCI) mode of combustion
  7. Development of non-equilibrium wall models and combustion models in a high-order spectral element CFD code, Nek5000, for multi-mode engine simulations
  8. Computational modeling and analysis of nanoparticle synthesis in flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) reactors

Dr. Pal received his PhD from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (2015) in Mechanical Engineering, with specialization in turbulent combustion modeling and CFD for low temperature combustion applications in both internal combustion engines and gas turbine combustors. He also holds a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (India) (2011). Pinaki is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and The Combustion Institute.