Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Mitch Wolff, Ph.D. (Advisor); George P. Huang, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Jose A. Camberos, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Mark A. Hagenmaier, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


In the present work, a plugin has been developed for use with the DoD HPCMP CREATE-AV Kestrel multi-physics solver that adds volumetric source terms to the energy equation. These source terms model the heat released due to combustion, but are much more computationally efficient than a full chemistry model. A thrust-based optimization study was then carried out under the control of Sandia National Laboratories' Dakota toolkit. Dakota was allowed to control the amount of heat added to three regions of the scramjet combustor. The plugin was then extended to consider ignition delay time. By comparing ignition delay time to dwell time, it is possible to determine whether the fuel in a cell should be combusted. Results from this analysis are compared to results gathered using a 22-species chemistry model. The ignition delay source term is shown to capture relevant flow physics at a reduced computational cost. Additionally, the expression for second-law (exergetic) efficiency for a scramjet engine is derived and optimized using Dakota. Finally, Dakota was extended to control the geometry of the scramjet engine, allowing for the numerical optimization of the scramjet expansion system. The results from these computationally-efficient optimizations can then be used to inform researchers of potentially optimal solutions before higher-fidelity models are used.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded