Penn State

Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering

Turbine Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics Group

Overview of ExCCL and START Labs

The Turbine Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics Group, in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State, brings together two laboratories working on advanced topics in convective heat transfer for gas turbine engines. The Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory (ExCCL) conducts studies of fundamental turbulence and applied convective heat transfer. Subjects being researched include interactions between the highly turbulent combustor flow and the downstream turbine, endwall secondary flow effects, and turbine blade cooling techniques. These problems are approached both experimentally as well as computationally. The Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) lab contains a new test turbine facility that is capable of testing true scale turbine hardware. The focus of START is on increasing turbine efficiencies through improved seals that reduce leakages between turbine components. Also of primary interest is better understanding of airfoil heat transfer under rotating conditions.

PSU ExCCL and START students, faculty, and staff at the Penn State Lion Shrine.



Recent News


Lynch receives Volvo's Innovation Gateway Prize

February 6, 2017

Dr. Stephen Lynch, director of the ExCCL, has been awarded an Innovation Gateway prize for a nine-month study with Volvo titled “Optimized Diesel Engine, Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery Components via Additive Manufacturing.” Volvo is the first industry partner to complete a research challenge through Innovation Gateway, which aims to connect faculty ideas with organizations that can bring them to the marketplace. Read more...


Karen Thole named Distinguished Professor

January 9, 2017

Dr. Karen Thole, professor and department head of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Penn State and director of the START lab, has been named a Penn State distinguished professor. The title of distinguished professor was established by the Office of the President to recognize the academic contributions of a select group of current, full-time faculty members who hold the rank of professor and are acknowledged leaders in their fields of research or creative activity. Distinguished professors demonstrate significant leadership in raising the University's standards in teaching, research or creative activity and service, and exhibit excellent teaching skills. Read more...


Shawn Siroka Receives ASME-IGTI Scholarship

October 21, 2016

Shawn Siroka, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Penn State, was selected to receive a 2016 ASME-IGTI Scholarship.Shawn completed his BSME degree from Penn State in May 2016 after which he completed an internship at Pratt & Whitney. In August 2016, Shawn returned to Penn State to join the START lab where he plans to complete his doctoral degree. During his undergraduate program, Shawn completed undergraduate research with Professor Steve Lynch in which he worked on developing the use of heat flux gages. As a graduate student, Shawn is continuing his work on the use of heat flux gages for measuring heat transfer in the turbine test rig. Shawn was also the recipient of the Dr. John P. Karidis Award for Research Achievement in Mechanical Engineering, which is annually awarded to an undergraduate in mechanical engineering at Penn State. Read more...