Ben Akih-Kumgeh

Associate Professor
Aerospace Engineering Undergraduate Program Director

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

235 Link Hall



  • Ph.D., McGill University

Lab/Center Affiliation:

  • Center of Excellence

Research Interests:

  • Combustion physics and chemistry (chemical kinetics, ignition, flame propagation, extinction, and pollutant formation, turbulent combustion)
  • Applied combustion in gas turbines, internal combustion engines and process burners
  • Fuel technology (formulation, additives and characterization)
  • Thermodynamic analysis of energy systems

Current Research:

Our research interests are in the area of energy conversion, with a special focus on Combustion Physics and Chemistry. Our work is a combination of experiments, combustion theory, and simulations. We determine combustion properties and pollutant formation trends, contribute to detailed and reduced chemical kinetic model development, and use computational fluid dynamics to study turbulence-chemistry interactions in combustion processes.

The ultimate goal is to develop tools for the analysis and design of advanced combustion devices such as gas turbines, internal combustion engines and industrial furnaces. We are also actively involved unravelling the physics of laser-induced initiation of burning processes; an approach that is promising as an alternative reliable ignition source for fuel-flexible engines. Other areas of research include thermodynamic analysis of energy systems and characterization of fuel blends.

Courses Taught:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Advanced thermodynamics
  • Propulsion
  • Combustion phenomena in engineering
  • Selected topics in combustion turbines and internal combustion engines


  • 2014 FilterTech, Pi Tau Sigma, and Sigma Gamma Tau faculty award for Excellence in Engineering Education
  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canada, 2012-2014, declined in favor of faculty position at Syracuse University
  • MITACS/CRIAQ/NSERC internships for doctoral & postdoctoral scholars, held at Rolls-Royce Canada, 2010-2011
  • FQRNT doctoral fellowship in energy research (Provincial fellowship, Quebec, Canada), 2009-2010
  • Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid-of research, 2010

Selected Publications:

Propanol isomers: Investigation of ignition and pyrolysis time Scales (authors: S. Jouzdani, A. Zhou, Akih-Kumgeh), Combustion & Flame, 176:229-244 2016, 2017.

An experimental and chemical kinetic modeling study of dimethylcyclohexane oxidation and pyrolysis (authors: M.A. Eldeeb, S. Jouzdani, Z.Wang, M. Sarathy, Akih-Kumgeh), Energy & Fuels, 30:86488657, 2016.

Toward improved understanding of the physical meaning of entropy in classical thermodynamic (author: Akih-Kumgeh), Entropy, 18:270(16 pages), 2016.

Unsteady RANS and Scale Adaptive Simulations of Turbulent Spray Flames in a Swirled-Stabilized Gas Turbine Model Combustor using Tabulated Chemistry (authors: A. Fossi, A. deChamplain, and Akih-Kumgeh), Int. J. Numerical Methods for Heat and Fluid Flow, 25:1064–1088, 2015.

Comparative Analysis of Chemical Kinetic Models Using the Alternate Species Elimination Approach (authors: N.D. Peters, Akih-Kumgeh, J.M. Bergthorson), J. Eng. Gas Turbines & Power, 137:021505-1–021505-9, 2014.