Grad Profile - Damiano Baccarella
I chose MechSE at the University of Illinois because it offers one of the best engineering programs in the world, with top-level faculty and state-of-the-art facilities. Being here is a great opportunity for my professional development and future career. The collaborative atmosphere of the U of I campus is ideal for effective scientific research.
BS/MS, aerospace engineering, University of Pisa, Italy, 2006
My research is focused on supersonic combustion for scramjet application. I designed a pulsed, arc-heated hypersonic wind tunnel that will be used to investigate the complex dynamics of high-speed reacting flows with the aid of advanced laser diagnostics. Of particular interest for me is the unstart problem, an extremely dangerous condition that scramjet engines can experience at moderate Mach numbers (between 4 and 7). A complete understanding of the complicated interactions leading to unstart is a fundamental step in the development of hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems.
MechSE Departmental Fellowship
After my graduation I spent 7 years as a research engineer in hypersonic aerothermodynamics at Alta SpA (Pisa, Italy). During this period I studied problems related to atmospheric re-entry from space. I took part in several research programs addressing fundamental topics like boundary layer transition, shock wave/boundary layer interaction and flow control by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) interaction. I started my PhD at the University of Notre Dame in 2013, under the guidance of Prof. Hyungrok Do. In 2015 I moved to the University of Illinois.