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Amgen Scholars: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty for the Amgen Scholars program.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor. For additional tips on identifying a mentor click here.

Please remember:

  • Students pursuing Amgen must be U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or students with DACA status.
  • Students pursuing Amgen must complete the 10-week program from June 18 - August 23, 2024. Students must commit to these dates. No exceptions will be made.
  • Accepted students must live in provided Caltech housing.

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Project:  Ignition of sustainable aviation fuels in hot air atmospheres – Parametrical analysis on the ASTM injection system
Discipline:  Mechanical Engineering
Mentor:  Joseph Shepherd, Professor, (EAS),
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
AO Contact:  Charline Fouchier,
Background:  Accidental ignition of flammable mixtures is an important hazard in the chemical and transportation industries. Our laboratory has extensively investigated the autoignition temperature (AIT) of combustible liquids following the ASTM-E659 standardized tests [1]. Most recent works have been conducted by Conor Martin and can be found in [2][3]. An automatic system has been recently constructed and allows for the first time control over the height, velocity, duration, and temperature of the fuel injection. The focus of this project is to take advantage of this new system and investigate the influence of fuel injection parameters on ignition behavior.
Description:  A bibliographical review will first be conducted to become familiar with the ASTM test and the effect of injection parameters on combustion processes. The most critical parameters will be highlighted and tested using hexane and aviation fuels. The temperature variation during ignition will be measured with thermocouples and analyzed with Matlab or Python to extract the critical combustion processes and associated time scales. Results will be compared with the available theory.
References:  [1] ASTM-E659 (2005). Standard test method for autoignition temperature of liquid chemicals. American
Society for Testing and Materials.
[2] Martin, C. D., & Shepherd, J. E. (2021). Low-temperature autoignition of Jet A and surrogate jet fuel. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 71, 104454.
[3] Martin, C.D., Shepherd, J.E. (2020). Autoignition testing of hydrocarbon fuels using the ASTM-E659 method. Galcit report EDL2020-001.
Student Requirements:  Background needed: Fundamentals of fluid and thermal sciences.
Skills needed: Impeccable laboratory safety discipline, Working knowledge of programming on Matlab or Python.
Knowledge goals: Experimental and theoretical characterization of ignition processes, Advanced knowledge of experimental methods applied for combustion, Labview basic knowledge.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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