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Personal profile


“We need accurate combustion models, also in times of climate change”

Research profile

Dirk Roekaerts is a Full Professor in the section Energy Technology and Chair of Combustion of Sprays and Particle clouds Turbulent Flows at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His research at TU/e aims to develop and validate accurate computational models of combustion processes involving particles and droplets, as for instance observed in spray flames in engines and gas turbines as well as biomass conversion systems. More generally, his research concerns reactive flows with phase change and heat transfer as occurring in many energy applications.

The studied systems show complex nonlinear behaviour as a result of the coupling of turbulence and highly temperature dependent chemical reactions. Methods of handling this combine fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and transport phenomena. The main challenge is to find the optimal combination of low computational cost and model accuracy in a certain context or application. This is also a central theme in MSc courses and graduation projects. Validation of computational results with experimental data always plays an important role.

Academic background

Dirk Roekaerts obtained his PhD in Theoretical Physics from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium in 1981. Next, during his civil service, he was responsible for organization of activities on ‘Science, Technology and Society’. As a Postdoc Researcher at the Universities of Essen, Germany, and Leuven, Belgium, he went on to investigate links between nonlinear phenomena, supersymmetry and stochastic processes.  From 1987 to 2005 he was a Research Physicist at the Shell Research and Technology Centre in Amsterdam, investigating complex flows in industrial equipment such as furnaces, gasifiers and chemical reactors. From 1991 until 2005 he was part-time professor at Delft University of Technology leading research projects on turbulent reacting flows. In addition to his work at TU/e, Dirk is also a Full professor at Delft University of Technology.

Affiliated with

  • TU/e Department Multiphase and Reactive Flows
  • TU Delft Department Process and Energy


External positions

Delft University of Technology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Dirk J.E.M. Roekaerts is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

turbulent combustion Physics & Astronomy
Shock tubes Engineering & Materials Science
Coal Chemical Compounds
shock tubes Physics & Astronomy
burners Physics & Astronomy
channel flow Physics & Astronomy
Carbon Monoxide Chemical Compounds
Channel flow Engineering & Materials Science

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Research Output 1994 2019

2 Citations (Scopus)

Large Eddy Simulation of CO2 diluted oxy-fuel spray flames

Ma, L., Huang, X. & Roekaerts, D., 1 Aug 2017, In : Fuel. 201, p. 165-175

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

Metal dusts explosion hazards and protection

Taveau, J. R., Lemkowitz, S. M., Hochgreb, S. & Roekaerts, D. J. E. M., 1 Jan 2019, In : Chemical Engineering Transactions. 77, p. 7-12 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Industrial chemicals
12 Citations (Scopus)

Explosion hazards of aluminum finishing operations

Taveau, J., Hochgreb, S., Lemkowitz, S. M. & Roekaerts, D. J. E. M., 1 Jan 2018, In : Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. 51, p. 84-93 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
15 Citations (Scopus)

Flameless combustion and its potential towards gas turbines

Perpignan, A. A. V., Gangoli Rao, A. & Roekaerts, D. J. E. M., 1 Nov 2018, In : Progress in Energy and Combustion Science. 69, p. 28-66 39 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Gas turbines
Thermal gradients
3 Citations (Scopus)

Turbulence radiation interaction in channel flow with various optical depths

Silvestri, S., Patel, A., Roekaerts, D. J. E. M. & Pecnik, R., 10 Jan 2018, In : Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 834, p. 359-384 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
channel flow
Channel flow
optical thickness


Modelling combustion

1/09/15 → …


Student theses

Numerical simulation of reacting flows in a gasifier

Author: van Rossum, M., 30 Apr 2004

Supervisor: Roekaerts, D. (Supervisor 1) & Bastiaans, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Radiative transfer and combustion in a turbulent methane/air jet diffusion flame

Author: Verstappen, L., 31 Aug 1994

Supervisor: Roekaerts, D. (Supervisor 1) & Barker, P. (External person) (External coach)

Student thesis: Master