Florida Tech Professor Receives $300,000 Grant

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Daniel Kirk, Florida Institute of Technology professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was awarded a grant of just under $300,000 by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The grant will be used for research on JP-8 fuels, the battlefield fuel of choice for the Department of Defense. The fuels power military aircraft and other high performance vehicles and equipment, including tanks, power generators and space heaters.

This work will be conducted with Mainstream Engineering Corp. in Rockledge, Fla. Their mission is to research and develop emerging technologies and to engineer these technologies into superior-quality, military- and private-sector products that provide a technological advantage. The long-term goal is to improve combustion efficiency and support ground-based generators for the Marine Corps.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to work with our colleagues to study a very promising fuel for enhanced power generation and improved efficiencies, both of which are critical factors to environmentally responsible combustion systems,” said Kirk. “Additionally, this project will provide wonderful opportunities for several of our best graduate students to engage in micro-scale combustion research.”

The ONR coordinates, executes and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps through schools, universities, government laboratories and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. It provides technical advice to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy and works with the industry to improve technology manufacturing processes.

Kirk is also a 2009 Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellow. As a Fellow he will participate in an eight-week summer program that exposes a small number of competitively selected professors from U.S. and international universities to technical, business, and management career paths at the Boeing Co.

The ONR grant brings Kirk’s 2009 funding to more than $600,000 and his total funding to over $1.8 million since joining Florida Tech in 2004.

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