hero image
Daniel Kirk, Ph.D. - Florida Tech. Melbourne, FL, US

Daniel Kirk, Ph.D.

Professor | College of Engineering and Science | Florida Tech


Dr. Kirk's research focuses on air-breathing propulsion and rocket propulsion, and additive manufacturing for aerospace applications.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Aerospace Applications

Rocket Propulsion

Rocket Science

Fluid Mechanics

Fluid Dynamics


Dr. Daniel R. Kirk completed his Ph.D. and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics under a National Science Foundation Fellowship.

He joined Florida Tech in 2004 and is currently a professor in the Department of Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences.

Dr. Kirk’s research interests focus on air-breathing and rocket propulsion, experimental and computational fluid dynamics, and advanced and additive manufacturing for existing and new aerospace applications. He has obtained over $4 million dollars in external funding, produced over 80 conference and journal publications, served as a visiting scholar at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA Kennedy Space Center and managed research projects with NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the Office of Naval Research.

In collaboration with NASA and MIT, Dr. Kirk’s research group has directed experiments onboard the International Space Station to study how liquid propellant slosh behavior affects the dynamics of rocket motion.

Research Focus (2)

Air-Breathing Propulsion for High Thrust-to-Weight Aircraft

Investigation and modeling of turbine combustion processes for the design of high specific thrust aircraft engines. Experimental and numerical investigation of the augmentation in surface heat flux due to interaction of residual freestream combustor fuel with film-cooled turbine surfaces. Reduced order analytical models and governing non-dimensional parameter framework for film-cooling prediction and design in the presence of near-wall reactions.

Analysis, Design and Testing of MEMS-scale, Liquid Bi-propellant Micro-rocket Systems.

Fluid, thermodynamic and heat transfer analyses of various system components, including turbo-pump assemblies, valve control of propellants, cooling methods, thrust chamber and nozzle design. Development of transient models to predict governing time scales in rocket starting processes, including time scales for ignition, supercritical behavior of propellants, cooling performance, and thrust versus time dependence. Experimental performance investigation of micro-servo valve assemblies for design of fluidically-actuated micro-valves, with application to aerospace, mechanical and biological systems.

Media Assets




loading image loading image loading image



Education (3)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: M.S., Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering 1999

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering 2002

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: B.S., Mechanical Engineering 1997


Selected Articles (5)

Extraction of Pendulum Model Parameters from Steady-State Slosh Data in Diaphragm Tanks

Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets


view more

Experimental Investigation of Spherical Tank Slosh Dynamics with Water and Liquid Nitrogen

Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets


view more

Progress towards a Microgravity CFD Validation Study using the ISS SPHERES-SLOSH Experiment

AIAA Propulsion and Energy 2020 Forum


view more

Comparison of Propellant Settling Approaches for On-Orbit Propellant Depots During Propellant Transfer Maneuvers

AIAA Scitech 2019 Forum


view more

Self-Assembly of Protein Fibrils in Microgravity

Gravitational and Space Research


view more

Affiliations (2)

  • National Engineering Honor Society
  • Tau Beta Pi

Accomplishments (1)

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Ralph A. Teetor award (professional)