Areas of Expertise (5)
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.
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 TanksJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Experimental Investigation of Spherical Tank Slosh Dynamics with Water and Liquid NitrogenJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Progress towards a Microgravity CFD Validation Study using the ISS SPHERES-SLOSH ExperimentAIAA Propulsion and Energy 2020 Forum
Comparison of Propellant Settling Approaches for On-Orbit Propellant Depots During Propellant Transfer ManeuversAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum
Self-Assembly of Protein Fibrils in MicrogravityGravitational and Space Research
- National Engineering Honor Society
- Tau Beta Pi
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Ralph A. Teetor award (professional)