Gaby Ciccarelli, Ph.D.

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Biography

Dr. Ciccarelli is an assistant professor at Queen's University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His teaching interests lie in the general area of thermal/fluids. His research is in the field of combustion and explosion physics. This includes the study of high-speed combustion phenomena such as accelerated flames and detonation waves. He also does applied research for Pulse Detonation Engines and explosion prevention. His research is carried out in the Explosion Physics and Prevention Laboratory located in McLaughlin Hall.

He completed his graduate studies at McGill University, in the Shock Wave Physics Group of the Mechanical Engineering Department. Both his Ph.D. and Master's thesis dealt with the study of fundamental aspects of "Vapor Explosions." Specifically he investigated the fragmentation mechanism involved in the interaction of single droplets of hot molten metal in water and the propagation of such interactions through a linear array of droplets. After completing his Ph.D. in 1991 he moved on to Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in New York where he started as a Post Doctoral Fellow and in 1993 received a continuing appointment under the title of research engineer. When he first arrived at BNL he became involved in a program sponsored by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commision (NRC) and the Japanese Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (NUPEC) investigating the "hydrogen explosion problem" associated with severe-accidents in nuclear power plants. The program objectives was to determine the effect of elevated temperature on detonation phenomenoa in mixtures of hydrogen, air, and steam. To meet the objectives of this program the Small-Scale Developmental Apparatus (SSDA) and the High-Temperature Combustion Facility (HTCF) were constructed. Both apparatus have the unique capability for performing combustion tests using gases at initial temperatures up to 800F. The hydrogen program lasted for roughly six years, subsequently the two apparatus were used for research in chemical process safety sponsored by the DuPont Company. At BNL he was also involved in the development of RAPTOR, a device used to breakup concrete pavement via the impact of high-speed projectiles. For his contribution to the development of RAPTOR, he was awarded the 2000 Discover Magazine Award for Technical Innovation. Dr. Ciccarelli started his academic career at Queen's University in July, 2000.