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Kareem Ahmed
Develops next-generation propulsion and energy technology

Kareem Ahmed Assistant Professor

Dept of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Office: Eng 1, Room 410

He is Also:

Director, Propulsion & Energy Research Laboratory (PERL)

Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research (CATER) faculty

Associate Fellow of AIAA

"My research is arming the nation with the most advanced high-speed and hypersonic propulsion and power technology."


Ahmed leads creative and technologically crucial projects in the area of advanced propulsion and energy research. He focuses on high-speed compressible turbulent combustion, detonations, supersonic compressible reacting flows, flow-flame control and advance laser diagnostics. He is a PI of more than $5.5 million in research funding from various organizations including NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, GE, Siemens. He is leading prime research in detonations for hypersonics and power generation research for AFOSR and DOE, both of which are the first to be explored in the U.S. and have been featured by numerous news media.

Societal Impact

Ahmed’s award-winning research on converting subsonic flames to hypersonic flames using turbulent mixing allows for the development of scramjet propulsion engines, which can propel aircraft to Mach 5 and higher using less fuel. This technology makes a 30-minute flight from NY to LA a possibility in the future.

Graduate Students and Achievements

Advising four postdoctoral scholars, 12 Ph.D. students, six master’s students and five honors in the major students.

Ahmed’s students have received national fellowships from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and NASA. His students have also won numerous awards and many have gone on to secure positions as major industry employers and premier research sites, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, NASA, and the Air Force Research Laboratory.


Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University at Buffalo — The State University of New York

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University at Buffalo — The State University of New York

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University

Current Project

Ahmed is currently researching:

•   Rotating detonation engine for rocket propulsion

•   Ultra-fast advanced laser diagnostics for hypersonics

•   Universal mechanism for turbulence-induced deflagration-to-detonation transition from engines to exploding stars (supernovas)

•   High-speed compressible turbulent combustion

•   Rotating detonation combustor for high-efficiency power generation


Courses He Teaches

EAS 4300: Aerothermodynamics of Propulsion Systems
EAS 4134: High-Speed Aerodynamics
EML 5713: Intermediate Fluid Mechanics

Featured Video


Propulsion and Energy Research Laboratory (PERL)

Discoveries/Publication Highlights

Ahmed has authored more than 100 scholarly articles and has 292 total citations in Google Scholar.

View Ahmed's Google Scholar Page


•   Distinguished Paper Award, 37th International Symposium on Combustion, 2019

•   Excellence in Research – College of Engineering and Computer Science Award, 2019

•   U.S. Air Force Research Lab – Summer Faculty Fellowship Program Award, 2019

•   Associate Fellow of AIAA Award, 2019

•   U.S. Air Force Research Lab– Summer Faculty Fellowship Program Award, 2017

•   The American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund, Doctoral New Investigator Award, 2014

•   NASA-Virginia Space Grant Consortium – New Investigator Program Award, 2014

•   The Office of Research at Old Dominion University, Summer Research Faculty Award, 2014

•   Innovator award for focusing system from the Florida State University Office of Research, 2012

•   Pratt & Whitney appreciation award, 2011

•   Innovator recognition and honoring from the Florida State University Office of Research, 2011

•   1st place University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Science Poster Award, 2008

•   1st place University at Buffalo Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Poster Award, 2008