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Subith Vasu, associate professor at UCF in Orlando, is an expert in spectroscopy and optical diagnostics. Before joining UCF in 2012 as an assistant professor, he was a postdoc at Sandia National Labs after obtaining his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2010, and his B.Tech from the India Institute of Technology in Madras, India. His research group at UCF, which currently consists of 12 Ph.D. students, one graduate student, and three postdocs, have authored more than 70 journal articles, and more than 150 conference articles using diagnostic sensors for a variety of applications including power generation, propulsion, transportation, explosions and spacecraft air quality monitoring.

UCF’s shock tube and novel laser diagnostic techniques are used to investigate various problems relevant to advanced combustion systems under practical conditions. The strategy of using shock tubes provide an ideal device for acquiring ignition delay times, species concentration time-histories, and reaction rates while laser-based diagnostic studies are non-intrusive, provide in-situ measurements (e.g., concentration of individual species including trace species, and temperature), and have fast-time response (micro-second). In addition to providing crucial knowledge about the reacting systems, measurements will provide critical validation targets for computational fluid dynamic modelers.

Graduates from Vasu's group hold key positions in academia, national labs and industry. He is a recipient of the following prestigious early career national awards: the 2018 DARPA Young Faculty Award, the 2016 DTRA Young Investigator Award, and the 2015 ACS Doctoral New Investigator Award. He has also received multiple international awards including the 2017 ASME Dilip Ballal Early Career Award (only one international award is given per year); and the 2018 SAE Ralph R Teetor Educational Award (an international award dating back to 1963). In addition, he has received much recognition from UCF including the 2017 Inaugural Luminary Award, the 2016 Reach for the Stars Award and the 2017 CECS Deans Advisory Board Award.

Recent Publications

  • Joshua W. Allen; Adam M. Scheer; Connie Gao; Shamel S. Merchant; Subith S. Vasu; Oliver Welz; John D. Savee; David L. Osborn; Changyoul Lee; Stijn Vranckx; Zhandong Wang; Fei Qi; Ravi X. Fernandes; William H. Green; Masood Z. Hadi; and Craig A. Taatjes; "A coordinated investigation of the combustion chemistry of diisopropyl ketone, a prototype for biofuels produced by endophytic fungi", Combustion and Flame, accepted, 10/13.
  • Jihad Badra; Ahmed Elwardany; Fethi Khaled; Subith S. Vasu; Aamir Farooq; " A shock tube and laser absorption study of ignition delay times and OH reaction rates of ketones: 2-Butanone and 3-Buten-2-one", Combustion and Flame, accepted, 9/13.
  • Subith S. Vasu; S.M. Sarathy; "On the high-temperature combustion of n-butanol: Shock tube data and an improved kinetic model", Energy & Fuels, accepted, 9/13.
  • Welz O.; Savee J. D.; Osborn D.; Vasu S. S.; Percival C. J.; Shallcross D. E.; Taatjes C. A.; "Direct kinetic measurements of Criegee Intermediate (CH2OO) formed by Reaction of CH2I with O2", Science 2012, 335, 204-207.
  • Vasu S. S.; Davidson D. F.; Hanson R. K.; "Shock tube study of syngas ignition in rich CO2 mixtures and determination of the rate of H+O2+CO2->HO2+CO2", Energy and Fuels 2011, 25 (3), 990-997.


  • Stanford University Mechanical Engineering (Ph.D.)
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India Aerospace Engineering (M.S.)
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India Aerospace Engineering (B.S.)


Rocket propulsion; Hypergolic propellants; Hybrid propulsion; Energetic nanomaterials; Scramjets & high-speed air breathing vehicles propulsion; Impulse facilities for hypersonics; Reaction rate experiments using shock tube and laser diagnostics; Synchrotron photo-ionization mass spectrometry probing surface, atmospheric, and propellant chemistry; Chemical kinetic modeling of reactive flows; Optical diagnostics development; Optical diagnostics applications in energy, propulsion, and environmental science; Fundamental & applied Laser spectroscopy;Shock tube gas dynamics and chemistry; Nonlinear wave propagation in gases; • Surface catalytic processes for heterogeneous ignition, ablation and fuel conditioning; Advanced engines, gas turbines; Alternative and fossil fuels;

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