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Cleopatra Cuciumita


"The world is on track for dangerous climate change, having nearly lost room for further pollution of the atmosphere due to increasing demand for energy. My research aims to help addressing the continuous rise in global CO2 pollution by implementing novel thermal cycles that provide higher efficiency and flexibility for power plants. More precisely, a turbine suitable for detonation based engines is to be designed."


Biographical sketch

I was born in Romania, where I have graduated from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, University ‘Politehnica’ of Bucharest, with a specialization in Propulsion Systems, in 2008. I have obtained a PhD from the same institution in Aerospace Engineering in 2012, with focus on axial turbines. The PhD work included a 3 months research stage at The Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Brussels, Belgium. Since graduating college, in 2008, I have focused on research and innovation in the field of gas turbines, energy and environment. I have been involved as team member or work package leader in over 30 national and international research projects. I have also been an assistant manager in an FP7 project, ‘Tangential Impulse Detonation Engine’, and have been awarded, as project leader, a European Space Agency grant, ‘Working fluid versatile turbine design methodology research’. This work has been disseminated in more than 30 journal articles, conferences participation of book chapters, as well as a national patent. I have been awarded 2 medals at International Fairs for Invention. I have been involved in international conferences organization, research project proposals and scientific articles evaluation, as well as an associate professor with the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering in Bucharest for the academic year 2016-2017. In September 2017 I have started my IPODI postdoc fellow at Technical University of Berlin, Germany.


Research interests

-          Axial turbines

-          Detonation based engines

-          Gas turbines

-          Thermal efficiency

-          Computational Fluid Dynamics for turbomachinery

-          Optimization algorithms



Email: cleopatra.cuciumita[at]tu-berlin.de



IPODI Research Project

Supersonic Axial Turbines Suitable for Pulsed Detonation Engines

Duration: 15 September 2017 - 14 September 2019

Mentor: Prof. Dr. Christian Oliver Paschereit, Faculty V, Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Technical Acoustics

Abstract: The world is on track for dangerous climate change, having nearly lost room for further pollution of the atmosphere. Demand for energy, transportation and associated services, to meet social and economic development and improve human welfare is increasing. Despite a rise in clean, renewable energy supplies, global CO2 pollution continues to rise because the variability of those sources forces countries to keep fossil fuels power plants running. Thus, higher flexibility, at the highest possible efficiency, will be needed for power plants!

The gas turbine has become an important, widespread, and reliable device in the field of power generation and transportation. At this point in time, however, the gas turbine has reached a clear technological maturity. A change on a conceptual level is needed! Thus, the scientific community has recently focused on novel thermal cycles.

A particular case is represented by the detonation-based engine cycles. Detonation is a very rapid and violent process. It is much more powerful than the classic combustion and it happens in thousands of a second. The detonation-based cycle offers a potential enhancement in specific power and cycle efficiency.

Developing gas turbines based on detonation, however, has proven to be an intricate task. A major drawback in tackling the practical implementation of a detonation based cycle is the lack of fluid machinery that would be efficient under supersonic inlet conditions, as imposed by the detonation combustion chamber.

For this reason, the project aims to design a turbine suitable for coupling with a pulsed detonation chamber. In this context, the originality and innovative nature of the proposed research refers to applying a different solution for the power generation in a pulsed detonation engine than those studied by the entities conducting research in the field. Moreover, this solution itself, the supersonic inlet turbine, is of innovative nature; only very limited numerical research has been published in this field.



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