Dr. Stephen Dooley is Assistant Professor at the School of Physics since August 2016. Stephen obtained his BSc and PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway, in pure and applied chemistry and physical chemistry in 2004 & 2008 respectively. He then spent three-and-a-half years as a member of the professional research staff at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, USA. After this, he worked as a thermofluids technical specialist at Cummins Engine Company in the UK, before joining the University of Limerick as a Lecturer at the Department of Chemical & Environmental Sciences where he spent 3 years.
His research interests are in the Science of Energy, where he specialises in chemical reaction kinetics, fuels, and combustion science. He holds starting investigator and Career Advancement Awards from Science Foundation Ireland. He is the founding Director of the MSc in Energy Science at Trinity College Dublin.
The cleanliness of gas turbines is challenged by their propensity to emit harmful oxides of nitrogen (NOx) which must comply with very tight legal standards. Gas turbines can form these harmful pollutants if the operating conditions of the turbine are not tuned to the particular physics and chemistry exhibited by the burning fuels. The problem is that these particulars are defined by the chemical structure of the fuel, change the fuel, – change the chemical structure – change the operating conditions of the turbine in order for it to operate cleanly and efficiently. The MaREI research team at TCD has been set the challenge of exploiting and interpreting the physical processes and chemical mechanisms of the burning of natural gas and crude oil in Siemens gas turbines.
Prof. Stephen Dooley’s research team must first work to understand the details of this complicated process for Siemens engineers to adjust the design and operating conditions of their gas turbines to become more efficient and cleaner when operated with these fuels.
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