prof.dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts


Fluid Mechanics


Computational modeling of turbulent spray combustion 
Experimental study of turbulent combustion in a single burner furnace 
Heavy Fuel Oil Combustion in a HiTAC Boiler 
Scaling of dust explosions 

Current teaching activities:

BSc Courses:
WB2541 Process Engineering and Thermodynamics : Deel 2 (Design)
Groepsopdracht afgerond met een verslag en mondelinge nabespreking
Onderwerp van de opdracht: Ontwerp van een systeem voor schone en zuinige verbranding

MSc Courses:
Continuum Physics

Turbulent reacting flows (only resit of 2015-2016 program)

Radiative Heat Transfer (only resit of 2015-2016 program)

Coordinator: of the specialisation Energy from biomass of the master programme Sustainable Energy Technology

Main research interests:

Reactive Flows, Turbulent Combustion, Radiative Heat Transfer

Reactive Flows
The research program on reactive flows mainly concerns turbulent mixing in non-reacting and reacting flows, turbulence-chemistry-radiation interaction in flames, and turbulent heat transfer.
Experimental and computational studies are made of combustion systems at different scales, from labscale to industrial scale. Detailed investigations are made using laserdiagnostic techniques and using advanced computational models. The program responds to a substantial drive from society and industry for more environmentally friendly combustion processes avoiding the formation of NOx and particulates (soot) in industrial combustion systems (furnaces, gas turbines, engines).

The program also involves reactive flow in other industrial and environmental systems: e.g. fuel cells, nuclear reactors

Projects on clean combustion technology:

Staff members involved: Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts, dr. M.J. Tummers, dr. W. de Jong


  • To widen the range of applicability of clean combustion technologies for gaseous fuels, in particular so-called flameless combustion. By combining detailed measurements and modeling, of combustion of several gaseous fuels in labscale single- and multiburner furnaces we find predictive reactive flow models enabling control of flame structure, heat transfer and emissions.  
  • Development of clean combustion processes for liquid fuels. Perform detailed laserdiagnostic experiments in a new burner. This leads to understanding of relations between atomization process, ignition, entrainment and burnout, and data sets for model validation.
  • Development and application of new Computational Fluid Dynamics models in the simulations of process furnaces in petrochemical and metals industry.
  • To develop turbulent combustion models for fuel rich combustion and soot formation at high pressure (5-50bar).  The models will allow accurate simulation of partial oxidation of natural gas to produce syngas. The practical goal is to achieve an optimal syngas output composition, with low soot content.

Ongoing Master Projects:

Nupur Subhedar
Modeling of the combustion of metal particles and laminar metal dust flames

Hesheng Bao
CFD study of flameless combustion in jet-in-hot-coflow flames and a single burner furnace

Christos Panagopoulos
Creation of a spray flamelet library for modeling of ethanol spray flames using OpenFOAM

Available Master Projects: 

CFD modeling of soot formation in flames in glass furnaces

Completed Master Projects:

Benoit Rosati, Prediction of emissions from combustion systems using zero-dimensional one-dimensional reacting flow models

Sjoerd Keizer, Flameless combustion in a 2x100 kWth furnace: A comparison of experiments with CFD-type simulations

Tariq Ahmed Abul Kalam Azad, Computational Modeling of Turbulent Ethanol Spray Flames in a Hot Diluted Coflow using OpenFOAM

Seyed Hossein Jamali, Computational Modeling of Turbulent Ethanol Spray Flames in Hot Diluted Coflow

Maikel van der Steen, Experimental study using PIV of Flame-Wall Interaction of a Flame Jet Impinging on a Cooled Cylinder

Denis Efimov, Assessment of Velocity Conditioned Micro-Mixing for PDF Modeling of a Turbulent Non-Premixed Natural Gas Jet Flame, MSc Thesis Applied Physics, March, 2013

Antonio Rubino, Theoretical modeling of laminar and turbulent dispersed multiphase flow in a solar reactor for hydrogen production by cracking of methane, MSc Thesis SPET, February 2013

Soheila Riahi, Numerical Modelling of Radiative Heat transfer in Flameless and Conventional Combustion, MSc Thesis SET, November 2012

Jeroen Kuijper, Modelling of flameless combustion of natural gas, hydrogen and biogas mixtures,MSc Thesis Chemical Engineering, September 2012

Alexander Klaessen, LES of Delft Jet-in-Hot-Coflow (DJHC) with Presumed PDF Model and Tabulated Chemistry, MSc Thesis Applied Physics, August, 2012

Metin Çelik, Combustion of Biogas-like Mixtures in Coflow of Cold Air and of Hot Lean Combustion Products, MSc Thesis SET, July 2012

Arjen Jansen, Numerical study on a multi-burner flameless oxidation furnace in relation to change in fuel composition, MSc Thesis SET, July 2012

Other energy technology related projects:

Ongoing Master Projects

Available Master Projects

Hydrogen production by cracking of methane in a solar reactor

Computational modeling of transient hydrogen flames in the event of a nuclear reactor accident

Completed Master Projects

Serge Klapwijk, ShapeOptimization of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. Thermal stress minimization in planar SOFC’s by the application of the shape optimization method to modeling

Tom van Arragon, Development of an effective process model for algae growth in a photobioreactor

Jelle Stam, Modeling of radiative heat transfer in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)

Curriculum Vitae:

Prof. Dirk Roekaerts is full professor at Delft University of Technology and is leading research projects in the area Reactive Flows with main focus on turbulent combustion. He also worked at the Shell Research and Technology Centre in Amsterdam, as a senior research physicist specialised in modelling complex flows in industrial equipment: mainly furnaces, gasifiers and chemical reactors. His original background is in theoretical physics.


MSc in Physics  University Leuven, Belgium, 1977
PhD, University Leuven, Belgium, 1981

Professional career:

1977 - 1981: Researcher, Institute for Theoretical Physics of the KU Leuven, Belgium
1981 - 1983: Civil service (replacing military service), at the Faculty of Applied Sciences of the KU Leuven. Leading activities on Science, Technology and Society
1983 - 1984: Postdoc at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the KU Leuven
1984 - 1986: Research fellow (A. von Humboldt Stipendiat), University Essen, Germany
1985 - 1987: Postdoc Institute for Theoretical Physics of the KU Leuven
1987 - 1992: Research Physicist, Koninklijke/Shell-Laboratorium, Amsterdam
1992 – 2005: Senior Research Physicist, Shell Research and Technology Centre Amsterdam, (until 1996: Koninklijke/Shell-Laboratorium, Amsterdam)
1991 – 2005: Part-time professor Turbulent Transport Phenomena / Thermal and Fluids Sciences, Delft University of Technology
Oct.25-Nov.6, 2005:  Visiting professor, University Karlsruhe, Germany
2005 – August 2012: Professor Reactive Flows and Explosions, Department Multi-Scale Physics, Delft University of Technology
September 2012-present: Professor Reactive Flows, Department Process and Energy, Delft University and Technology
May 2016-present: Professor (part-time 0.2) Combustion of Droplet Sprays and Particle Clouds in Turbulent Flows, Eindhoven University of Technology

A more complete list of journal publications is available at RESEARCH-ID

A more complete list of  journal publications and conference papers is available at


(unless mentioned otherwise, Roekaerts was the promotor and the PhD degree was obtained at Delft University of Technology)

Hans SandersScalar transport and flamelet modelling in turbulent jet diffusion flames, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 26.1.1994, Promotors: Prof. ir. J.K. Nieuwenhuizen and Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts

Tim Peeters, Numerical modeling of turbulent natural-gas diffusion flames, 26.9.1995, Promotors: Prof. ir. C.J. Hoogendoorn and Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts

Frank Commissaris, Coal and char conversion rates from shock tube experiments, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 29.2.1996, Promotors: Prof. dr. W.R. Rutgers and Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts, Copromotor: dr. A. Veefkind

Huib WoutersLagrangian models for turbulent reacting flows, 24.3.1998

Pieter Nooren, Stochastic modeling of turbulent natural-gas flames, 14.9.1998, Promotors: Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts and Prof. dr. K. Hanjalić

Jeroen Louwers, Combustion and Decomposition of Hydrazinium Nitroformate (HNF) and HNF Propellants, 2 .6.2000

Andreas Obieglo, PDF Modeling of H2 and CH4 Chemistry in Turbulent Nonpremixed Combustion, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, 15.2.2000, Promotor: Prof. Dr. D. Poulikakos, Copromotors: Prof. Dr. D. Roekaerts and Dr. J. Gass

Bertrand Naud, PDF modeling of turbulent sprays and flames using a particle stochastic approach, 4.3.2003

Nijso Beishuizen, PDF modelling and particle-turbulence interaction of turbulent spray flames, 25.2.2008

Fabio Paravento, Numerical simulation of premixed flames interacting with obstacles, 14.1.2009, Promotors: Prof. dr. ir. B.J. Boersma en Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts

Otilia E. Dragomir, Experimental investigation on hydrazinium nitroformate (HNF) combustion and its modification, 26.1.2009

Marco Losurdo, Particle Tracking and Deposition from CFD Simulations using a Viscoelastic Particle Model, 6.3.2009, Promotors: Prof. Dr.-Ing. H. Spliethoff and Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts

Edwin Michel Knobbe, On the integration of the arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian concept and non-equilibrium thermodynamics, 21.6.2010

Mark SliphorstHigh Frequency Combustion Instabilities of LOx/CH4 Spray Flames in Rocket Engine Combustion Chambers, 22.3.2011

Bart Danon, Furnaces with multiple flameless combustion burners, 19.8.2011, Promotor: Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts and Prof. dr. ir. B.J. Boersma. Copromotor: W. De Jong

Ernst Oldenhof, Autoignition and flame stabilisation processes in turbulent non-premixed hot coflow flames, 20.3.2012. Promotor: Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts. Copromotor: dr. ir. M.J. Tummers

Mengmeng Xie, Thermodynamic and Gasdynamic Aspects of a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion, 29.8.2013

Hugo RodriguesSpray combustion in moderate and intense low-oxygen conditions: An experimental study, 22.1.2015. Promotor: Prof. dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts. Copromotor: dr. ir. M.J. Tummers

Likun Ma, Computational Modeling of Turbulent Spray Combustion, 17.5.2016

prof.dr. D.J.E.M. Roekaerts

  • +31-15-2782470
  • Room 0-170

    Leeghwaterstraat 39

    2628 CB Delft

    The Netherlands


    Postal address:

    Delft University of Technology

    Department Process and Energy, section Fluid Mechanics

    Mekelweg 2

    2628 CD Delft

    The Netherlands

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