• Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  • Morris E. Foster Faculty Fellow I
  • Associate Department Head of Undergraduate Programs
Waruna Kulatilaka

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University — 2006
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University — 2002
  • B.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa — 2000

Research Interests

    • Optical Diagnostics and Imaging
    • Laser Spectroscopy and Ultrafast Lasers
    • Combustion and Energy Conversion
    • Hypersonics and High-Speed Propulsion
    • Propellants and Energetics
    • Extreme Materials
    • Remote Sensing
    • Fluid Flow and Plasma Diagnostics
    • Gas Turbine Combustion and IC Engines

Industry Experience

    • Senior Research Scientist/On-Site Contractor at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RQTC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH (2009 – 2014)
    • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA (2007 – 2009)

Awards & Honors

  • 2024 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerodynamic Measurement Technology Innovation Award
  • 2022 J. Mike Walker ‘66 Department of Mechanical Engineering - James J. Cain ‘51 Faculty Graduate Teaching Award
  • 2019 TEES Engineering Genesis Award
  • 2017–present Morris E. Foster Faculty Fellow I
  • 2015 Senior Member, The Optical Society (OSA)
  • 2014 Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • 2013 Forty Under 40 Award, Dayton Business Journal
  • 2013 Invited Speaker, Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Laser Diagnostics in Combustion
  • 2012 Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • 2012 Outstanding Technical Contribution Award, Dayton Section of ASME
  • 2011 Invited Speaker (Hot Topics), GRC on Laser Diagnostics in Combustion

Selected Publications

  • P. Parajuli, T. T. Paschal, M. A. Turner, Y. Wang, E. L. Petersen, and W. D. Kulatilaka, “High-Speed Hydroxyl and Methylidyne Chemiluminescence Imaging Diagnostics in Spherically Expanding Flames,” AIAA Journal, (2021). <https://doi.org/10.2514/1.J060103>
  • Y. Wang, A. Jain, C. Schweizer, and W. D. Kulatilaka, “OH, PAH, and Sooting Imaging in Piloted Liquid-Spray Flames of Diesel and Diesel Surrogate,” Combustion and Flame, 231-11479 (2021). <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2021.111479>
  • A. Jain, Y. Wang, C. Schweizer, and W. D. Kulatilaka, “Simultaneous Imaging of H and OH in Flames Using a Single Broadband Femtosecond Laser Source,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 38(1) 1813–1821. (2021). <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proci.2020.07.137>
  • Y. Wang, A. Jain, and W. D. Kulatilaka, “Simultaneous Measurement of OH and CO in Flames using a Single Broadband, Femtosecond Laser Pulse,” Combustion and Flame, 214, 358–360 (2020). <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2020.01.002>
  • C. Schweizer, S. Prasad, A. Saini, G. Koehm, C. Mashuga, and W. D. Kulatilaka, “High-Speed Digital In-Line Holography for In-Situ Dust Cloud Characterization in a Minimum Ignition Energy Device,” Powder Technology, 376, 612–621 (2020). <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.powtec.2020.08.042>