Seminar - 08282013


Fundamental and Applied Biofuels Research at the Naval Postgraduate School

August 28, 2013
Glasgow Hall 109

Dr. Knox Millsaps

Professor & Chairman
Director, Marine Propulsion Laboratory


Dr. Chris Brophy

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Naval Postgraduate School 



This talk will provide a broad overview of the history and development of synthetic and bio-derived liquid fuels, their potential uses in naval ship and aircraft, as well as a survey of some of the research that has been conducted by NPS faculty and thesis students on biofuels and advanced energy systems over the past 3 years. Specifically the research programs sponsored by the Office of Naval Research to characterize the fundamental combustion properties of biofuels and biofuel blends for drop-in replacements for JP-5 aircraft and F-76 ship fuels to better understand the practical differences that may occur in Navy gas turbine and Diesel engines with the use of such pure and blended bio-derived Hydro-Reformed Jet (HRJ) and other synthetic fuels. Results from fundamental studies of the difference in laminar/turbulent flame speed, ignition delay, and reaction kinetics performed at NPS and collaborators at Stanford University in both shock tubes and combustion bombs will be presented. Research performed by NPS students on use of biofuels in high speed Diesel engines, including differences in performance, and detailed comparison of combustion dynamics will be covered. Research on advanced engine concepts, such as rotating detonation engines (RDE) will be presented.


Richard F. Post
Physicist/Senior Scientist
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Dick Post is currently the Principal Scientist for the Electromechanical Battery (EMB) program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Dr. Post has a long ranging career, spanning 75 years, which includes topics such as controlled nuclear fusion, electron accelerator research, magnetic levitated trains, submarine sonar/underwater sound propagation (Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC) and energy storage. He was one of the first employees at LLNL, coming to the lab in 1952, the year it was open. Dick has an undergraduate degree in physics from Pomona College, and a PhD in physics from Stanford University.

Dick holds over 40 patents in the fields of particle accelerators, controlled fusion, magnetic levitation, isotope separation, passive magnetic bearings, and electrostatic generator/motors. He is an American Physical Society Fellow, an American Nuclear Society fellow, and an American Academy of Advance of Science Fellow. In addition, he has received the following awards: 

  • Meritorious Civilian Service Award, U.S. Navy, 1945
  • Doctor of Science (Honorary), Pomona College, 1959
  • U. S. Energy Research and Development Administration, Distinguished Associate Award, 1977
  • American Nuclear Society, Outstanding Achievement Award, 1978
  • American Physical Society, James Clerk Maxwell Prize, 1978
  • Distinguished Career Award, Fusion Power Associates, 1987
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2012

Robert M. Yamamoto
Principal Investigator: Electromechanical Batteries
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Bob Yamamoto is currently the Principal Investigator for the Electromechanical Battery (EMB) program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Mr. Yamamoto has worked at both National Labs (LLNL and LBNL) and the private sector (TRW and General Atomics) during his 37-year career. Areas of expertise include solid-state lasers, magnets (resistive and superconducting), cryogenics, vacuum and pressure vessels, which has culminated in the designing and building of experimental hardware in excess of $100M. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, a MBA from Golden Gate University and is a registered professional mechanical engineer in the state of California.

Bob has received three R&D 100 awards (development of a human cancer treatment system utilizing magnetic fields, a diode-pumped laser for humanitarian mine clearing and development of a land mine locator) and has authored/co-authored 48 technical papers. Work Mr. Yamamoto has supported has been the subject of 16 scientific magazine articles. He has also been highlighted on the History Channel’s “Tactical To Practical” television series for the development of the world’s most powerful solid-state diode-pumped laser.


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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