Aerospace Propulsion & Diagnostics Laboratory

Advancing the future of aerospace propulsion

Our Research

Our research mission is to improve the current understanding of high-speed chemically reacting flows and help develop the next generation of aerospace propulsion devices, such as airbreathing ramjet/scramjet engines.

Opportunities for

We are always looking for motivated undergraduate and graduate students to work with us on research topics such as plasma-assisted combustion, supersonic wind tunnel testing, development of advanced laser diagnostics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling.

Please contact the PI directly if you are interested in joining our research group as an undergraduate intern or as a graduate student. Post-doctoral researchers are encouraged to visit www.jobs.colostate.edu to view current openings.

Industry Partnerships

Our group welcomes partnership with industry on topics such as clean combustion, high-speed aerodynamics, aerospace propulsion, and computational fluid dynamics. We can provide aerodynamic experimental validation using our supersonic wind tunnel as well as perform computational fluid dynamics modeling for a wide range of problems (e.g., viscous hypersonic flows, chemically reacting flows, re-entry plasma modeling, etc) using our custom-made codes.

The Lab

Aerospace Propulsion and Diagnostics Laboratory logo

Welcome to the Aerospace Propulsion and Diagnostics Laboratory (APDL). The lab is founded and directed by Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Ciprian Dumitrache. It is located at the Powerhouse Energy Campus in Fort Collins, Colorado. Our lab distinguishes itself through the interdisciplinary approach used to solve the current challenges in aerospace propulsion. This includes supersonic wind tunnel testing, development of advanced femtosecond laser diagnostics for characterizing the flow and computational fluid dynamics modeling.

Real World Impact

Our work on aerospace propulsion and high-speed aerodynamics is expected to have a direct impact on future high-speed/supersonic civilian air transportation as well as military applications (i.e., the development of next generation of hypersonic weapons). Similarly, the fundamental combustion research undertaken in our group is expected to help develop the next generation of clean hydrogen burners for industrial applications using hydrogen.


Ciprian Dumitrache stands behind a Department of Defense podium.

Ciprian Dumitrache Presents Research at Pentagon

Oct 08, 2023
Ciprian Dumitrache presented his hypersonics research at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Pentagon Demo Day 2023. He was one of 21 DARPA Risers from across the country in attendance.

Ciprian Dumitrache stands in front of his laser laboratory.

Ciprian Dumitrache Selected as DARPA Riser

Sep 30, 2022
Ciprian Dumitrache participated in the 2022 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) conference at Colorado State University. He presented as a DARPA Riser, an individual the organization has identified as an “up-and-coming standout” in their discipline. Read more....


Our Team