Penn State to host international conference on turbomachinery

Erin Cassidy Hendrick
February 26, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Center for Gas Turbine Research, Education, and Outreach, in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame, will host the first Advanced Instrumentation, Diagnostics and Controls for Applications in Turbomachinery Conference (AIDCAT-2020) from May 17-20 on the University Park campus. 

“Advancing turbine technology for improved efficiency and safety, with reduced environmental impacts, is paramount to the world’s energy production,” said Karen Thole, distinguished professor, mechanical engineering department head and co-chair of the event. “In support of Penn State’s goal of becoming the energy university, we are actively bringing together leading researchers, industry partners and government entities to encourage next-generation designs and applications.”   

Drawing upon the University’s institutional strengths in turbine research, the AIDCAT conference represents one of the first initiatives undertaken by the newly announced center.

“One of the unique features of this conference is the broad range of attendees. We have participants from all across the industry, several departments in the government and leaders in academia,” Jacqueline O’Connor, associate professor of mechanical engineering and the director of the center, said. “This conference will be particularly exciting for the graduate students attending, as the small size and workshop format will allow for deep discussions and networking that are difficult at a typical conference.”

The focus of the event will be on the latest developments and needs in aero-thermodynamics, heat transfer, performance, control and health monitoring measurement technologies for turbomachinery, including gas, steam and hybrid turbine compressor systems and modern supercritical cycles. 

The conference intends to bring together the international community in a focused technical exchange environment, providing a forum to discuss cutting-edge developments and collaborate on future pathways for advancement.

Robert Kunz, professor of mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering and one of the organizers, said, “The motivation for this event is to bring together the community working in this area to understand where we are, what our priorities should be in the future and where we’re headed.”  

In addition to panels, speaker sessions, roundtable discussions and industry exhibitors, attendees will also have the opportunity to tour the University’s premier facilities, including the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine (START) Laboratory, Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory (ExCCL), Combustion Labs, Center for Innovative Materials Processing Through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) and the Millennium Science Complex.

Students interested in turbomachinery are highly encouraged to attend. In addition, the organizers are particularly supportive of, and encourage attendance by and abstract submissions from, individuals in groups underrepresented in science and engineering.

Interested faculty and students can register here. Abstract submissions and questions can be directed to


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Last Updated April 15, 2021