Christopher  Galea

Christopher Galea

Scholar Title

MIT AeroAstro ā€” United Technologies Corporation Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

An Airfoil Enabled Heat Exchanger for Advanced Aero-Propulsion Systems




Zolti Spakovszky


The rise in fuel prices and environmental concerns drive the development of transport aircraft propulsion systems. To reduce fuel burn, high thermal efficiency and a high propulsive efficiency are both needed. To enable advanced propulsors, compressor intercooling and transmission system cooling require compact, high efficiency heat exchangers with minimal pressure drop. The idea behind this project is to develop an airfoil based heat exchanger and to explore riblet geometries for improved heat transfer and reduced viscous loss, defying the classical Reynolds analogy. The project will combine high fidelity calculations with laboratory scale experiments to characterize the performance of candidate heat exchanger architectures.


Fluid dynamics and propulsion are topics that fascinate me. My exposure to these topics began in Unified Engineering, and continued in Aerodynamics and Aerospace Propulsion. I have been working on a research project to test two turbine blade trailing edge geometries to determine which would result in lower heat flux and aerodynamic loss, and Iā€™m excited to gain more experience with gas turbine engines in my SuperUROP.

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