Sina Kheirkhah

Sina Kheirkhah

Assistant Professor

School of Engineering (Okanagan campus)

What is your educational and professional background?

I received my Bachelor of Science and Master of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and the University of Waterloo, respectively. This was followed by my PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Toronto, where I also held my NSERC postdoctoral fellowship. I lectured combustion processes as well as fluid mechanics while I was a PhD student and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Toronto.

Why engineering?

My route to engineering started in my geometry class when I was a grade 10 student. My geometry teacher always left the class with a problem on the blackboard seeding the desire to think about and solve problems in my mind. Later in high school, I was also attracted to physics because the knowledge I gained allowed me to understand how/why things work. Now, engineering allows me to think about real problems and most importantly, combine my mathematics and physics knowledge to solve them.

Why UBC?

UBC is one of the top-notch schools in Canada, and the Okanagan campus of UBC is located in one of the most scenic places in the country. So, why not UBC Okanagan?

What are you currently working on?

My research program aims at developing novel technologies that lead to drastic reduction of pollutant emission, increase of fuel flexibility and enhancing durability of gas turbine engines utilized in large-scale transportation and power generation industries. In my laboratory, we utilize state-of-the-art measurement techniques in order to probe into the heart of gas turbine engines, diagnose problems, understand the causality chain that leads to the occurrence of the problems and finally, develop technology to prevent them from happening. Currently, we are concerned with themo-acoustics and turbulent combustion science.

My teaching interests are related to combustion processes, fluid mechanics and experimental techniques in fluid flows. These are courses that I have taught before and/or teach at UBC Okanagan.

How do you hope your work will impact society/students?

Combustion of fossil fuel accounts for about 85% of total energy production in the world, and this number will remain large in foreseeable future. Unfortunately, combustion can be associated with pollutant formation and consumption of fossil fuel, which is a limited resource. My research program has a long term and short impact. On a long term basis, the program will allow for decreasing pollutant formation and emission as well as designing improved combustors that allows for operation with sustainable fuel sources. On a short term basis, my program helps decreasing development cost of gas turbine engine combustors, which is currently about $1B USD.

What are you passionate about outside work?

I enjoy playing Santoor (a traditional Persian instrument); and I also sometimes do watercolor and Japanese (Sumie) painting.

Department/School profile