MMAE Distinguished Alumni Lecture: The Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory




John T. Rettaliata Engineering Center, Room 104 10 West 32nd Street Chicago, Illinois 60616

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MMAE Seminar: The Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory—Filling the Gap Between Idea and Application in Propulsion and Power by Joshua Cameron.
Joshua Cameron

The Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering will welcome Joshua D. Cameron, director of the Turbomachinery Laboratory and assistant research professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at Notre Dame, for a lecture titled, “The Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory - Filling the Gap Between Idea and Application in Propulsion and Power” on Friday, March 31, 2023 from 3:30–4:30 p.m. in room 104 of the Rettaliata Engineering Center. Cameron is the recipient of the 2023 MMAE Distinguished Alumni Award.


The first rotating turbomachinery facility at the University of Notre Dame was designed to fill the gap in capability between typical university facilities and full-scale facilities at industry/government facilities. The lack of "medium-scale" facilities can prevent the maturation of advanced technologies as failures, and at full-scale, are expensive and provide limited learning. The vision therefore was to provide sub-scale but “engine relevant” conditions at a fraction of the cost of full-scale experiments to enable the maturation of new technologies from low Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to a TRL sufficient for low-risk full scale demonstration.

The first facility was well received and additional facilities with the same charter, all in the 300kW–500kW power range, were developed to meet the needs of the aero-gas turbine industry. After nearly a decade of operation, it became clear that even greater similitude to engine operating conditions was necessary to truly fill the gap in the technology maturation process. This need led to the development of the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory (NDTL) by the University of Notre Dame in partnership with the city of South Bend and the state of Indiana.

NDTL is a research and development organization focused on the execution of medium-scale, high-energy, high-complexity testing supported by leading-edge computational and analysis capabilities. Located in a 30,000 square foot facility in downtown South Bend’s Ignition Park, the facility provides 10MW of rotating power/load, high-speed power trains, and 50 lbm/s (23 kg/s) of continuous flow of air at 12 atmospheres and temperatures of up to 1200°F (650°C). These capabilities provide medium-cost/medium-risk opportunities for the development of advanced technologies in conventional and high Mach air-breathing propulsion, energy generation, advanced thermal management, and energy storage. Supported by over 40 full-time professional staff, NDTL also provides an incredibly unique experiential learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students.


Joshua D. Cameron serves as the director of the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory (NDTL). Cameron joined the University of Notre Dame in 2008 as an assistant research professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Instrumental in the development of the Ignition Park test facilities, he was appointed as director in 2014. In his role as director of NDTL, Cameron managed the design and construction of a new world-class advanced power and propulsion testing and research facility in downtown South Bend, Indiana where he currently oversees the operation of seven test cells, manages annual research expenditures, and develops the long-term vision and plan for NDTL’s growth. Cameron continues to manage and direct four testing facilities on the Notre Dame campus.

Cameron holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (2002) and a M.S. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (2003) from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He completed his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 2007. Cameron is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Physical Society.

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