Claudia Fajardo-Hansford
Assistant Professor
(269) 276-3434
Fax (269) 276-3421

Dr. Claudia Fajardo is an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace (MAE) department and director of the Combustion and Flow Research Laboratory (CFRL).  Dr. Fajardo is also affiliated with the Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation (CAViDS) and the CAViDS Hybrid-Electric Applied Research (CHEAR) Laboratory. She also serves as faculty advisor to WMU’s Formula SAE student team.

Ph.D.  Mechanical Engineering, 2007, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
M.S.E Mechanical Engineering, 2005, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
B.S.E Mechanical Engineering , 2002, Western Michigan University

Welcome to the Combustion and Flow Research Laboratory (CFRL), located in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) at Western Michigan University. The laboratory is the center for experimental flow and combustion studies with particular emphasis on automotive research. Some of the most exciting research projects focus on energy conversion devices such as internal combustion engines. A number of ongoing research projects are being conducted in collaboration with faculty from the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and other departments. Some these collaborative projects are funded through and support the Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation (CAViDS).
Research projects at the CFRL generally take advantage of advanced laser diagnostics techniques to conduct non-intrusive measurements in the harsh environment typical of combustion devices. The CFRL is equipped with a single-cylinder optical research engine, a high-repetition rate, dual cavity, Nd:YLF laser, as well as high-speed digital cameras to resolve unsteady, rapidly changing flows. Software for equipment synchronization and data processing are also available.

Research Interests

Turbulence characterization in bounded and unbounded flows

Combustion in energy conversion devices

Combustion for material synthesis

Internal combustion engines and alternative powertrains

Engineering education

Ongoing CFRL Projects

  1. Development of a Dynamic Wall Layer Model for LES of Internal Combustion Engines. Sponsor: NSF and DOE.
  2. One-Dimensional Flow Simulation of Induction Air for Diesel Engine Cold-Start.Funded by L-3 Communications through CAViDS.
  3. Energy Saving Improvements for Industrial Ovens. In collaboration with the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. Funded through the GMI Initiative and FRACAA. More information is available at: http://www.wmich.edu/mfe/mrc/greenmanufacturing/index.php

Previous Projects

  1. Stochastic Flow Characterization Using Proper Orthogonal Decomposition. Funded through WMU FRACAA.
  2. Development of an Intelligent Vehicle Health Management System for Light Tactical Vehicles – Engine Lubricant Monitoring (CBM Project A). In collaboration with MAE and Computer Science Departments and funded through CAViDS.
  3. Development of an Intelligent Vehicle Health Management System for Light Tactical Vehicles. – Engine Diagnostics (CBM Project B). In collaboration with Electrical Engineering and funded through CAViDS.
  4. Measurements of the Exhaust Flow in an Internal Combustion Engine. In collaboration with the Fluid Mechanics laboratory. Funded by Toyota Motor Corporation.
  5. Development of a Gasoline Direct-Injection Engine for Implementation in Western Michigan University’s Formula SAE Vehicle. Funded by Denso North America Foundation.

Available Positions

There are currently no available positions


Kreun, P. K., Fajardo, C.M., Baumann, A. (2013) "Simulation of an Intake Manifold Pre-Heater for Cold-Engine Startup." J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 135 (7), DOI: 10.1115/1.4024018.

Clark, R. J., Fajardo, C.M. (2012) “Assessment of the Properties of Internal Combustion Engine Lubricants Using an Onboard Sensor.” Tribology Trasactions, 55 (4): 458- 465.

Fajardo, C., Sick. V. (2008) “Development of a High-Speed UV Particle Image Velocimetry Technique and Application for Measurements in Internal Combustion Engines.” Experiments in Fluids, 46:43-53.

Fajardo, C.M. and V. Sick. (2007) “Flow Field Assessment in a Fired Spray-Guided, Spark-Ignition, Direct-Injection Engine Based on UV Particle Image Velocimetry with Sub Crank Angle Resolution.” Proc. of the Combustion Institute 31 2: 3023-3031.
Best Technical Paper: Engine Colloquium of the 31st International Symposium on Combustion

Fajardo, C.M., J.D. Smith, and V. Sick. (2006) “Sustained Simultaneous High-Speed Imaging of Scalar and Velocity Fields Using a Single Laser.” Applied Physics B 85 1: 25-31.

Fajardo, C.M., J.D. Smith, and V. Sick. (2006) "PIV, High-Speed PLIF and Chemiluminescence Imaging for Near-Spark-Plug Investigations in IC Engines." Journal of Physics: 19-26.

Martlew, J.B., DeKam, W.R., Fajardo, C.M. (2013) “Application of Laser Diagnostics to a Green Manufacturing Project” in Proc. of the 2013 ASEE North-Central Section Conference.

Grantner, J., Bazuin, B., Fajardo, C. M., Hathaway, R., Al-shawawreh, J., Dong, L., Castanier, M., Hussain, S. (2013) “Linguistic Model for Engine Power Loss” in Proc. of the 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Computational Intelligence.

Kreun, P. K., Fajardo, C.M., Baumann, A. (2012) “Simulation of an Intake Manifold Pre-Heater for Cold-Engine Startup” in Proc. of the 2012 ASME Fall Technical Conference, Internal Combustion Engine Division.

 Kreun, P. K., Fajardo, C.M., Baumann, A. (2012) "Simulation of an Intake Manifold Pre-Heater for Cold-Engine Startup" in Proc. of the 2012 Spring Technical Meeting of the Central States Section of the Combustion Institute.

Grantner, J., Bazuin, B., Dong, L., Al-shawawreh, J., Hathaway, R., Fajardo, C. M., Castanier, M., Hussain, S., (2012) “Linguistic Model for Axle Fatigue” in Proc. IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems. DOI: 10.1109/FUZZ-IEEE.2012.6251197.

Grantner, J., Bazuin, B., Dong, L., Al-shawawreh, J., Hathaway, R., Fajardo, C. M., Castanier, M. P., Hussain, S. (2010) “Condition Based Maintenance for Light Trucks” in Proc. IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC).

Fajardo, C., Sick, V. (2009) “Kinetic Energy and Dissipation Rate Spectra of High- and Low-Swirl Internal Combustion Engine Flows” SAE Paper 2009-01-0651.

Fajardo, C.M., Sick, V. (2008) “High-Speed UV Particle Image Velocimetry” in Laser Applications to Chemical, Security and Environmental Analysis (LACSEA). St. Petersburg, FL: Optical Society of America.


My goal as an engineering educator is to help students gain a thorough understanding of engineering principles so that they can apply their knowledge to new problems.  It is also my objective to create a comfortable and inclusive learning environment, where students have the opportunity to develop their creative and problem-solving abilities; and to facilitate the development of lifelong learning skills that will prepare students to function effectively in a dynamic, diverse, and global economy. 
Teaching and research complement each other.  Research opens the door to new knowledge which enriches the classroom experience, whereas the fundamentals taught in the classroom form the foundation of research.  I strongly encourage engineering students to get involved in research, internships, and other extracurricular activities to further their technical skills and increase their competitiveness in the job market.

Courses Taught:
ME 332 - Thermodynamics I
ME 432 – Thermodynamics II
ME 367 – Internal Combustion Engines I
ME 535 – Applied Spectroscopy


Current Students
The CFRL team consists of:
Patrick K. Kreun, Master student, Mechanical Engineering
Research topic: Diesel engine simulation
Background: B.S., Mechanical Engineering

Gary P. Nola, Master student, Mechanical Engineering
Research topic: Flow modeling in industrial paint curing ovens
Background: B. S., Mechanical Engineering

Latif Ibraheem, Ph.D. student, Mechanical Engineering
Research topic: Heat transfer characterization in non-fully developed flows.

Former Students

Michael J. Neinhuis, Master Student, Mechanical Engineering
Research Topic: Experimental and Modeling Investigations for IC Engine Development
Background: B.S., Mechanical Engineering

Ryan J. Clark, Master Student, Mechanical Engineering
Research topic: Internal combustion engine lubrication
Background:  B.S., Mathematics

Curtis S. Krallman, Master Student, Mechanical Engineering
Research topic:  Turbulence characterization in internal combustion engines
Background:  B.S., Mechanical Engineering

James B. Martlew: Undergraduate student, Mechanical Engineering
Research topic: Temperature and  non-intrusive velocimetry measurements

William R. Dekam: Undergraduate student, Mechanical Engineering
Research topic: Temperature and  non-intrusive velocimetry measurements

The idea behind the Formula SAE competition is that students are a design team contracted by a manufacturing company to develop a small, Formula-style race car. A lot of creativity is allowed, but students also have to comply with a set design and cost rules which are defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) every year. Once the vehicle has been built, students participate in a series of competitions throughout the year, the biggest of which is the competition at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI. At these competitions, students are tested not only on the dynamic performance of the vehicle, but also have to deliver design, business and cost presentations to a panel of judges from industry.
This is a challenging and rewarding extracurricular project, and a great one for students to get involved in. It will provide engineering students a unique opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom and also to develop a substantial new technical knowledge on their own. It also gives them an opportunity to develop their leadership, interpersonal and time management skills.
Student volunteers on projects like Formula SAE contribute to WMU’s international presence as well as enrich their own collegiate experience. Many potential employers seek out and prioritize student involvement in these types of projects.
For more information about this project visit (url)
To make a gift in support of the FSAE student project please visit mywmu.com/FormulaSAE


Senior Design Projects

As a culmination of their undergraduate engineering education, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering students are required to complete a capstone project. Senior undergraduate students plan and implement their project over two semesters. The project culminates with a presentation to a broad audience consisting of faculty, staff, fellow classmates, sponsors and the local community. A faculty member and an industrial sponsor advise the student team.

Senior Design Projects

An Innovative Optical System for Internal Combustion Engine Studies. (Fall 2011). Team members: Patrick K. Kreun and Trevor Lambert. 

Design of a Forced-Air Induction System for a Suzuki RM-Z450 Engine." (Spring 2011). Team members: Conrad Meekhof, Elliot Rose and Scott Hamilton.

Fuel Delivery System Development for a Single-Cylinder Gasoline Direct Injection Engine. (Spring 2011). Team members: Daren Distefano, Adam Bolen and Brad Mathis.

Design of a Race Car Muffler (Spring 2010). Team members: Sarah Gerbig and Brett Lovell.

Development of a Direct-Injected Single-Cylinder Motorcycle Engine (Fall 2009). Team members: Nicholas Haydon, Geoffrey Van Gemert, and Michael Neinhuis. ASME Award for Best Presentation.


Dr. Fajardo also serves as a faculty mentor for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) talent expansion program (STEP). Please visit www.wmich.edu/step for more information about this initiative.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5343 USA
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