About Me

I am a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles using laser absorption spectroscopy to investigate advanced chemical propulsion under Professor R. Mitchell Spearrin in the Laser Spectroscopy and Gas Dynamics Laboratory. My research interests are primarily focused in ignition processes and kinetics, transport phenomena, and fuel reformation. Additionally, I formally mentor the Rocket Project at UCLA, a team of undergraduate students building liquid-propellant rockets for competitions.

I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where I worked under Professor Jyh-Yuan Chen in the Mechanical Engineering Combustion Modeling Laboratory, in which I researched advanced ignition techniques for automotive engines. My M.S. thesis in 2014 focused on the surface chemistry of char gasification reactions. I am also a B.S. graduate from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin with an emphasis in Thermal Fluid Systems. From 2010 to 2012, I was also an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the M.E. Department, helping to research combustion energy systems with a focus in rich combustion for syngas production under Dr. Janet Ellzey.

During my last semester at UT Austin, I was part of a senior design team which designed and manufactured a Mass Loss Calorimeter—a radiant heating and ignition apparatus for fire testing—for Dr. Ofodike Ezekoye’s fire science research group. Specifically, I was responsible for the heating control and data acquisition components of the device. The device will be used to gather important flammability and fire hazard characteristics of various residential and industrial materials. More information can be found in our final report here.

From 2009 to 2012, I was also a Clerk-Associate for Dental Dean’s Office of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School, processing volumes of patient information for research purposes relating to public health. I designed and maintained the organization website for Dental Education Outreach Network, whose primary purpose is to extend the benefits of dental public health initiatives to disadvantaged populations in the South Texas Colonias, isolated communities along the Texas-Mexico border.

In the summer of 2011, I worked for the Water Technologies Group of the Layne Christensen Company (now known as Layne Energy Services) as a Mechanical Engineering Intern, where I primarily helped with the planning of a scaled down version of an evaporative industrial wastewater reduction system known as EVRAS.

Email: dipineda at ucla dot edu

Curriculum Vitae | Google Scholar | Scopus | Mendeley | Publons | GitHub

Selected papers, posters, and projects on which I have worked:

Combustion education:

Cantera Example Notebooks - GitHub

Combustion modeling analysis:

Combustion Transport Analysis - GitHub

Uncertainty of transport parameters in flame models: a database from virial coefficient measurements - 2017 WSSCI Fall Technical Meeting

Analysis of the errors associated with molecular transport parameters in combustion modeling and their effects on one-dimensional flame simulations - 10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting

Alternative working fluids for internal combustion engines:

Working fluid replacement in gaseous direct-injection internal combustion engines: A fundamental and applied investigation - 10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting

Ignition and plasma-assisted combustion:

The role of hydrodynamic enhancement on ignition of lean methane-air mixtures by pulsed nanosecond discharges for automotive engine applications - Combustion Science and Technology

Application of Corona Discharge Ignition in a Boosted Direct-Injection Single Cylinder Gasoline Engine: Effects on Combustion Phasing, Fuel Consumption, and Emissions - SAE International Journal of Engines

Effects of updated transport properties of singlet oxygen species on steady laminar flame simulations - 2016 WSSCI Spring Technical Meeting

Nanosecond Pulsed Discharge in a Lean Methane-Air Mixture - 2015 Laser Ignition Conference, OSA Technical Digest (Online) (Optical Society of America)

Syngas production and fuel reformation:

Modeling hydrogen inhibition in gasification surface reactions - International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

Conversion of jet fuel and butanol to syngas by filtration combustion - International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

Syngas production from burner-stabilized methane/air flames: The effect of preheated reactants - Combustion and Flame

Effect of preheating on rich combustion for syngas production: experiments and modeling of burner-stabilized flames - 2011 WSSCI Fall Technical Meeting

Conversion of Jet A to Syngas via Filtration Combustion - 7th U.S. National Combustion Meeting

Rich and Ultra-Rich Combustion for Syngas Production: Experiments and Modeling of Burner-Stabilized Flames - 7th U.S. National Combustion Meeting

Interesting people

Tiernan Casey, who does uncertainty quantification in combustion modeling at Sandia National Labs

Colin H. Smith, who does thermal control for spacecraft at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Drew Sabelhaus, who studies and develops tension-network robotic systems at UC Berkeley

Brenda Yang, a cognitive neuroscience graduate student researcher at Duke University

Jordan Nerison, a designer and illustrator in New York City who creates many of the figures in my papers

Edward Wittlif, a video editor, animator and webcomic artist in Austin

Veronica Sandoval, an interior designer working in Dallas

Ofodike A. Ezekoye, the faculty sponsor for my senior design project at UT Austin

Michael E. Webber, my thermodynamics professor at UT Austin