James Michael


Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering


2096 Black Engr.
2529 Union Dr.
Ames, IA 500112030



  • PhD, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 2012
  • MA, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 2009
  • BS, Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland-College Park, 2007

Interest Areas

  • Optical and spectroscopic diagnostics of reacting, multiphase, and non-equilibrium flows
  • Sustainable fuels and combustion for propulsion systems
  • Low temperature plasmas
  • Droplet and spray physics

Facilities & Measurement Techniques

  • Non-intrusive laser based temperature and concentration measurements (LIF, laser absorption)
  • Ultrafast laser measurements (CARS, FLEET, LaITER, multiphoton LIF)


See full list at Google Scholar profile.

Selected Publications:

  • F. Reinbacher, S. Bidwai, and J.B. Michael, “Microwave re-excitation of femtosecond laser tagging for highly flexible velocimetry,” Optics Letters 49 (2024) 10.1364/OL.522115
  • R. Werner, E. Mayhew, K. Kim, C-B Kweon, and J.B. Michael, “Examining surface wetting and Leidenfrost transition of jet fuels and bicomponent mixtures,” Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 154 (2024) 111167. 10.1016/j.expthermflusci.2024.111167
  • K. Zhu, S.J. Barkley, T.R. Sippel, and J.B. Michael, “Emission thermometry of microwave-assisted alkali-doped propellant combustion,” Combustion and Flame 251 (2023) 112704. 10.1016/j.combustflame.2023.112704
  • K. Chen, J.B. Michael, and A.L. Yarin, “Effect of secondary atomization on blood backspatter affected by muzzle gases,” Physics of Fluids 35 (2023) 044115. 10.1063/5.0142146
  • A.C. LoCurto, M.A. Welch, T.R. Sippel, and J.B. Michael, “High-speed visible supercontinuum laser absorption spectroscopy of metal oxides,” Optics Letters 56 (2021) 3288-3291. 10.1364/OL.428456
  • N. Sliefert, G. Li, J.B. Michael, and A.L. Yarin, “Experimental and Numerical Study of Blood Backspatter Interaction with Firearm Propellant Gases,” Physics of Fluids 33 (2021) 043319. 10.1063/5.0045219
  • C.E. Dedic and J.B. Michael, “Thermalization dynamics in a pulsed microwave plasma-enhanced laminar flame,” Combustion and Flame 227 (2021) 322-344. 10.1016/j.combustflame.2021.01.006
  • A. Chausalkar, C-B Kweon, and J.B. Michael, “Multicomponent fuel drop-wall interaction at high ambient pressures,” Fuel 283 (2021) 119071. 10.1016/j.fuel.2020.119071
  • S.J. Barkley, K. Zhu, J.E. Lynch, J.B. Michael, and T.R. Sippel, “Microwave plasma enhancement of multiphase flames: On-demand control of solid-propellant burning rate,” Combustion and Flame 199 (2019) 14-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2018.10.007
  • C.E. Dedic, T.R. Meyer, and J.B. Michael, “Single-shot ultrafast coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering of vibrational/rotational nonequilibrium,” Optica 4 (2017) 563-570. 10.1364/OPTICA.4.000563
  • J.B. Michael, T.L. Chng, and R.B. Miles, “Sustained propagation of ultra-lean methane/air flames with pulsed microwave energy deposition,” Combustion and Flame 160 (2013) 796-807. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2012.12.006
  • J.B. Michael, M.R. Edwards, A. Dogariu, and R.B. Miles, “Femtosecond laser electronic excitation tagging for quantitative velocimetry imaging in air,” Applied Optics 50 (2011) 5158. https://doi.org/10.1364/AO.50.005158

Primary Strategic Research Area

Energy Systems