Varun Kumar S

Associate Professor

Mechanical Engineering ,

2013-present: Assistant Professor, IIT Madras

2013: Assistant Professor at IIT, Ropar

Head of the laboratory-Thermodynamics and Combustion Engineering

+91 44 2257 4717

+91 44 2257 4717

https://mech.iitm.ac.in/meiitm/personnal/dr-s-varunkumar/

Research Areas

  • High frequency combustion instabilities in liquid propellant rockets and afterburners.
  • Catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomass for liquid fuel synthesis.
  • Application of symbolic regression and other data-driven methods to problems in, but not limited to, combustion and fluid mechanics.
  • Solid propellant combustion | Combustion Theory | Biomass gasification and pyrolysis | Packed bed reactors 
  • Biomass gasification and combustion 
  • CO kinetics and emission prediction 
  • Combustion instability in solid rocket motors


Selected Journal Publications

  • Mechanisms governing the “gasification to char oxidation transition” in counter-current flame propagation in packed beds: insights from single-particle experiments  Mani Kalyani A.,  Jaganathan V. M. and S. Varunkumar 2021 | Bellwether  Publishing, Ltd


  • Mani Kalyani Ambatipudi & Varunkumar S (2020) Experimental and Theoretical Investigations on High-ash Coal-air Flames in High-speed Jets Stabilized Recirculating Flow, Combustion Science and Technology, 

  • Jaganathan V M, Mani Kalyani Ambatipudi & Varunkumar S (2020) The Phenomenon of Flame Jump in Counter–current Flame Propagation in Biomass Packed Beds – Experiments and Theory, Combustion Science and Technology, 

  • Jaganathan, V. M., and S. Varunkumar. “A novel self-sustained single step process for synthesizing activated char from ligno-cellulosic biomass.” Fuel Processing Technology 208 (2020): 106516.

  • Ambatipudi Mani Kalyani, Jaganathan V. M. & Varunkumar S. “Mechanisms governing the gasification to char oxidation transition in counter-current flame propagation in packed beds: insights from single-particle experiments”. Particulate Science and Technology (2020): DOI:10.1080/02726351.2020.1767245

  • Wadhai, Vishal, and S. Varunkumar. “Perturbation analysis of the Heterogeneous Quasi 1-D model–a theoretical framework for predicting frequency response of AP–HTPB composite solid propellants.” Combustion Theory and Modelling (2020): 1-20.

  • Ali, S. M., and S. Varunkumar. “Effect of burner diameter and diluents on the extinction strain rate of syngas-air non-premixed Tsuji-type flames.” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2020).

  • V.M. Jaganathan, Omex Mohan, S. Varunkumar, Intrinsic hydrogen yield from gasification of biomass with oxy-steam mixtures. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 44, Issue 33, (2019):17781-17791. 

  • V M Jaganathan and S Varunkumar. Net carbon-di-oxide conversion and other novel features of packed bed biomass gasification with O2/CO2 mixtures. Fuel 244 (2019): 545-558.

  • S Varunkumar and H. S. Mukunda. Aluminized composite propellant combustion modeling with Heterogeneous Quasi-One dimensional (HeQu1-D) approach. Combustion and Flame 192 (2018): 59-70.

  • S. Varunkumar, M. Zaved, H.S. Mukunda. A novel approach to composite propellant combustion modeling with a new Heterogeneous Quasi One-dimensional (HeQu1-D) framework, Combustion and Flame, Volume 173, November 2016, Pages 411-424. 

  • S Varunkumar, N K S Rajan, and H S Mukunda. Experimental and computational studies on a gasifier based stove. Energy Conversion and Management, 53(1):135-141, 2012.

  • S Varunkumar, N K S Rajan, and H S Mukunda. Universal flame propagation behaviour in a packed bed of biomass. Combustion Science and Technology. 185 (8):1241-1260, 2013.

  • S Varunkumar, N K S Rajan and H S Mukunda. Single particle and packed bed combustion in modern gasifier stoves -density effects. Combustion Science and Technology, 183(11):1147-1163, 2011

Research Projects

  • Solid propellant combustion
  • Combustion Theory 
  • Biomass gasification and pyrolysis 
  • Packed bed reactors

Awards & Recognitions

  • 2012-2013-Prof. Chintakindi V Joga Rao Medal from IISc, Bangalore for best thesis in Aerospace Engineering