Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Guillermo Paniagua

Committee Member 1

Ilias Bilionis

Committee Member 2

Jay P Gore

Committee Member 3

Nicole L Key

Committee Member 4

Wolfgang Schroder

Committee Member 5

Tom I Shih

Committee Member 6

Ali A Ameri

Committee Member 7

Francesco Contino

Committee Member 8

Laurent Bricteux


Developments in turbomachinery focus on efficiency and reliability enhancements, while reducing the production costs. In spite of the many noteworthy experimental and numerical investigations over the past decades, the turbine tip design presents numerous challenges to the engine manufacturers, and remains the primary factor defining the machine durability for the periodic removal of the turbine components during overhaul. Due to the hot gases coming from the upstream combustion chamber, the turbine blades are subjected to temperatures far above the metal creep temperature, combined with severe thermal stresses induced within the blade material. Inadequate designs cause early tip burnouts leading to considerable performance degradations, or even a catastrophic turbine failure. Moreover, the leakage spillage, nowadays often exceeding the transonic regime, generates large aerodynamic penalties which are responsible for about one third of the turbine losses. In this view, the current doctoral research exploits the potential through the modification and optimization of the blade tip shape as a means to control the tip leakage flow aerodynamics and manage the heat load distribution over the blade profile to improve the turbine efficiency and durability.