Robert Barlow

Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Reacting Flow Research Department, Combustion Research Facility

Short Bio

Robert Barlow joined the Combustion Research Facility in 1987 with a background in turbulent fluid mechanics and energy conversion systems.  He is the Principal Investigator in the Turbulent Combustion Laboratory, which is supported by the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Combustion Program.  Much of his experimental work is done in collaboration with visiting scientists and students from combustion research groups around the world, using burners designed in consultation with modelers to be test cases for model development and validation.  Rob is also a leading proponent of international collaboration in basic research on turbulent combustion and is the primary organizer (since 1996) of the International Workshop on Measurement and Computation of Turbulent Nonpremixed Flames (TNF).  He has authored/co-authored over 100 journal articles and book chapters on combustion, fluid mechanics, and thermal sciences.

Research Interests

Rob’s research involves simultaneous application of multiple laser diagnostic techniques to investigate fundamental issues of turbulence-chemistry interaction in flames, including turbulent flame structure, effects of finite rate chemistry, effects of differential molecular diffusion, flame stabilization, scalar dissipation, extinction and re-ignition, flame radiation, and pollutant formation.  A central theme throughout his research career has been to refine and extend Raman scattering techniques, in combination with Rayleigh scattering and laser-induced fluorescence, to obtain measurements of temperature and major species with high accuracy and high spatial resolution.


  • Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1985
  • Mechanical Engineering, M.S., Stanford University, 1980
  • Chemistry, B.A., Amherst College, 1977

Awards, Honors and Memberships

  • The Alfred C. Egerton Gold Medal of the Combustion Institute (2014)
  • Program Co-Chair, 34th Combustion Symposium (2012)
  • Editorial Board member, Combustion Theory and Modelling (1996 – present)
  • Editor, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute (2003 – 2007)
  • Editorial Board Member, Progress in Energy and Combustion Science (2002 – 2004)
  • The Silver Medal of the Combustion Institute (2004)
  • W.O. Adams Award for Outstanding Achievement in Combustion Science (2000)
  • Member, Combustion Institute

Selected Publications

Zhou, R.; Balusamy, S.; Sweeney, M.S.; Barlow, R.S.; Hochgreb, S.; “Flow field measurements of a series of turbulent premixed and stratified methane/air flames,” Combust. Flame 2013, 160, 2017-2028.

Sweeney, M.S.; Hochgreb, S.; Dunn, M.J.; Barlow, R.S., “Multiply conditioned analyses of stratification in highly swirling methane/air flames,” Combust. Flame 2013, 160, 322-334.

Dunn, M.J.; Barlow, R.S., “Effects of preferential transport and strain in bluff body stabilized lean and rich premixed CH4/air flames,” Proc. Combust. Inst. 2012, 34, 1411-1419.

Sweeney, M.S.; Hochgreb, S.; Dunn, M.J.; Barlow, R.S., “The structure of turbulent stratified and premixed methane/air flames I: Non-swirling flows,” Combust. Flame 2012, 159, 2896-2911.

Sweeney, M.S.; Hochgreb, S.; Dunn, M.J.; Barlow, R.S., “The structure of turbulent stratified and premixed methane/air flames II: Swirling flows,” Combust. Flame 2012, 159, 2912-2929.

Barlow, R.S.; Dunn, M.J.; Sweeney, M.S.; Hochgreb, S., “Effects of preferential transport in turbulent bluff-body-stabilized lean premixed CH4/air flames,”Combust. Flame 2012, 159, 2563-2575.

Fuest, F.; Barlow, R.S.; Geyer, D.; Seffrin, F.; Dreizler, A., “Raman/Rayleigh scattering and CO-LIF measurements in laminar and turbulent jet flames of dimethyl ether,” Combust. Flame 2012, 159, 2533-2562.

Sevault, A.; Dunn, M.J.; Barlow, R.S.; Ditaranto, M., “On the structure of the near field of oxy-fuel jet flames using Raman/Rayleigh laser diagnostics,” Combust. Flame 2012, 159, 3342-3352.

Fuest, F.; Barlow, R.S.; Chen, J.-Y.; Dreizler, A., “A hybrid method for evaluation of 1D Raman spectroscopy,” Proc. Combust. Inst. 2011, 33, 815-822.

Dunn, M.J.; Masri, A.R.; Bilger, R.W.; Barlow, R.S., “Finite rate chemistry effects in highly sheared turbulent premixed flames,” Flow. Turb. Combust. 2010, 85, 621-648.

Barlow, R.S.; Wang, G.H.; Anselmo-Filho, P.; Sweeney, M.S.; Hochgreb, S., “Application of Raman/Rayleigh/LIF diagnostics in turbulent stratified flames,” Proc. Combust. Inst. 2009, 32, 945-953.

Dunn, M.J.; Masri, A.R.; Bilger, R.W.; Barlow, R.S.; Wang, G.H., “The compositional structure of highly turbulent piloted premixed flames issuing into hot coflow,”Proc. Combust. Inst. 2009, 32, 1779-1786.

Barlow, R.S.; Ozarovsky, H.C.; Karpetis, A.N.; Lindstedt, R.P., “Piloted jet flames of CH4/H2/Air:  experiments on localized extinction in the near field at high Reynolds numbers,” Combust. Flame 2009, 156, 2117-2128.

Wang, G.H.; Barlow, R.S., “Spatial resolution effects on the measurement of scalar variance and scalar dissipation in turbulent nonpremixed jet flames,” Exp. Fluids 2008, 44, 633–645.

Wang, G.H.; Clemens, N.T.; Varghese, P.L.; Barlow, R.S., “Turbulent time scales in a nonpremixed turbulent jet flame by using high-repetition rate thermometry,” Combust, Flame 2008, 152, 317-335.

Wang, G.H.; Karpetis, A.N.; Barlow, R.S., “Dissipation length scales in turbulent nonpremixed jet flames,” Combust. Flame 2007, 148, 62-75.

Barlow, R.S., “Laser diagnostics and their interplay with computations to understand turbulent combustion,” (invited plenary paper) Proc. Combust. Inst. 2007, 31, 49-75.

Lindstedt, R.P.; Ozarovsky, H.C.; Barlow, R.S.; Karpetis, A.N., “Progression of localised extinction in high Reynolds turbulent jet flames,” Proc. Combust. Inst. 2007, 31, 1551-1558.

Masri, A.R.; Kalt, P.A.M.; Al-Abdeli, Y.M.; Barlow, R.S., “Turbulence-chemistry interactions in non-premixed swirling flames,” Combust. Theory Modelling 2007, 11, 653-673.


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