Faculty Directory
Richard Tankin

Professor Emeritus


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech M118
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-3532Email Richard Tankin


Mechanical Engineering


PhD Mechanical Engineering, Harvard University

MS Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

BS Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

Research Interests

Combustion; heat transfer; fluid flow

In engineering applications, sprays are used to enhance the transfer of heat and mass. Professor Tankin has several programs underway to study sprays that occur in combustion. In one of these programs, the maximum entropy principle was used to determine the probability distribution function for droplet sizes. This is a theoretical study that yielded results that agree with existing and often used empirical relations. Another program is an experimental study to determine the aerodynamic effects of the air flow on the shape of the spray and the trajectories of the droplet. The goal of this research is to obtain design parameters that are needed by designers of aircraft combustors. Combustors using this approach will be smaller in size and eliminate problems of blow-off. A project is underway to numerically model the air flow exiting from a spray-nozzle assembly. Experiments are also planned to check the model.

Selected Publications

Tankin, R. S., and X. Li. 1989. Prediction of drop size and velocity distributions in sprays using maximum entropy principle. Combustion Science and Technology 68: 147-55

Tankin, R. S., X. Li, and M. Renksizbulut. 1990. Calculated characteristics of droplet size and velocity distributions in liquid sprays. Particle and Particle Systems Characterization

Tankin, R. S., and X. Li. 1991. On temporal instability of two dimensional viscous liquid sheet. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 226: 425-43

Tankin, R. S., P. G. La Rose, T. Jackson, J. Stutrud, and G. Switzer. 1991. Droplet distributions from the breakup of a cylindrical liquid jet. Physics of Fluids A 3(8): 1897-190