Gaetano Magnotti, Ph.D.


Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Research Interests

Professor Magnotti investigates sustainable combustion solutions to decarbonize the energy and the heavy-duty transportation sector.

At the core of Professor Magnotti’s research is the development of novel, cutting-edge, laser diagnostics methods for measurements of temperature, and major and minor species in reactive flows. Areas of particular interest are the development of Raman/Rayleigh scattering, high-precision, kHz rate, pulse-burst laser diagnostics, and quantitative laser-induced fluorescence.

By applying advanced laser diagnostics to combustion test cases ranging from small laminar flames to meter-long turbulent jet flames, his group obtains unprecedented insight into the combustion physics of carbon-free and carbon-neutral fuel. Current active research areas include the combustion of ammonia, and hydrogen at atmospheric and elevated pressures, oxy-fuel combustion in supercritical CO2, and supersonic combustion.

Through imaging and laser diagnostics in optically accessible, heavy-duty internal combustion engines, Professor Magnotti’s group investigates novel strategies to increase engine efficiency, including pre-chamber assisted combustion for ultra-lean operation, and isobaric combustion. Upcoming projects focus on heavy-duty internal combustion engines fueled by carbon-free (hydrogen and ammonia) and carbon-neutral (methanol) fuels. 

Selected Publications


  • Postdoctoral Appointee at the Combustion Research Facility, Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore California, 2012-2016.
  • Graduate Research Assistant at NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA, 2006-2012
  • Ph.D. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The George Washington University, Washington DC, USA, 2012.
  • B.Sc., Aerospace Engineering, University of Naples, “Federico II”, 2004

Professional Profile

  • 2012-2016: Postdoctoral Appointee, Sandia National Laboratories, Combustion Research Facility, Livermore, CA, USA
  • 2004-2012: Graduate Research Assistant, NASA Langley Research Center, Hypersonic Airbreathing Propulsion Branch, Hampton, VA, USA

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • The Combustion Institute
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


  • 2012 AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology Best Paper Award from the AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology Technical Committee.
  • Group Achievement Award, from NASA Langley Research Center,2008
  • Superior Accomplishment Award from NASA Langley Research Center, 2007

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC)
  • Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) 

Research Interests Keywords

​Combustion Laser Diagnostics Turbulence Gas Turbines Internal Combustion Engines