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Professional headshot of Indrek Wichman

Indrek Wichman


Mechanical Engineering (ME), College of Engineering

Engr Rsch Complex, 1497 Engineering Research Ct Room 147


Indrek S. Wichman is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His principal area of research is combustion. Forays have also been made into heat transfer in composite materials, Green Roof analysis, solid mechanics, education research, and into writing --- with Professor Pence --- a graduate-level textbook on applied mathematics for engineers. Dr. Wichman's research uses analytical ... and numerical modeling techniques as well as direct experimental methods. The main combustion topics are related to flame spread over fuel surfaces, flame/surface interaction during combustion, microgravity combustion, ignition and quenching of combustion, and engine combustion with emphasis on TJI = Turbulent Jet Ignition. There is a significant level of effort on the topic of TJI at Michigan State University: see also Dr. Schock and Dr. Toulson's bios. Dr. Wichman was attracted to mechanics generally (solids, fluids, dynamical systems) as an undergraduate at Stony Brook University. Those topics subsequently congealed to "burning fluids and surfaces" --- namely, combustion. He is pleased to be teaching at MSU after earning his Ph.D. at Princeton University and holding a postdoctoral appointment at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). He has also held research scientist appointments at the Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus (= Finnish Technical Research Institute, Helsinki, Finland), at Ecole Centrale de Paris and and Institut Français du Petrole (Paris, France), and at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway).

Research Areas:

Combustion Theory

Experiment and Simulations

Flame and Fire Spread

Flame Surface Interaction

Ignition and Quenching

Modeling of Complex Gas and Solid Phase Processes

Professional Service:

President-Elect, Central States Section of the Combustion Institute: 2007-2009.
Chair, Central States Section of the Combustion Institute: 2009-2011.
High School Outreach: Used funds gathered by hosting successful Combustion meetings (for which revenues exceeded anticipated costs) to support High School outreach programs introducing Combustion to High School students in their senior level Chemistry courses.
Conference chair, Central States Section Meeting of the Combustion Institute, Cleveland, OH (2006) and several others since.

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Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University 1983

M.S., Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute 1979

B.S.M.E., Mechanical Engineering, State University of New York at Stony Brook 1978


Nguyen, Y. T., Pence, T. J. and Wichman, I. S., "Crack Formation During Solid Pyrolysis: Evolution, Pattern Formation and Statistical Behaviour," Proceedings of the Royal Society A, Vol. 475, 20190211.

Nguyen, Y. T., Wichman, I. S. and Pence, T. J., "Cracking During Flame Spread over Pyrolyzing Solids," Progress in Scale Modeling, Vol. 1 (2020).

Gholamisheeri, M, Thelen, B. C., Gentz, G. R., Wichman, I. S. and Toulson, E., "Rapid Compression Machine Study of a Premixed, Variable Inlet Density and Flow Rate, Confined Turbulent Jet," Combustion and Flame, Vol. 169, pp. 321-332 (2016).

Wichman, I. S., Olson, S. L., Miller, F. J. and Haraiharan, A., "Fire in Microgravity," American Scientist (cover article), pp. 44 -52, January/February (2016).


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