Zach Owens
Zachary C. Owens, Ph.D., P.E.
Senior Managing Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Natick

Dr. Owens specializes in solving complex problems relating to fluid flow, heat transfer, mass transport, combustion, and thermodynamics. Application areas have included fire and explosion cause & origin investigations, failure analysis of gas turbines and consumer appliances, medical device performance evaluations relating to drug delivery and dermal heating, analysis of multiphase flows for the oil and gas industry, and thermal management of electronics and battery systems.

Dr. Owens has extensive expertise in developing and using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software and other analytical methods to solve a wide range of industrial problems. His past experience includes modeling the impact of degraded thermal insulation on an underground piping system, resistive heating and subsequent failure of poor electrical connections, dispersion and combustion of flammable gases, in vivo drug elution from cardiovascular stents, and flow of drilling fluids and multiphase hydrocarbons in wells.

Dr. Owens has an academic research background in both numerical and experimental analysis of chemically reacting flows, with particular emphasis on shock and detonation wave phenomenon. During his Ph.D. work at Stanford University, Dr. Owens wrote a state-of-the-art, multi-threaded, CFD code capable of evaluating supersonic flows with finite-rate combustion chemistry, shock wave-boundary layer interactions, and detonation wave dynamics. To validate the model, Dr. Owens conducted experiments employing laser-based velocimetry, high-speed schlieren imaging, and pressure sensing. Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Owens held positions at the Stanford High Temperature Gas Dynamics Laboratory, University of Virginia Aerospace Research Laboratory, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and NASA Glenn Research Center.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 2008
  • M.S., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 2004
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, 2002
  • Sigma Gamma Tau Outstanding Aerospace Engineering Graduate, 2002

    Louis T. Rader Chairperson’s Award, 2001, 2002

    Virginia Space Grant Consortium Scholarship, 2000 

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer, California, #36339

Fire Investigation 1A Certification accredited by the California State Fire Marshal

National Waste Operations and Emergency Response Training, 29 CFR 1910.120

Publications

Owens ZC, Hanson RK. The influence of wall heat transfer, friction, and condensation on detonation tube performance. Combustion Science and Technology 2010; 182(8).

Owens ZC. Flowfield characterization and model development in detonation tubes. Ph.D. Thesis, Stanford University, February 2008.

Li H., Owens ZC, Davidson DF, Hanson RK. A simple reactive gas dynamic model for the computation of gas temperature and species concentrations behind reflected shock waves. International Journal of Chemical Kinetics 2008; 40(4).

Owens ZC, Hanson RK. Single-cycle unsteady nozzle phenomena in pulse detonation engines. Journal of Propulsion and Power 2007; 23(2).

Owens ZC, Mattison DW, Barbour EA, Morris CI, Hanson RK. PDE flowfield characterization and simulation validation using cesium-based velocimetry. Proceedings, Combustion Institute 2005; 30:2791–2798.

Mattison DW, Oehlschlaeger MA, Morris CI, Owens ZC, Barbour EA, Jeffries JB, Hanson RK. Evaluation of pulse detonation engine modeling using laser-based temperature and OH measurements. Proceedings, Combustion Institute 2005; 30:2799–2807.

Presentations

Owens ZC, Hanson RK. Preliminary investigation into the influence of transverse waves in PDE simulations. Poster presentation, 21st International Colloquium on the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems (ICDERS), Poitiers, France, 2007.

Owens ZC, Hanson RK. Unsteady nozzle design for pulse detonation engines. Oral presentation, 41st AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Tucson, AZ, July 2005.

Owens ZC, Goyne CP, Krauss R, McDaniel JC. Assessment of particle seeder performance via direct flowfield sampling. Oral Presentation, 41st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, January 2003.


Professional Affiliations

The Combustion Institute

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Society of Petroleum Engineers

Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

Knowledge

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 2008
  • M.S., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 2004
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, 2002
  • Sigma Gamma Tau Outstanding Aerospace Engineering Graduate, 2002

    Louis T. Rader Chairperson’s Award, 2001, 2002

    Virginia Space Grant Consortium Scholarship, 2000 

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer, California, #36339

Fire Investigation 1A Certification accredited by the California State Fire Marshal

National Waste Operations and Emergency Response Training, 29 CFR 1910.120