The LCTP was initially established at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. Given the importance of producing clean efficient energy, one of the main goals of LCTP has been to conduct energy related research, specifically concentrated on turbulent combustion with the objective of increasing fossil fuel efficiency and reducing the pollutants associated with exhaust emissions. Advanced design of combustion systems such as automobile engines, gas turbines, aircraft and spacecraft propulsion systems, and industrial burners fully rely on accurate modeling of turbulent reacting flow inside them. These constitute active research areas at LCTP. The emphasis in this area is to develop more accurate and comprehensive models. With the accessibility of Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, great progress has been made in optimization and parallelization of the computer codes in use. This has enabled LCTP to tackle complex problems which are of great interest in engineering applications.

The research in this laboratory deals with fluid mechanics, combustion, heat and mass transfer, applied mathematics and numerical methods. The emphasis of current research in this laboratory is on "understanding physics and practical applications." Computational simulations are performed with the goal to study the underlying physics in energy systems. Current general areas of investigations are: turbulent mixing, chemically reacting flows, and high-speed combustion and propulsion. The numerical methodologies in use consist of spectral methods (collocation, Galerkin), a variety of finite difference, finite volume, and finite element schemes, Lagrangian methods, and many hybrid methods such as spectral-finite element and spectral-finite difference schemes. The laboratory is equipped with high-speed mini-supercomputers, graphic systems and state-of-the-art hardware and software for "flow visualization.'' Most computations require the use of off-cite supercomputers.