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Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Dr.Fletcher Miller

Headshot photo of Dr. Fletcher Miller- Male, Grey background, brown medium length hair, thin wire framed glasses, light grey suit with tie.

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley      
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Combustion, Fire, Sustainable Energy, Solar Thermal Power


Dr. Miller received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1988. Dr. Miller has broad interests spanning the thermal sciences and sustainable energy. For sixteen years he worked at NASA Glenn Research Center conducting microgravity combustion research in the areas of flame spread over liquids and solids, solid particle combustion, flammability of non-homogeneous gas mixtures, and catalyzed microcombustion. He has significant combustion diagnostic experience including PIV and optical techniques such as interferometry and rainbow schlieren. Prior to joining SDSU he led a NASA team evaluating new test methods for material flammability tests for spacecraft, and is interested in fire prevention, detection, and suppression in ground-based facilities as well. Outside of work, he helped found a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable energy that is now one of the largest in the country. He is especially interested in developing solar thermal applications in the southwest and California.  


Funding Agencies

Google, California Energy Commission, NIST, Sandia National Laboratory, NASA, DOE


10 Recent Journal Publications

1. Subrata Bhattacharjee, Christopher P. Paolini, Fletcher Miller, Rohit Nagarkar, “Radiation signature in opposed–flow flame spread,”    Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, an International Journal, Volume 12, Number 4, pp. 293-301, 2012.
2. Kyle Kitzmiller† and Fletcher Miller, “Effect of Variable Guide Vanes and Natural Gas Hybridization for Accommodating Fluctuations in Solar Input to a Gas Turbine,” ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, Vol. 134, pp. 041008-1 to 041008-12, Nov. 2012.
3. Indrek Wichman, Sandra Olson, Fletcher Miller, and Stefanus Tanaya, “Experimental evaluation of flame and flamelet spread over cellulosic materials using the narrow channel apparatus,” Fire and Materials, doi: 10.1002/fam.2143, 2012.
4. Kyle Kitzmiller† and Fletcher Miller, “Thermodynamic Cycles for a Small Particle Heat Exchange Receiver Used in Concentrating Solar Power Plants,”  ASME Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, Vol. 133, pp. 031014-1 to 031014-8, August 2011.
5. Sandra L. Olson, Fletcher J. Miller, Saeed Jahangirian, and Indrek S. Wichman, “Flame spread over thin fuels in actual and simulated microgravity conditions,” Combustion and Flame, Vol. 156, pp. 1214-1226, 2009.
6. Sandra L. Olson and Fletcher J. Miller, “Experimental Comparison of Opposed and Concurrent Flame Spread in a Forced Convective Microgravity Environment,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol. 32, Issue 2, pp. 2445–2452, 2009.
7. Marcos Villa-Gonzalez†, Anthony Marchese, John W. Easton, and Fletcher J. Miller, “Experimental Measurements of Two-Dimensional Planar Propagating Edge Flames,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol. 31, Issue 1, pp. 939-946, 2007.
8. Sandra L. Olson, Fletcher J. Miller, and Indrek S. Wichman, “A new species of fire: Characterizing fingering flamelets using biological population measures,” Combustion Theory and Modeling Vol. 10, No. 2, April 2006, pp. 323–347  Included journal cover photo.
9. Fletcher J. Miller, J. W. Easton, H. D. Ross, and A. Marchese, “Gravitational Effects on Flame Spread Through Non-Homogeneous Gas Layers,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol. 29, Issue 2, pp. 2561-2567, 2002.
10. Fletcher J. Miller, H. D. Ross, I. Kim, and W. A. Sirignano, “Parametric Investigations of Pulsating Flame Spread Across 1-Butanol Pools,” Symposium (International) on Combustion, Vol. 28, Issue 2, pp. 2827-2834, 2000. 


Office: EIS 206


Phone: (619) 594-5791

Fax: (619) 594-3599

Laboratory:(619) 594-3774

M/C: 1323 

For more information, visit

Personal Webpage

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, E-326

San Diego State University

5500 Campanile Drive

San Diego, CA 92182-1323