Student Highlights: Matthew Brown


Class:  Graduate Student

Major:  Mechanical Engineering

Matthew (Matt) Brown is from Hastings, NE, where he graduated from Hastings College. While there, he played basketball and earned a B.A. degree in Physics. He came to the University of Wyoming in Fall 2017 to work on his graduate studies with his advisor Dr. Erica Belmont.

Since moving to Wyoming, Matt has discovered the great outdoors and enjoys going on days-long backpacking trips. In his spare time, Matt’s other hobbies include fishing, playing basketball, and competing in as many intramural activities as possible.


Currently in pursuit of a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Matt’s research focuses on characterizing the fundamental properties of cool flames produced while burning heptane and solid materials such as high-density polyethylene. Insights into cool flame low-temperature chemistry could lead to reduced engine knock or higher efficiency engines. Furthermore, the unexpected discovery of cool flame formation aboard the International Space Station during droplet combustion experiments has led to a need to understand the burning behavior and limitations of cool flames in microgravity environments. Using a combination of numerical simulations and experiments, Matt is hoping to answer some of these initial questions.

Particle image velocimetry of a methane-ethylene flame utilizing a Hencken burner. Particle image velocimetry is used to measure the flow field of gases in and around a burner stabilized flame. Other laser diagnostic techniques can also be used to measure the species concentrations in a flame.


Every year, we award fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students attending the University of Wyoming or one of Wyoming’s community colleges in order to provide them with the opportunity to do “real” research. Occasionally, we feature one of these students and their research on this blog. For more information about our student fellowships, visit our College Programs page.