Dr. Javier Urzay works as Senior Research Engineer at the Center for Turbulence
Research, Stanford University (USA). He obtained his B.Sc./M.Sc. degree in
Mechanical Engineering in 2005 from the Carlos III University of Madrid
(Spain), and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering in 2006
and 2010 from the University of California San Diego (USA) working on
theoretical aspects of combustion physics and fluid mechanics. His research
interests include chemically reacting flows, multiphase turbulent flows,
chemical rockets, hypersonic aerothermodynamics, supersonic
combustion, and their engineering applications to aeronautics,
astronautics, and national security. He currently serves in the United States
Air Force (USAF) reserves at Travis Air Force Base, California.

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Ph.D. Aerospace Engineer, University of California San Diego (UCSD), Theoretical Fluid mechanics and Combustion Physics (2010)
  • M.Sc. Aerospace Engineer, University of California San Diego (UCSD), Fluid Mechanics and Applied Mathematics (2006)
  • B.Sc./M.Sc. Mechanical Engineer, Carlos III University of Madrid (Spain), Energy Technologies, Fluid Mechanics, Combustion, and Propulsion (5-year program) (2005)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Chemically reacting flows, multi-phase turbulent flows,
compressible flows, hypersonic aerothermodynamics,
supersonic combustion, chemical rockets,
and their applications to aeronautics and astronautics.

2019-20 Courses

Stanford Advisees

  • Doctoral Dissertation Reader (AC)
    Ronald Chan

All Publications

  • Aerodynamic generation of electric fields in turbulence laden with charged inertial particles NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Di Renzo, M., Urzay, J. 2018; 9: 1676


    Self-induced electricity, including lightning, is often observed in dusty atmospheres. However, the physical mechanisms leading to this phenomenon remain elusive as they are remarkably challenging to determine due to the high complexity of the multi-phase turbulent flows involved. Using a fast multi-pole method in direct numerical simulations of homogeneous turbulence laden with hundreds of millions of inertial particles, here we show that mesoscopic electric fields can be aerodynamically created in bi-disperse suspensions of oppositely charged particles. The generation mechanism is self-regulating and relies on turbulence preferentially concentrating particles of one sign in clouds while dispersing the others more uniformly. The resulting electric field varies over much larger length scales than both the mean inter-particle spacing and the size of the smallest eddies. Scaling analyses suggest that low ambient pressures, such as those prevailing in the atmosphere of Mars, increase the dynamical relevance of this aerodynamic mechanism for electrical breakdown.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-03958-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000430923500001

    View details for PubMedID 29700300

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5920100

  • Supersonic combustion in air-breathing propulsion systems for hypersonic flight ANNUAL REVIEW OF FLUID MECHANICS Urzay, J. 2018; 50: 593-627
  • The role of separation of scales in the description of spray combustion PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMBUSTION INSTITUTE Sanchez, A. L., Urzay, J., Linan, A. 2015; 35: 1549–77