Prof. Cukurel’s research group conducts fundamental and applied research under the umbrella of L. Shirley Tark Turbo & Jet Engine Research Center, Israel’s only academic entity devoted to technology development in gas turbines for propulsion and power generation applications. His more recent specific concentrations include design for additive manufacturing, active noise cancellation, combustion of carbon-free sustainable fuels, and heat recuperation and diagnostics. These and other efforts have potential for long-lasting impact to society such as reducing aviation noise, prolonging range of unmanned platforms, diminishing emissions, and optimal integration of energy sources into the smart grid environment. Moreover, the laboratory supports educational activities of undergraduate students, serves as a test bench for postgraduates and post doctorate personnel, and serves as the center of knowledge for relevant local industries and the Air Force.
To financially support these mostly experimental efforts, Prof. Cukurel has obtained numerous research grants from entities including the National Science Foundation — Binational Science Foundation, the U.S. Navy, NATO, Germany’s Max Planck Society, several Israeli ministries, and Israel Aerospace Industries. He has some 40 journal publications and is the holder of 5 patents.
A recipient of numerous honors, Prof. Cukurel has received the Uzi & Michael Halevy Award for Innovative Applied Engineering at the Technion (2018); the Henri Gutwirth Prize Promoting Excellence in Israeli Research Fields (2017); and many more, including the Crown Vanguard Award in Science and Technology and the Hilda and Hershel Rich Technion Innovation Award, both in 2022.
Born in Izmir, Turkey, Prof. Cukurel moved to the U.S. when he was young and received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from Purdue University in mechanical engineering. During his Ph.D. studies, he also did research at the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium. Finishing his studies in 2012 at the age of 28, he made Aliyah to Israel and joined the Technion, becoming the youngest faculty member in Israel. Since then, he served his department as Vice Dean for Research and has been involved in many committees.