Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Earth Sciences Division Staff: Karthik Kashinath

Karthik Kashinath

Karthik Kashinath

Project Scientist

Climate Sciences Department



Phone: 510-495-2407

Fax: 510-486-5686


Biographical Summary

I am interested (broadly) in the areas of nonlinear climate dynamics, fluid dynamics and multi-scale modeling. My current research focuses on extreme weather and climate change and I am part of the CASCADE SFA ( I work on enhancing the physical foundations of state-of-the-science climate models. One of the main objectives of my research is ascertaining and improving the credibility of extreme weather and climate projections under climate change scenarios. 


University of Cambridge Cambridge, U.K.
Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Expected Nov. 2013

  • Thesis: Nonlinear phenomena in thermoacoustic systems with premixed flames
  • Supervisor: Dr. Matthew Juniper, Adviser: Professor Dame Ann Dowling
  • Coursework grade: First Class Honours (for awards and publications refer later sections)

Stanford University Stanford, CA, U.S.A.
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Energy and Thermofluids) Sep. 2007 - Jun. 2009
Research projects:

  • Coal energy conversion with aquifer-based carbon sequestration
  • Combined electrolyzer and Carbon fuel cell system for cogeneration of hydrogen and electricity

Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT Madras) Chennai, India
Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering Aug. 2003 - Jun. 2007

  • Thesis: Improved fuel-air mixing in supersonic combustion ramjets using opposed cavities

Professional Experience

Cambridge  University  Engineering  Department Cambridge, U.K.
Oct. 2009 - Sep. 2013
Ph.D. Student  

  • Investigating the complex nonlinear behaviour of ducted premixed flames using coupled flame-acoustic solvers in the time domain.
  • Applying dynamical systems theory and nonlinear time series analysis techniques to understand the periodic, quasi-periodic, frequency-locked and chaotic behaviour of thermoacoustic systems.
  • Studying the influence of hydrodynamics on the nonlinear behaviour of ducted premixed flames.
  • Derived analytical criteria to predict limit cycle amplitudes, stability and bifurcation phenomena using the acoustic energy equation and the flame describing function.
  • Analysed the effect of combustor cooling liner geometry and flow on acoustic energy absorption.
  • Developed a thermoacoustic network model of the Intermediate Pressure Combustion Facility.

Global  Climate  and  Energy  Program  (GCEP),  Stanford  University Stanford, CA, U.S.A.
Jan. 2009 - Jun. 2009
Research Assistant (10 hrs/wk concurrently with Masters coursework)

  • Simulated heat transfer and fluid flow within supercritical fluid pipelines of a coal reformer for the GCEP project - Coal Energy Conversion with Aquifer-Based Carbon Sequestration.

Thermosciences Division, Dept. of Mech. Eng., Stanford University Stanford, CA, U.S.A.
Mar. 2009 - Jun. 2009
Research Analyst (Advanced energy systems project)

  • Modelled a novel energy device consisting of a direct Carbon solid oxide fuel cell in conjunction with a reductant enhanced electrolyzer for the cogeneration of electricity and hydrogen.

Innovations in Advanced Engineering Group, RENAULT Paris, France
Jun. 2008 - Aug. 2008
Summer Intern

  • Developed a mathematical model to predict battery performance in electric vehicles across diverse operating conditions and geographical locations, including effects of climate control devices.

Cambridge Combustion Research Centre Cambridge, U.K.
May 2006 - Aug. 2006

Summer  Intern

  • Designed the seeding mechanism for Particle Image Velocimetry, an integral part of the optical diagnostics for combustion experiments, for the Intermediate Pressure Combustion Facility.
  • Optimized design of a Rolls Royce Fuel Cell Off-gas Combustor to reduce NOx and CO emissions to sub-10ppm level.

Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, John F Welch Technology Center, General Electric Company Bangalore, India
Jun. 2005 - Aug. 2005
Summer Intern

  • Re-designed the burner locations of GE Gas Ovens based on deductions from experimental heat transfer studies to reduce non-uniformities in the temperature distribution.
  • Modelled a novel electronics cooling device that uses piezo-actuated vibrating fins to improve temperature drop by 50 percent compared to conventional fin-cooling.
  • Won the 2005 GE Best Intern Award for research innovation and effective communication.

Thermodynamics and Combustion Eng. Laboratory, IIT Madras Chennai, India
Jun. 2004 - Jun. 2007
Research  Assistant 

  • Improved fuel-air mixing in ducted supersonic flows using cavity oscillations of opposed cavities.
  • Optimized cavity geometry and relative positions to yield maximum mixing enhancement.
  • Results were presented at a peer-reviewed international conference (refer section on Publications).

Teaching Experience

Cambridge  University  Engineering  Department Cambridge, U.K.
Sept. 2012 - Jun. 2013:  Teaching Assistant (part time, 10 hrs/wk)
Jan. 2010 - Jun. 2012:  Supervisor (part time, 8 hrs/wk)

  • Supervising undergraduate students in Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer, Compressible flows, Turbomachinery and Numerical Methods in Engineering.

Teach First and Reach Cambridge Cambridge, U.K.
Apr. 2010, 2011, 2012 and Jul. 2011:  Teacher and coordinator

  • Designed and implemented parts of a 3-week course, including practical sessions, to inspire high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue engineering degrees at university.
  • Organised student competitions in building water rockets with highest range, plastic wind turbines with maximum power output and paper bridges with greatest load to weight ratio.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University Stanford, CA, U.S.A.

Sep. 2007 - Jun. 2009:  Teaching Assistant (part time, 20 hrs/wk)

  • Tutored undergraduate students for courses in energy, thermal and fluid sciences.
  • Directed the installation of a new water tunnel in the Stanford Fluid Mechanics Laboratory and designed new experiments for the undergraduate fluids engineering lab.
  • Nominated for the Stanford University Centennial Teaching Assistant award in 2009.

Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards

Doctoral Research Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards 

  • ERCOFTAC (European Research Community On Flow, Turbulence and Combustion) 2013 da Vinci prize for the “most gifted researcher in the field who has the best combination of scientific merit and presentational quality”. (EUR 1,000 )
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) Scholarship 2012 for outstanding doctoral research in gas turbine technologies. ($2,000 )
  • ERCOFTAC (European Research Community On Flow, Turbulence and Combustion) 10th Osborne Reynolds Research Student Award 2012 for the best doctoral research (UK-wide). (£500 )
  • Best paper award in the 2012 ASME Turbo Expo conference in the committee on “Combustion, Fuels and Emissions”.
  • Best poster award in the 2010 meeting of the Combustion Institute (British section) on “Gas turbine combustion:  present and future challenges”.  (£100) 
  • Dorothy Hodgkin post-graduate award for doctoral research at the University of Cambridge. (£90,000 )
  • Trinity College Rouse Ball Research Grant in 2012 for research travel. (£1,000)
  • Cambridge University Engineering Department Research Travel Grant from the Ford of Britain Trust in 2010, 2011 and 2012. (£2,100)

Other Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards

  • Stanford Graduate Teaching Assistantship in 2007-08 and 2008-09 to pursue a Masters in Mechanical Engineering while simultaneously working as a Teaching Assistant at 20 hours per week. ($87,500 )
  • Nominated for the Stanford University Centennial Teaching Assistant Award in 2009 for “teaching assistants who display unusual commitment to, and excellence in, teaching”.
  • 2006 Summer Research Fellowship from the Indian Academy of Sciences for research in environmental fluid dynamics at the Centre for Atmospheric and Ocean Science, Bangalore. (INR 12,000 )
  • 2006 Summer Research Fellowship from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research for research in turbulence. (INR 12,000 )
  • GE Best Intern Award in 2005 for achieving excellence in research, innovation and communication of ideas. (INR 10,000 )
  • First in the university-level nation-wide Indian National Mathematics Olympiad in 2004. (INR 5,000 )