Dr. Varunkumar, S.

Assistant Professorvaruns

Office Room No : 206-B, Thermodynamics & Combustion Engineering Lab
Tel: (O) : +91 44 2257 4717
Email :


Dr. S Varunkumar received his PhD from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in 2012. He worked as a research associate at IISc from February, 2012 to May, 2013 and as Assistant professor (on contract) till December, 2013 at IIT Ropar, Punjab, before joining IIT Madras.

His research interest includes thermo-chemical conversion of biomass and coal for energy and fuels and modeling instability in solid rocket motors.

Awards & Honors

  1. Prof. Chintakindi V Joga Rao Medal from IISc, Bangalore for best thesis in Aerospace Engineering for the year 2012 – 2013


Selected Publications (Google scholar profile)

Refereed International Journals

  1. S Varunkumar, N K S Rajan and H S Mukunda. Single particle and packed bed combustion in modern gasifier stoves -density effects. Combustion Science and Technology, 183(11):1147-1163, 2011.
  2. S Varunkumar, N K S Rajan, and H S Mukunda. Experimental and computational studies on a gasifier based stove. Energy Conversion and Management, 53(1):135-141, 2012.
  3. S Varunkumar, N K S Rajan, and H S Mukunda. Universal flame propagation behaviour in a packed bed of biomass. Combustion Science and Technology. 185 (8):1241-1260, 2013.
  4. S. Varunkumar, M. Zaved, H.S. Mukunda. A novel approach to composite propellant combustion modeling with a new Heterogeneous Quasi One-dimensional (HeQu1-D) framework, Combustion and Flame, Volume 173, November 2016, Pages 411-424. (link to MATLAB code for HeQu1-D).
  5. S Varunkumar and H. S. Mukunda. Aluminized composite propellant combustion modeling with Heterogeneous Quasi-One dimensional (HeQu1-D) approach. Combustion and Flame 192 (2018): 59-70.
  6. V M Jaganathan and S Varunkumar. Net carbon-di-oxide conversion and other novel features of packed bed biomass gasification with O2/CO2 mixtures. Fuel 244 (2019): 545-558.
  7. V.M. Jaganathan, Omex Mohan, S. Varunkumar, Intrinsic hydrogen yield from gasification of biomass with oxy-steam mixtures. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 44, Issue 33, (2019):17781-17791.
  8. Ali, S. M., and S. Varunkumar. “Effect of burner diameter and diluents on the extinction strain rate of syngas-air non-premixed Tsuji-type flames.” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2020).

International Conferences

  1. Arvind Iyer, Balamurali N R, and Varunkumar S. Random packing of multi-modal spheres in a cubic box – a model for understanding AP/HTPB based composite solid propellants. International Autumn Seminar on Propellants, Explosives and Pyrotechnics, Shandong Province, China. September 2015.
  2.  Ajey N and Varunkumar S. Coupled Dimensional analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics Approach to Design of alpha-type Stirling Engines. Proceedings of 17th International Stirling Engine Conference, August, 2016, Northurmbria University, UK
  3. Jaganathan V M, Kalyani A M and Varunkumar S. Unified igntion – de-volatalization model fixed bed biomass gasification/combustion. 11th European Conference on Industrial Furnaces and Boilers, Portugal, April, 2017.
  4. Ali S.M and Varunkumar S. On the extinction strain rates of counter-flow diffusion flames. 11th ASPACC, Sydney, December, 2017.
  5. Vishal Wadhai and Varunkumar S. Linear instability and DC shift in tactical missile solid rocket motors – a computational study. 11th ASPACC, Sydney, December, 2017.
  6. Ali S.M and Varunkumar S. Preliminary results on syngas kinetic mechanism optimization using the new Opt-D* algorithm. 11th International Conference on Chemical Kinetics, Orleans, June, 2019.

National Conferences

  1. S Varunkumar, V M Jaganathan and N Ajey. Application of Universal Flame Propagation Behaviour in Biomass Packed Bed to Design of Grate Furnaces. NCICEC, Dehradun. November, 2015.


  1. S Varunkumar. Open issues in soot modeling. July, 2016.

Student guidance

  1. M Zaved (MS) – Heterogeneous quasi one dimensional model for steady state combustion of AP/HTPB based composite propellants (pdf).
  2. N Ajey (MS) – Experimental and computational studies on an alpha type Stirling engine for combined heat and power applications (pdf).
  3. Vishal Wadhai (MS) – Unsteady heterogeneous quasi 1-D combustion model for AP-HTPB based composite propellant (pdf)

My reading list