In 1966 Professor Dr. A. F. Schlader conceived the idea of introducing some form of research project on combustion engineering as an addition to the existing thermodynamics and heat transfer opportunities offered to graduate students. With help from the university and the National Research Council, he was able to establish a laboratory capable of testing a single combustion chamber (atmospheric inlet conditions) and another laboratory containing a small test rig for water flow visualisation. In 1968 the mechanical engineering department was augmented by the addition of a full-time professor to do research and teach combustion. For five years the teaching was limited to graduate courses, and at the same time, the laboratories were gradually being extended and improvements made, particularly with respect to instrumentation.

A major step was taken by the introduction of a course at the undergraduate level, and some five years after this, an additional undergraduate course was added as well as a complementary course on instrumentation. Laval University is one of few Canadian universities which offer a selection of undergraduate courses pertinent to combustion. All the undergraduate courses are ‘choice’, and the enrollment is generally from 10 to 35 students per course. On the retirement of Prof. Schlader a new professor was engaged. The expansion of the laboratories and their facilities continued to evolve such that they have become accepted as being of international stature. Initially almost all the work was concerned with gas turbine combustion, but of recent years several fundamental studies using laboratory flames have been carried out, and work has been done on automobile engine combustion and even some furnace work and the combustion of oil spills.

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