Turbomachinery for Emerging Space Applications: Liquid Rocket Propulsion Online


  • This 24-hour course will cover an introduction to the interdisciplinary design of turbomachinery components within their corresponding systems in the context of liquid rocket engines.
  • All students will receive an AIAA Certificate of Completion at the end of the course

The design of liquid rocket engines requires careful considerations to ensure that mission requirements can be met safely. This 24-hour course will cover an introduction to the interdisciplinary design of turbomachinery components within their corresponding systems in the context of liquid rocket engines. Focus will be made on theory and will be illustrated with practical examples throughout the course, including through follow-along portions where attendees will be able to model cycles, perform turbine conceptual design, and more using the AxSTREAM® platform. Relevant topics include rocket cycles, turbine, pump, secondary flow, and rotor dynamics.


  • Going from mission requirements to turbopump design
  • Liquid rocket engine cycles
  • Understanding how turbopumps fit into a launcher vehicle
  • Modeling fluid properties
  • Designing subsonic and supersonic axial turbines for space application
  • Designing cryogenic pumps for the propellants involved
  • Specificities of rocket pumps compared to industrial ones
  • Understanding system behavior when all turbopump parts are coupled
    • Secondary flows
    • Rotordynamics
  • Benefits of flexible, integrated, multi-disciplinary design software
AUDIENCE: This course is intended for students, engineers, and managers involved or interested in the aero-thermodynamic and structural design of liquid propulsion turbomachinery components as well as how they fit in the rocket through their relevant systems.

Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
Course Level: Fundamentals
Course Length: 3 days
AIAA CEU's available: Yes

This course is also available on-demand. Register here. 

1.1 Overview of liquid rocket engines and propulsive cycles | 4 hours
1.1.1 Requirements for development of liquid propulsion systems
1.1.2 Development of preliminary concept of launcher for specific payload and orbit
1.1.3 Propulsive cycle options
1.1.4 Fluid properties modeling
1.1.5 Follow-along examples of modeling rocket engines in AxCYCLE™ (part of AxSTREAM® platform)

1.2 Turbine design theory for rockets | 8 hours
1.2.1 Turbomachinery design philosophy and process
1.2.2 General axial turbine design theory
1.2.3 Turbine specificities based on selected cycle (including sub- and supersonic turbines)
1.2.4 Detailed design and requirements for turbines for liquid rocket engines (LRE)
1.2.5 Follow-along conceptual design of a turbine for the RL-10 engine in AxSTREAM®

1.3 Cryogenic pump design | 6 hours
1.3.1 Centrifugal pump design theory
1.3.2 Specificities of pumps for rocket applications (including inducers, splitters and axial-flow pumps)
1.3.3 Detailed design and requirements for pumps for liquid propulsion
1.3.4 Follow-along conceptual design of a pump for the RL-10 engine in AxSTREAM®

1.4 Turbopump secondary flows | 2 hours
1.4.1 Turbopump configuration selection
1.4.2 Secondary flow modeling
1.4.3 Hydraulic losses and leakages determination
1.4.4 Axial force balancing

1.5 System-level rotor dynamics | 3 hours
1.5.1 Importance of rotor dynamics evaluation
1.5.2 Bearing elements commonly found in LRE
1.5.3 Basics of lateral and torsional rotor dynamic analyses

1.6 Example of automated preliminary design of LRE turbopump | 1 hour
AxSTREAM® Software Trial
The trial software will be provided to AIAA course participants (as approved by the software administrator) and includes all the AxSTREAM® modules (limited to axial and radial pumps and turbines when it comes to the flow path design, analysis and optimization) except for the opportunity to export geometries outside of the software. The software trial will include the various aspects of cycle, geometry design, rotordynamics, etc.
Mr. Clement Joly is a Senior Manager at SoftInWay and has been with the company since January 2013. He received his Master’s Degree in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Polytech ’Orleans in France and attended engineering classes at Wichita State University in Kansas (USA). Mr. Joly specializes in traditional and emerging technologies linked to turbomachinery components and systems. 

Dr. Vlad Goldenberg joined SoftInWay after completing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. His doctoral research involved the development of a novel aerodynamic synthesis method for a centrifugal compressor stage, and integrated CFD with optimization, AI, and machine learning. His other research involved novel heat pump modeling and optimization, and flow and heat transfer in porous media, with applications in heat transfer enhancement. Vlad’s research interests are in the areas of computation and modeling of thermal and fluid systems to solve complex engineering problems. Vlad has been a practitioner of turbomachinery analysis and design for over a decade. He implemented analysis methods on axial power generation gas turbines and steam turbines, also involving complete thermal engineering on the entire power generating process. He also developed centrifugal compressors for HVAC chillers, incorporating thermal modeling of the cycle into the design of the flow path, culminating in preliminary design through a full CFD analysis of compressor stages. Vlad holds B.S. degrees from UC Berkeley, M.S. from the University of St. Thomas, and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.


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