Robert Steele | AIChE

Robert Steele

Technical Executive
Electric Power Research Institute

Dr. Steele is the Technical Executive at the Electric Power Research Institute in Charlotte, NC, USA of the Combined-Cycle Turbomachinery program (P79).   He is involved all aspects regarding industrial gas turbine research and development including hot section/combustor life cycle, compressor/turbine rotor life extension and durability, and combustor monitoring, tuning, and turndown.  His expertise is in the area of fuels, combustion fundamentals, and gas turbine combustor design optimization with particular interest in carbon-free fuels, combustion driven pressure dynamics, combustor rig testing and instrumentation, and ultra-low emissions designs.    

Prior to joining P79, he was a Senior Project Manager in the EPRI Advanced Generation (P66) program with specific focus on coal applications and large project demonstrations.  Dr. Steele focused on Integrated Gasification Combined-Cycles (IGCC), gas turbine syngas applications, new oxygen separation technologies including the Air Products Ion Transport Membrane, and advanced laser techniques for measuring gasifier flame temperatures. He has additional expertise in the areas of CO2 handling with emphasis on advanced compression, power plant integration, thermos-physical properties of CO2 mixtures, and pipeline transportation.

He has thirty years’ experience in gas turbine combustion research, development and test; and electric power generation industry including carbon capture, compression and sequestration. Prior to joining EPRI, Steele was a Vice President and Combustion Team Leader at Ramgen Power Systems in Bellevue, Washington. He was directly involved in the development of lean premixed trapped vortex combustion designs for gas turbines and supersonic compressor designs for industrial gas compression applications with specific focus on CO2. In addition, he also worked at Solar Turbines in San Diego as the Mars SoloNOx Engine Combustion Team Leader.

Education and Training

BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

PhD in Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA