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Dr. Daniel I. Pineda is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UTSA. Prof. Pineda’s primary research focus is on spectroscopy and optically-based sensor development, including laser absorption spectroscopy, with experimental applications to advanced chemical propulsion, hypersonic flight, and energy conversion systems. His interests include the chemical kinetics of ignition, fuel reformation, as well as fire toxicant and pollutant formation for broader environmental and health monitoring applications. In all research projects, Dr. Pineda strongly emphasizes experimental and modeling uncertainty quantification to best inform the advancement in scientific understanding of the underlying physics and chemistry.

Originally a native of San Antonio, Texas, Dr. Pineda completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Combustion) at the University of California, Berkeley. He subsequently held a postdoctoral appointment in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he gained extensive experience field-testing rocket engines for both engineering education and advanced propulsion research.

Experimental research projects in our laboratory are often a fusion of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, chemistry, and mechanical design. Student researchers in our laboratory combine these core mechanical engineering concepts with elements of fundamental spectroscopy, molecular physics, and applied optics to solve the world’s most challenging and relevant aerospace and energy problems. Please explore our website to learn more!


Research Opportunities
We are currently looking to fill the following positions: PhD-seeking Graduate Student Research Assistant, Masters of Science-seeking Graduate Student Research Assistant, and Undergraduate Student Research Assistant. Please use the information in the ‘Contact’ link to communicate your interest to Prof. Pineda.