Dr. Lukas Durdina
Name: Lukas Durdina
Scientific interests: environmental impacts of aviation, jet engine emission measurement, aerosol measurement techniques, air quality
Outside science: travel, Polaroid photography, restoring and riding vintage road bikes, hiking, calisthenics, plane spotting, public speaking, classic cars
Career story: I have been interested in all things that fly, drive, or float ever since I can remember. Thus, studying mechanical engineering after high school was an obvious choice. My deeper interest in aviation started to develop after my first year at the university in Brno, Czech Republic; I did an internship in a small company building ultralight airplanes. My focus shifted after my bachelor’s thesis (to flow visualization methods) when I started helping out with research on aerosol deposition in a model of human lungs. I got fascinated by academic research, and spent most of my master’s in the lab designing and building equipment for laser-based measurements of fuel injectors for a small jet engine to reduce fuel burn and emissions.
Jet engine emissions then became a major part of my professional career as they were the topic of my Ph.D. and PostDoc research at Empa and ETH Zurich, where I stayed for more than six years as a researcher and co-lead of several national and international projects. As ZHAW took over the rudder from Empa in the engine emissions work in January 2019, I came on board as a senior research associate to carry this work forward. In our group, I provide expertise and mentoring in emission measurements, jet engine performance, aerosol instrumentation, and air quality.