Professional Info

Dr. Daniel J. Duke, PhD

Senior Lecturer
Laboratory for Turbulence Research in Aerospace & Combustion
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Monash University, Australia

ARC DECRA Fellow (2017)
Fulbright Fellow (2011)
Member of the Institute of Engineers Australia (MIEAust)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


  • Ph.D. (Engineering, 2013)
  • Laboratory for Turbulence Research in Aerospace & Combustion
    Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
    Monash University Clayton Campus, Victoria, Australia
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical, 1st Class Honours)
    Bachelor of Technology (Aerospace)
    Monash University, 2007.

Research Areas

  • Fluid mechanics
  • Pharmaceutical sprays (aerosols and dry powder inhalers)
  • Fuel injection in gas turbine & internal combustion systems
  • Atomisation and spray formation
  • Multiphase flows
  • Hydrodynamic & aerodynamic instability
  • Optical diagnostic techniques
  • Synchrotron X-ray diagnostic techniques
    • Time resolved radiography
    • X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy
    • X-ray phase contrast imaging
    • Small angle x-ray scattering


  • Linkage Project — Australian Research Council — 2020
    LP190100938, “Enabling precise droplet control in hydrofluorocarbon free sprays.“
    AUD 450k over 3 years – This project aims to investigate the use of blended propellants to replace hydrofluorocarbons in technical aerosols. This project expects to generate new knowledge in the area of multiphase fluid mechanics and aerosol science through a combination of modeling, optical and synchrotron X-ray measurement techniques. Expected outcomes of this project include a capacity to develop environmentally friendly technical aerosol formulations which can match and potentially outperform currently available hydrofluorocarbon based products. This should provide significant benefits to the pharmaceutical industry through the generation of new knowledge regarding the fundamental physics of multicomponent sprays.
  • Discovery Project — Australian Research Council — 2020
    DP200102016, “Engineering an environmentally-friendly metered dose inhaler”
    AUD 180k over 3 years – This project aims to deliver a novel simulation framework to accurately predict the behaviour of metered dose inhaler sprays using advanced numerical methods for flash-evaporating turbulent flows developed by the investigators. The project expects to generate new knowledge of the complex physics which occur in these devices through a first of its kind combination of unsteady non-equilibrium thermodynamics, turbulence and spray models. Expected outcomes of this project include a novel ability to predict and optimise the performance of inhalers to suit environmentally-friendly replacement propellants. This will significantly benefit the pharmaceutical sector as it will accelerate the design of next-generation inhalers and propellants.
  • National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme ECR Merit Allocation — 2018,19
    250k core-hours per year on National Computational Infrastructure (Australia) high performance computing facilities to undertake computational fluid dynamics simulations of pressurised metered dose inhaler sprays. Early career researcher category.
  • Monash University Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Travel Grant — 2018, 2019
    Awarded a total of 4.9k over 2 years to support research visits to the United States.
  • Monash-Penn State Collaboration Seed Fund — 2018
    “An inside look at fluidic inserts – X-ray measurements of novel noise-reduction strategies for supersonic jets”.  AUD 20k over 12 months.
  • Australian Synchrotron – International Synchrotron Access Program — 2018
    Proposal 14204, “Time-resolved X-ray radiography and fluorescence measurements of medical inhaler sprays.” AUD 6400 travel grant.
  • Engineering Discovery Seed Fund — Monash University Faculty of Engineering — 2018
    Project title – “Engineering particle surfaces for advanced spray drying”. AUD 23k over 1 year.
  • Linkage Project — Australian Research Council — 2017
    LP160101845 – “Improving respiratory drug delivery through targeted nozzle design”. Industry Partner – Chiesi Limited
    The project aims to develop designs for inhaler components which significantly reduce the existing variability in the sprays they produce, as well as an enhanced capacity to predict inhaler performance through development of new empirical models. This project will combine recently developed synchrotron x-ray measurement techniques with traditional visible light diagnostics to develop a greater understanding of the link between the geometry of pressurised, metered-dose inhaler components and the drug particles these devices produce. The long term benefit from this research will be improved delivery efficiency and shorter product development times, leading to reduced dose-rate costs. This understanding will enable the development of the next generation of treatment devices with enhanced efficiency in delivery of the drugs used to treat these diseases and reduced costs per dose.
  • Discovery Early Career Research Award — Australian Research Council — 2017
    DE170100018 – “Engineering suspended particle sprays through controlled cavitation”
    This project aims to establish how cavitation can be used to engineer particle size in sprays of micronised particles suspended in a propellant, and deliver a physical mechanism by which this process occurs. This will be achieved through a novel combination of high-resolution optical imaging techniques and synchrotron x-ray diagnostics. Understanding how cavitation affects the size of agglomerates in the liquid phase, and how it affects droplet size in a spray is critical to the development of spray devices that require precise control over the final particle size. This research will provide physical insight that will have applications for inhaled and topical pharmaceutical sprays, as well as industry spray drying of food products.
  • Co-operative Research Project, Agilent Technologies Australia — 2017
    “Novel Sample introduction techniques for Plasma based Atomic Spectroscopy”.
  • US Department of Energy Laboratory Directed Research & Development (LDRD) Seed Grant — 2016 [concluded]
    Grant 2017-098-N0 – “X-ray Investigation of the Potential of Pressure-Assisted Atomization Technology for Medical Inhaler Sprays.”
    Recieved USD 25.5k in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to undertake a 6-month research project using synchrotron x-rays at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory to investigate the commercial potential of pressure assisted atomization for pharmaceutical sprays.

Awards, Prizes and Career Highlights

  • Monash University Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher — 2018
    The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research by an Early Career Researcher recognises research excellence by ECRs who are within five years of their research careers.
  • Invited Speaker
    Respiratory Drug Delivery 2018, Tucson, Arizona USA
  • Best Oral Presentation Award – ILASS-Europe conference — 2016
    Awarded by the committee of the 27th European Conference on Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems held in Brighton, UK, September 2016. Dr. Duke recieved the Best Oral Presentation award for his paper “Time-resolved x-ray radiography of cavitation in a metal nozzle.”
  • William R. Marshall Award — 2016
    Awarded by the Institute of Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems – North & South America, for the technical paper “String Flash-Boiling in Flashing and Non Flashing Gasoline Direction Injection Simulations with Transient Needle Motion,” which was judged the most significant contribution to the ILASS-Americas 28th Annual Conference in Dearborn, Michigan, May 2016.
  • Argonne National Laboratory “Pacesetter Award” — 2016
    Awarded by the Laboratory Director “for excellence in achievement and performance which truly surpasses normal job expectations.”
  • APS Highlights 2016 feature article and press release — 2016
    Work on medical sprays at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source was featured in the APS highlights and in a press release which was featured on the US Department of Energy Office of Science web site.
  • Invited Speaker and Expert Panelist — 2016
    At the ILASS-Americas 28th Annual Conference on Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems internal nozzle flow workshop, May 2016, Mighigan, USA. Presenting alongside senior scientists from Sandia National Laboratories, Delphi Automotive, General Motors, Univ. Massachusetts-Amherst.
  • Invited Keynote Speaker — 2015
    “A Review of Synchrotron Radiation Diagnostics for Fluid Mechanics,” 7th Australian Conference on Laser Diagnostics in Fluid Mechanics and Combustion, Melbourne, Australia, December 2015.
  • Invited Speaker and Session Co-ordinator — 2015
    Presented on Gasoline Direct Injection internal and near-nozzle experiments at the 4th Engine Combustion Network Workshop, Kyoto, Japan, September 2015.
    ANSTO Fulbright Scholar in Nuclear Science & Technology — 2011
    12 month funded placement to the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.
  • William R. Marshall Award — 2013
    Awarded by the Institute of Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems – North & South America, for the technical paper “Synchrotron X-ray Measurements of Cavitation,” which was judged the most significant contribution to the ILASS-Americas 25th Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 2013.
  • Advanced Photon Source General User Proposal Merit Allocation
    Lead investigator on five APS (synchrotron) general user proposals.
    Co-investigator on 13 additional user proposals since 2011.
  • Argonne Laboratory Computing Resource Center Grant — 2011 -2017
    Was principal investigator on a collaborative high performance computing grant of up to 1 million core-hours p.a. Research includes high-fidelity RANS and LES models of cavitating nozzle flow for liquid and gaseous fuel injection systems, and high-resolution x-ray tomographic reconstructions of fuel sprays.
  • Bill Melbourne Medal – 2012
    Award for Best Engineering PhD Thesis of 2012. Faculty of Engineering, Monash University, Australia.

Research Experience

  • Research Fellow, Monash University, 2017-present
    • Applications of X-ray and laser diagnostics to pressurised metered dose inhaler sprays.
    • Multiphase flow, sprays, aerosols, cavitation and spray drying.
  • Postdoctoral Appointee, Argonne National Laboratory, 2011— 2017
    • Applying x-ray diagnostics to fuel injection, sprays, and cavitation at the Advanced Photon Source
    • Spearheaded a collaborative research project using x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and radiography to study spray and drug distribution in pressurized metered dose inhaler sprays.
    • Developed novel experiments to measure the quantitative distribution of cavitation vapor inside metal and plastic nozzles using x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and radiography techniques. Lead a collaborative project to develop these experiments in line with state-of-the art models developed by academic partners.
    • Our team developed a novel approach to droplet size measurements in the dense core of a high-pressure diesel spray, using ultra-small-angle x-ray scattering.
    • Technical expertise in time-resolved x-ray computed tomography, x-ray radiography, x-ray phase contrast imaging, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and ultra-small angle x-ray scattering
  • Research Associate (Postdoctoral), Monash University, Australia, 2013
    • Development of high-speed backlit imaging experiments to measure the impact and break-up of solid drug particles from a powdered metered dose inhaler
    • Technical expertise in high speed imaging, planar particle image velocimetry, dynamic mode decomposition, proper orthogonal decomposition, high performance computing.