Stefan Thynell is a professor of mechanical engineering and graduate program director for the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State University. Concurrently he has also worked for the National Science Foundation as the program director, Thermal Transport and Thermal Processing, and the coordinator for Information Technology Research, Engineering Directorate from 1999-2001. He has won numerous awards and honors, including a distinguished service award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. From 2001-2004 he served as the associate editor of the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer. In 1999, Thynell was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and in 2005 he was elected associate Fellow of the AIAA.
Thynell's research interests are transport phenomena in proton-exchange and solid-oxide fuel cells, radiation heat transfer, combustion, thermal decomposition of energetic materials, FT-IR and time-of-flight mass-spectrometry. His ongoing research in combustion includes ignition and flame spreading susceptibility of gun propellants; ignition, combustion and kinetics of energetic materials; characterization of surface structure and pyrolysis phenomena of propellant ingredients; modeling and measurements of simulated propellant flames; XM46 combustion chemistry; effect of binder ingredients on hot fragment conductive ignition; and characterization of flame structure and burning behavior of propellants.