Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Polifke


Thermo-Fluid Dynamics

Academic Career and Research Areas

The main research areas of the Professorship of Thermo-Fluid Dynamics from Prof. Polifke (b. 1962) are thermo-acoustic (combustion) instabilities, aeroacoustics as well as mixing and reaction in turbulent flows.

Prof. Polifke studied physics at the University of Regensburg, the University of Colorado in Boulder and the City University of New York (1981-87). He received his doctoral degree from the City University of New York (1990). His doctoral thesis dealt with the helicity of turbulent flows. After that, he spent almost ten years at ABB’s research center in Baden-Dättwil, Switzerland working on fundamental aspects of combustion technology. In 1999, Prof. Polifke was appointed professor at TUM. From 2016 to 2021 he was Editor-in-Chief of the Int'l. J. for Spray and Combustion Dynamics.


  • Best Paper Award (Combustion, Fuels & Emissions Committee of ASME/IGTI) (2024)
  • Supervisory Award des Graduate Centers der School of Engineering and Design (2023)
  • Fellow of The Combustion Institute (2021)
  • Golden Teaching (2nd place) Award of the Mechanical Engineering Student Council for Good Teaching (2002/2004/2006)
  • Best Application Paper Award (Combustion & Fuels Committee of ASME/IGTI) (1998)

Meindl, M.; Silva C.; Polifke, W.: On the spurious entropy generation encountered in hybrid linear thermoacoustic models. Combustion and Flame 223, 2021, 525-540.


Polifke W: “Modeling and Analysis of Premixed Flame Dynamics by Means of Distributed Time Delays”. Prog. Energy Combust. Sci. 2020; 79: 100845.


Emmert T, Bomberg S, Jaensch S, Polifke W: “Acoustic and Intrinsic Thermoacoustic Modes of a Premixed Combustor”. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute. 2017; 36: 3835–3842. 


Tay-Wo-Chong L, Zellhuber M, Komarek T, Im HG, Polifke W: “Combined Influence of Strain and Heat Loss on Premixed Flame Stabilization”. Flow, Turbulence and Combustion. 2015; 97: 263–294. 


Komarek T, Polifke W: “Impact of Swirl Fluctuations on the Flame Response of a Perfectly Premixed Swirl Burner”. J. Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power. 2010; 132: 061503.