Air Transport Institute for Environmental Sustainability

AIR-Ties Center

{A new AirTIES webpage is under development, expected to launch mid-April, 2014. You will be re-directed from this site when it is ready}

The AirTIES Research Center supports the development, testing, and implementation of new aviation fuels. AirTIES provides a structure under which multi-disciplinary researchers may collaborate with Center industrial partners to accomplish these broad objectives in the complex arena of aviation and aerospace.

AirTIES industrial partners:

  • Aero Engine Controls (AEC)
  • Swift Fuels


Leadership of the AirTIES center is provided by:

  • Co-Directors, David Stanley and Denver Lopp;
  • Director of Engineering, Mary Johnson;
  • Chief Scientist, Gozdem Kilaz;
  • Director of Research, Richard Simmons

AirTIES research currently includes:

  • DOE-funded project: converting corn stover to jet fuel;
  • Development of new aviation fuels;
  • Fuel lubrication studies;
  • Cost and sustainability aspects of new fuels;
  • Production scale-up; and
  • Fit-for-purpose testing of new aviation fuels, including engine operations, exhaust emissions and materials comparability studies.

The overarching goals of the AirTIES center include:

  • Developing a cohesive knowledge base on the interaction of alternative fuel with the aircraft propulsion system and with the air transportation system. Fragmented silos of such knowledge exist today but not the integrated knowledge base Air TIES will provide.
  • Creating a continuous two-way flow of information between alternative fuel research and the air transportation system. By defining and communicating industrial requirements and test results to a wide cross section of basic researchers, from feed stock to drop in aviation fuel at the airport, Air TIES will close alternative fuel development loops.
  • Identifying implementation barriers and working with industry to overcome those obstacles.

Academic units involved with the center, and the number of faculty participating, are:

  • College of Agriculture: Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, and Botany and Plant Pathology; 12
  • College of Engineering: Aeronautics and Astronautics, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering; 16
  • College of Science: Biological Science and Chemistry; 5
  • College of Technology: Aviation Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology; 6


David L. Stanley


(765) 494 6266


NaTeF faculty researchers:

• David L. Stanley: Principal investigator
• J. Mark Thom:  Engine test cells, engine test procedures, and protocol
• Denver Lopp:  Industrial partnerships and collaborative relationships for research
• Mary Johnson:  Exhaust emissions analysis
• J. Michael Davis; Engine test cells and engine test operations