Raymond Speth

Associate Director


My name is Raymond Speth. I grew up in Davenport, Iowa before moving to the Boston area, where I earned my Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. My PhD research in the Reacting Gas Dynamics Laboratory was an experimental investigation of combustion instabilities in hydrogen-rich flames. After my PhD, I was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Green Research Group, and worked on projects including numerical methods for combustion simulation and lifecycle analyses of transportation fuel production. I joined LAE as a Research Scientist in 2013, and became the Associate Director of the lab in 2016.


My research interests are in the development of sustainable energy technologies for both stationary power generation and transportation needs. I have a particular interest in the development of efficient numerical simulation tools which can be used to assess the impacts of energy use and solve problems in these areas. I am the lead developer of Cantera, an open-source chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, and transport package. I am also the author of Ember, a tool for simulating flames and studying flame/flow interactions. Some of my recent work has been on evaluating the role of fuel properties and standards in determining the environmental impacts of transportation fuels, assessing the environmental impacts of future supersonic commercial aircraft, developing models to investigate the impacts of aircraft contrails, and evaluating the environmental benefits of prospective emissions regulations for aircraft engines.


  • Combustion & Emissions
  • Fuel Production Technology
  • Numerical Methods