Bob Corr

Sr. Combustion Engineer Engineering Team

Bob Corr Standing next to a piece of equiptmentBackground

I have over 30 years experience in the gas turbine industry, mostly focusing on low NOx combustor development.  After studying Mechanical Engineering at Santa Clara University (BSME) and then the University of Washington (MSME), I began my career at GE® Power Generation, where I worked on what was then a new technology – Dry Low NOx. I later transitioned to the development of another emerging technology, catalytic combustors, at Catalytica Energy Systems before joining Solar Turbines to lead the combustor development of one of their flagship products. Although my role was similar at each company, the focus was slightly different. This gave me exposure to combustor testing, modeling, mechanical analysis, project management, manufacturing, and the supply chain.

What do you do here at MD&A? What aspect do you enjoy most about your role at MD&A?

As a Sr. Combustion Engineer, I am responsible for Root Cause Analysis of combustion-related issues and expanding the solutions that MD&A can offer. Having experience with various OEM combustor designs, I enjoy the challenge of identifying ways to enhance our capabilities for our customers or diagnosing issues when combustor performance falls short of expectations. Dealing with turbines that have parts remanufactured by various suppliers adds an interesting twist to the job.

What are the components of a combustion system of a gas turbine?

A combustion system comprises the pressure vessel(s), fuel nozzles, liners, and a transition duct that connects to the first-stage turbine nozzle. These are the parts that typically require refurbishment and replacement during a combustion inspection. To diagnose combustion-related issues comprehensively, I also consider flame detectors, piping, valves, dynamics monitoring equipment, and controls as part of the “combustion system.”

What is the most interesting challenge you have come across?

Understanding the art of combustor “tuning” has been a fascinating challenge. The techniques have varied and evolved over time. Understanding the differences in approaches and how they impact actual results is crucial for our success.

What are the greatest combustion challenges for the industry as a whole and MD&A in particular?

Developing combustion systems is inherently expensive, particularly when incorporating low NOx technologies. With changes in the power generation industry, there is a growing need to enhance combustion capabilities related to fuels and emissions. However, the proliferation of non-combustion power generation sources could significantly reduce the return on investment for any given development.

For MD&A, the challenge lies in empowering customers to burn alternative fuels, reduce emissions, or increase the power output of existing facilities using known hardware combinations. This involves understanding the capabilities of these combinations and any necessary modifications to enhance their potential. Ultimately, our goal is to increase value for the customer.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I play goaltender in roller hockey.  It is a good reminder for me of how team dynamics affect outcomes.


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