Christopher Dreyer

Professor of Practice, Mechanical Engineering

Christopher DreyerDr. Dreyer’s research emphasis is the application of optical diagnostics for the study of challenging environments. Areas of interest include space exploration, combustion science, energy conversion systems, and environmental sensing.

Dr. Dreyer received his BS degree from Drexel University and MS and PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder. While at CU Boulder his research was the development of Planar Laser Induced Florescence of magnesium oxide during the combustion of magnesium in atmospheres of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Recent research projects include laser spectroscopy techniques for use in space exploration, laser diagnostics used to measure flame radicals and stable species, and a device for making rock thin sections for NASA.


General Research Lab 234A
1310 Maple St.

Research Areas

  • Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for material analysis
  • Raman spectroscopy for combustion analysis
  • Maritime atmospheric characterization using laser scattering
  • Spectroscopy of Ionic Liquids
  • Surface probe for asteroid characterization
  • Hollow Waveguide Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy
  • In Situ Automated Rock Thin Section Instrument for Planetary Science


  • C. B. Dreyer, K. Zacny, J. P.H. Steele, J. R. Schwendeman, G. Paulsen, R. C. Andersen, and J. Skok, (2013) “Development of a thin section device for space exploration: Overview and system performance estimates”, Adv. Space Res., 51, 1659–1673.
  • C. B. Dreyer, J. R. Schwendeman, J. P.H. Steele, T. E. Carrell, A. Niedringhaus, and J. Skok, (2013) “Development of a thin section device for space exploration: Rock cutting mechanism”, Adv. Space Res., 51, 1674-1691.
  • G. Paulsen, K. Zacny, C. B. Dreyer, A. Szucs, M. Szczesiak, C. Santoro, J. Craft, M. Hedlund, and J. Skok, (2013) “Robotic Instrument for Grinding Rocks Into Thin Sections (GRITS)”, Adv. Space Res., 51, 2181-2193.
  • Powell, O.A., Papas, P., Dreyer, C.B., (2011) “Flame structure measurements of NO in premixed hydrogen-nitrous oxide flames,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Volume 33, Issue 1, Pages 1053-1062.
  • J. R Schwendeman, C. B. Dreyer, and J. P. H. Steele, (2010) “Design Considerations for Development of a Wire-Based Rock Cutting Mechanism for Space Exploration”, J. Mech. Des. 132, 111010.
  • Powell, O. A., Papas, P., Dreyer, C. B., (2010) “Hydrogen- and C1–C3 Hydrocarbon-Nitrous Oxide Kinetics in Freely Propagating and Burner-Stabilized Flames, Shock Tubes, and Flow Reactors” Comb. Sci. and Tech. 182.3 252-283.
  • O. Powell, P. Papas and C. Dreyer, (2009) “Laminar Burning Velocity of Hydrogen-, Methane- , Propane- and Acetylene-Nitrous Oxide Flames”, Comb. Sci. and Tech., Vol. 181, No. 7, pp. 917–936.
  • L. W. Beegle, S. Feldman, P. Johnson, and C. B. Dreyer, (2009) “Chapter 8 Instruments for In-Situ Sample Analysis Drilling”, in Extreme Environments – Penetration and Sampling on Earth and Other Planets. Ed. Y. Bar-Cohen and K. Zacny, WileyVCH, Hoboken, NJ, pages 643-702.
  • G. S. Mungas and C. B. Dreyer, (2009) “Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy in a Hollow Bragg Waveguide: Electromagnetic Theory and Modeling,” Appl. Spectrosc. 63, 1262-1275.
  • C. B. Dreyer, G. S. Mungas, P. Thanh, and J. G. Radziszewski, (2007) “Study of Sub-mJ Excited Laser Induced Plasma Combined with Raman Spectroscopy under Mars Atmosphere Simulated Conditions”, Spectrochimica Acta B, Vol. 62 (19).