Peter Armstrong

Peter Armstrong Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Associate Professor - Mechanical Engineering
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Associate Professor - Mechanical Engineering
Phone number: +971 2 810 9150
                              +971 56 6015622

Dr. Peter Armstrong, P.E., is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Masdar Institute where he leads projects in model-predictive control of high-performance cooling systems with building integrated thermal storage (aka TABS); optimal control of district cooling plants with and without thermal energy storage; GCC-specific cooling equipment designs and performance standards; micro-climate and urban form; model identification of transient thermal processes; solar resource assessment (DNI, circumsolar, aerosols); solar desalination and liquid desiccant regeneration; and concentrating solar power at the Beam-Down Optical Experiment (BDOE).  

Dr. Armstrong has 35 years of experience in the fields of passive and active solar energy, heat transfer, and building science, including 8 years at the Solar Energy Application Laboratory (CSU) and more than 15 years at U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  His international experience includes three years monitoring performance and modeling and verifying energy retrofits for the World Bank Enterprise Housing Divestiture Project in the former Soviet Union and a UNDP solar instrumentation and monitoring mission at Gansu Natural Energy Research Institute in Lanzhou, PRC.  He has consulted for the Electric Power Research Institute and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.


  • MEG503 Advanced Heat and Mass Transfer
  • MEG510 Advanced Thermodynamics
  • MEG513 Solar Thermal Analysis, Design and Testing
  • MEG623 Estimation and Inference from Models and Data


Advisor to Current Masdar Institute Students

  • Alex Jacob Niswander   
  • Ioannis Koukoutsis 
  • Jemal Mohamedbrhan Adem   
  • Omer Sarfraz   
  • Omer Ahmed Qureshi (PhD)
  • Mohammad Ismail Ahmad Awad (PhD)


 For more details, please visit Dr. Peter Armstrong pages: LENS , BTRC 


Research Interests/Projects

  • Solar thermal systems: solar power (CSP), heating, cooling, dehumidification, desalination
  • Environmental monitoring; advanced radiation instruments for DNI distribution and atmospheric aerosol characterization
  • Energy demand response, building-utility interface (SBSG)
  • Thermal energy storage for CSP, heating/cooling of buildings
  • Modeling and simulation of high-performance buildings
  • Advanced cooling, heat pump and chiller modeling and optimal control
  • Model-predictive control in buildings and building systems



Selected Publications  (see full list

  • Gayeski, N.T., P.R. Armstrong and L.K. Norford, 2011. Empirical modeling of a rolling-piston compressor heat pump for predictive control in low-lift cooling. ASHRAE Transactions.
  • Gayeski, N.T., P.R. Armstrong and L.K. Norford, 2011. Predictive pre-cooling of thermo-active building systems with low-lift chillers, International J. HVAC&R Research, special issue on optimization.
  • Zakula, T., N.T. Gayeski, P.R. Armstrong and L.K. Norford, 2011. Variable-speed heat pump model for a wide range of cooling conditions and load, ASHRAE Transactions
  • A. Qadir and P.R. Armstrong, Liquid-air transpired solar collector: model development and sensitivity analysis, (in review) ASME J Solar Energy Engineering
  • Ali, M.T., M.M. Mokhtar, M. Chiesa, P.R. Armstrong, 2011, A cooling change-point model of community-aggregate electrical load, Energy and Buildings, 43(1):28-37
  • Mokhtar, M.M., M.T. Ali, S. Bräuniger, A. Afshari, S. Sgouridis, P.R. Armstrong and M. Chiesa., Comprehensive techno-economic assessment of solar cooling technologies using location-specific climate data, Applied Energy 87(12):3766-3778
  • A. Qadir and P.R. Armstrong, Hybrid liquid-air transpired solar collector: model development and sensitivity analysis, ASME IMECE2010-40571 Vancouver, November 2010
  • Mokhtar M., I. Rubalcaba, S. Meyers, A. Qadir, P.R. Armstrong and M. Chiesa: Heliostat field efficiency test of beam-down CSP pilot plant: experimental results, SolarPACES 2010 Conference
  • Meyers S., A. Qadir, I. Rubalcaba, M. Mokhtar, M. Chiesa, and P. Armstrong: Development of a correlation between luminous intensity and solar flux for the beam-down tower configuration. SolarPACES 2010 Conference
  • Armstrong, P.R., S. Katipamula, W. Jiang, D. Winiarski, L.K. Norford, and R.A. Willingham. 2009. Efficient low-lift cooling with radiant distribution, thermal storage and variable-speed chiller controls, International J. HVAC&R Research, 15(2):366-400; 402-432
  • Laughman, C.R., P.R. Armstrong, S.B. Leeb, L.K. Norford. Electrical and mechanical methods for detecting liquid slugging in reciprocating compressors, 20th Int’l Compressor Engrg. Conf. 2008
  • Armstrong, P.R., C.R. Laughman, S.B. Leeb, L.K. Norford. Detection of rooftop cooling unit faults based on electrical measurements, International J. HVAC&R Research 2006
  • Armstrong, P.R., L.K. Norford, S.B. Leeb. Control with building mass—Part I: Thermal response model identification; Part II: Simulation, ASHRAE Transactions, 112(1). 2006
  • Laughman, C.R., P.R. Armstrong, L.K. Norford, S.B. Leeb. Detection of liquid slugging phenomena in reciprocating compressors via power measurements, 18th Int’l Compressor Engrg.Conf. 2006
  • Armstrong P.R. and G.P. Sullivan. Assessment of Packaged PEM Fuel Cell CHP Systems. Invited Paper, Cogeneration and DG Journal, 21(2) 25-46. 2006. (See PNNL-SA-46044)
  • Armstrong, P.R., C.R. Laughman , S.B. Leeb , L.K. Norford. Fault detection based on motor start transients and shaft harmonics measured at the RTU electrical service, 10th Int’l Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conf. 2004
  • Armstrong, P.R., D.L. Hadley, R.D. Stenner, M.C. Janus. Whole-building airflow network char-acterization by a many-pressure-states (MPS) technique, ASHRAE Transactions, 107(2), 2001
  • Armstrong, P.R., J.A. Dirks, R.W. Reilly, J.W. Currie, R.J. Nesse, B. Nekrasov, O.V. Komarov. Russian apartment building thermal response models for retrofit selection and verification, 2000 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. 
  • Katipamula, S., P.R. Armstrong, M.R. Brambley, D.P. Chassin and R.G. Pratt. Building Controls and Facilities Management in 21st Century, 2000 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.
  • Armstrong, P.R., J.A. Dirks, L.A. Klevgard, Y. Matrosov, J. Olkinaru, D. Saum. Infiltration and ventila-tion in Russian multi-family buildings, 1996 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.
  • Armstrong, P.R., C.E. Hancock and J.E. Seem. Commercial building temperature recovery--Part I: Design procedure based on a step-response model, ASHRAE Transactions, 98(1) 1992
  • Bechtel, T.N. and P.R. Armstrong. Room air stratification model for TRNSYS, Proceedings of the American Section, International Solar Energy Society. Boston, 1988. 
  • Armstrong, P.R. and P.D. Heerman. Microprocessor-based hot-wire anemometry system for measuring air movement within the CSU Solar thermal test facility, First National Conference on Microcomputer Applications for Conservation and Renewable Energy, 1985. 
  • Burns, P.J., P.R. Armstrong and C.B. Winn, Summertime Test Results from the REPEAT Facility, ASME Solar Energy Division Sixth Annual Technical Conference, 8-12 April 1984, Las Vegas, NV. 
  • Winn, C.B. and P.R. Armstrong, Solar Heating and Cooling Control Subsystems, commissioned survey paper, National Bureau of Standards Workshop on Controls, 12 Aug 1983; also appears as Appendix B of Research Priorities for Improving the Effectiveness of Active Solar Hot Water and Space Conditioning Systems, by Robert D. Dikkers, et al, NBSIR 84-2980, 1984 Gaithersburg, MD. 
  • Armstrong, P.R.. Instrumentation of solar heating and cooling systems at CSU, invited paper, Second Annual Workshop on Performance Monitoring, Florida Solar Energy Center, 1983 
  • Armstrong, P.R. Extension of the Hottel-Whillier model to multi-stage collector systems, Proceedings of the American Section, International Solar Energy Society, Denver, 1978. 
  • Friedrich, M. and P. R. Armstrong, Demonstration of a 30 kW Microturbine with Heat Recovery in a 500-Soldier Barracks, PNNL-SA-42339, ASHRAE Winter Meeting, Chicago, 2004.
  • Armstrong, P.R., E.E. Richman, D.R. Dixon, and S. Rowley, Large-Scale DSM Verification at Fort Drum, New York, ASHRAE Annual Meeting, San Diego, June 1995.
  • Armstrong, P.R., E.E. Richman, D.R. Dixon, and S. Rowley, DSM Implementation and Verification at Fort Drum, New York, World Energy Engineering Conference, PNL-SA-23961, December 1994.
  • Karaki, S. and P.R. Armstrong, Air Conditioning by Nocturnal Evaporative Cooling of a Pebble-Bed,. Solar Cooling Conference, 15-17 Feb 1978, San Francisco, CA.