Ragland teaches courses in fluid dynamics, combustion and the control of air pollution. Research projects have led to recent graduate theses on the burning rate of coal and wood particles under high convective flow, the fragmentation of coal in a fluidized bed combustor, the pressurized combustion of wood chips in a downdraft combustor for a gas turbine, modeling of deep-bed biomass combustion, and incineration of waste liquid chemicals. This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory and the Electric Power Research Institute. In recent years, research has focused on renewable energy from biomass and the associated combustion processes. Professor Ragland became chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineeringin July 1995. His research focuses on combustion and fluid dynamics in furnaces and boilers, fluidized beds and packed beds. Fuels of interest include coal, biomass, refuse-derived fuels and wastes. A well-equipped lab enables observation of flows, pressures, temperatures, and emissions of gases and particulates in bench-scale and pilot-scale combustion systems.