The Combustion Institute
Quarterly newsletter for the advancement of combustion science

Vol. 5, No. 1 - January 2020
Update from the President

Many thanks to our retired Executive Administrator, Barb Waronek

In our last newsletter, Barb Waronek announced the date of her retirement (31 December 2019), and she stated how much she values the friendships that she has made at CI over the years. You can find her words in the last newsletter; it has been posted on our website. Barb indicated that she wanted only a modest send-off, so Renny Tassari, who has taken over as the Acting Executive Administrator of the CI office, organized a staff get-together to present Barb with an inscribed gift. President Jim Driscoll and his wife are seen in the above photograph which was taken in Pittsburgh, United States, where they recently visited to take Barb to a celebratory dinner. Barb has indicated her wish to join CI at the Adelaide symposium where we can again thank her for her many years of outstanding service. Barb devoted more than a decade to making sure that many things at CI run smoothly. She coordinated our symposium planning, she worked tirelessly to process our PROCI papers, and she assisted our many committees that decide on awards and policies. We especially appreciate Barb's patience and understanding in dealing with the many cultural differences within our diverse and world-wide scientific community. Barb has shared that she and her husband Kevin look forward to starting several projects during her retirement.   
CI Announcements and Events

Call for Nominations: Gold Medals of The Combustion Institute
The Call for Nominations for the 2020 Gold Medals of The Combustion Institute was released on 12 December 2019. Nomination submissions must be received before 23:59 EST, 5 February 2020. Gold medals are the highest awards of The Combustion Institute, presented biennially during the International Symposium on Combustion. The four gold medals are bestowed to scientists whose major contributions have significantly advanced their fields of combustion science. 

Voting for Incoming CI Board of Directors Coming up in June 2020
In June 2020, we will be voting for the incoming Board of Directors of The Combustion Institute. Newly elected Board Members will step into their roles at the 38th International Symposium for Combustion in July 2020. Details will be released soon. In order to be eligible to vote, your membership in the CI AMS system must be active. Please login to your account and check your membership. If you need to activate your membership, click on the related button in the system, and your Section Administrator will be notified and will take action. 

Newly Graduated Canadian Astronaut Dr. Jenni Sidey

With her graduation in January 2020, Jenni Sidey, Ph.D., is now a Canadian astronaut eligible for spaceflight assignments. Learn more about Jenni's combustion research background in this 2017 YouTube video clip. Jenni Sidey is a Lecturer in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow at St Catharine’s College. Her research interests lie in experimental turbulent combustion, with a specialisation in flame visualisation, emission mitigation and fuel flexibility. Her current work is motivated by alternative fuel development and emission reduction in practical energy and transport devices. 

Japan Section Flame Photo Contest Results

In 2019, the Japan Section of The Combustion Institute held a flame photo contest. All participants were able to vote for one photo, and the winner obtained the highest number of votes. The winning photo (below) is titled "Flame Eye" and was submitted by 

Masashi Masuda, Tetsuya Mizoguchi, Tsuneyoshi Matsuoka, Yuji Nakamura
(Toyohashi University of Technology), and Kazunori Kuwana (Yamagata University). 

When a thin paper burns in a narrow channel, a spreading flame breaks-up and forms a complicated, finger-like pattern due to instability. The fingering pattern can be controlled by adjusting experimental parameters such as channel height and oxidizer flow rate. This picture illustrates a unique spiral pattern of flame spread over a disk-shaped filter paper. The circular flame in the center is an igniter, and the surrounding red lines are the rotating flame after ignition. Multiple photographs are superimposed to visualize their paths, namely the spiral pattern, clearly.


Follow CI on Instagram and have your images featured on the CI account! Submissions are welcome at The photo to the left demonstrates the flameless combustion of liquid fuel during experiments carried out by J.C. Andrade at INPE, Brazil, in 2019. 
NSF Workshop on Exuberance of Machine Learning in Transport Phenomena

The objective of this workshop held on 10-11 February 2020 in Dallas, Texas, United States is to assess the state of progress in development, implementation and application of ML in transport phenomena. Of particular interest are applications in fluid dynamics, including turbulence, heat & mass transfer, multi-phase flows, biological transport, combustion and other reactive flows. Considering the complexity of such phenomena, the question is what to expect from ML and to what extent such learnings can assist in modeling and inference of transport phenomena. For more information, click here

KAUST Research Conference: Transition to Low Carbon Mobility

Delegates from academia, government laboratories and industry are invited to attend the 2020 conference on ‘Transition to Low Carbon Mobility’ hosted and organized by the Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC) at KAUST. The conference will be held from 17-19 February 2020 in Saudi Arabia. Click here for more details. 

2020 Spring Technical Meeting of the Eastern States Section (ESSCI) 
The 2020 Spring Technical Meeting of the Eastern States Section of The Combustion Institute will be held 8-11 March 2020 in Columbia, South Carolina, United States. The meeting will be hosted by the University of South Carolina (USC) at the Alumni Center. The event will consist of an opening reception, plenary seminars, technical talks, and a banquet event to be held at the USC Alumni Center, 900 Senate St, Columbia, SC 29201. For more details, please visit the CI event webpage.
2020 Spring Meeting of the Western States Section of The Combustion Institute

The Spring Meeting of the Western States Section of the Combustion Institute will be held on 23-24 March 2020 at Stanford University, California, United States. This meeting is jointly organized by Stanford and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and brings together researchers, scientists and engineers from academia, national labs and industry working on topics pertaining to the fields of combustion, reacting flows, and thermo-chemical energy conversion. For more details, click here

13th Elsevier Distinguished Lecture in Mechanics
Peyman Givi (Distinguished Professor, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh) will be speaking on the topic of Quantum Information and Deep Learning for Turbulent Combustion Modeling & Simulation on 2 April 2020 at the University of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, United States. Quantum Information Science (QIS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are having a dominant influence in many aspects of life in industrial societies. The importance of these fields to the global economy and security are very well recognized, promoting the rapid growth of the related technologies in the upcoming decades. Click here for more details of the lecture. 

13th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science
The International Association of Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) will organize the 13th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science on 27 April to 1 May 2020 at the University of Waterloo, Canada. The Symposium is the premier fire safety science meeting in the world. For more details on the symposium, click here

Low-Carbon Combustion Joint Meeting of the French and British Sections of The Combustion Institute
This is an event dedicated to combustion science compliant with low-carbon mobility and energy, organized under the auspices of the French and British sections of The Combustion Institute. This conference will be hosted in Lille, France, on the 6-7 May 2020. Researchers are invited to submit an abstract on the conference website presenting their latest relevant research. Each session will be comprised of a plenary lecture, talks, and a dedicated slot for open discussion between participants. More information can be found on the event listing

2020 Online Course - Fundamentals of Turbulent Combustion 
CERFACS has announced a 2020 session of their internet course "Fundamentals of Thermo-Acoustic Instabilities." The course will start on 4 May and end on 29 May 2020. Coupling between acoustic waves and flames has become a central issue in the development of many modern combustion systems, and this course presents the theoretical background needed to tackle such problems. More details can be found here

2020 CSSCI Spring Technical Meeting
The 2020 Spring Technical Meeting of the Central States Section of The Combustion Institute will be held 17-19 May 2020 in Huntsville, Alabama, United States. The meeting is hosted by The University of Alabama in Huntsville. This is the continuation of a series of technical meetings that have been held since 1966. Details can be found on this webpage

10th International Seminar on Flame Structure (ISFS2020)

The 10th edition of the International Seminar on Flame Structure will be held in Orléans, France from 24-29 May 2020. The Seminar aims to provide an international forum bringing together research organizations and industry to discuss the experimental, theoretical and numerical progress made in studying the flame structure of both gaseous and condensed systems, the limits of flammability and aspects related to fire safety. Click here for further details.

International Symposium on Combustion

PROCI Submission Update

After receiving a record number of submissions, all manuscripts have now been reviewed, rebuttals submitted, and are back with the colloquium teams for the decision making process. Authors can expect to receive decision notifications no later than the week of 2 March 2020.

Thank you to all who submitted and reviewed manuscripts and are dedicated to maintaining the high standards and excellent presentations we've come to expect at the International Symposium on Combustion.

Travel to Adelaide
Under Australia's universal visa system, all visitors must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia (exceptions exist for New Zealand passport holders and permanent residents of Norfolk Island). It is recommended that visitors apply for their visa well in advance of their intended travel dates, ideally giving yourself at least two months to procure the necessary approvals.
For further information about the correct visa to apply for click here.
We look forward to visiting our friends in Adelaide, Australia and celebrating their beautiful culture and land.

Symposium Website 
As we move closer to the Symposium date, updates are continuing to be made to the 38th International Symposium on Combustion website. Keep an eye out for updates on accommodations, local attractions, and speaker topics in the coming months. The Program Co-Chairs are looking forward to Program Planning Week and producing an outline of the technical program. Any specific questions regarding Adelaide or Symposium specific topics can be addressed to the local symposium organisers:


All Occasions Group
12 Stirling Street, Thebarton SA 5031
(08) 8125 2200

Advancements in Combustion
ACME Research on the International Space Station

Six independent Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME) are taking place on the International Space Station, several of which are being led by CI members. CI members and past members who are leading the research conducted on the ISS include: Prof. Jim Quintiere (University of Maryland), Prof. Peter Sunderland (University of Maryland), Prof. Marshall Long (Yale University), Prof. Derek Dunn-Rankin (University of California Irvine), Prof. Rich Axelbaum (Washington University in St. Louis), Prof. C.K. Law (Princeton University), and Prof. Stephen Tse (Rutgers University). For more details, please click here

Ember Research in Oregon, United States, Highlighted in Japan

In early December 2019, a Bureau Chief from Nippon Television Network (based out of Japan) visited CI member Dr. David Blunck and his research group from Oregon State University to better understand how embers (also known as firebrands) are generated, transported, and ultimately deposited during wildfire events. The interview was part of a larger story that aired in Japan later in December and focused on the wildfires in California earlier in 2019.  As part of the visit, Dr. Blunck and his group illustrated with a burn how they have performed research to better understand what fuel characteristics influence the formation of embers.  In the past his team has burned groups of four-meter-tall trees and collected embers. Members of The Combustion Institute will play a vital role in helping to address the increasing threat of wildfires throughout the world.

NASA Funds UCF Research for New Power Systems on Space Missions   

NASA has turned to University of Central Florida (UCF) and CI member Associate Professor Subith Vasu to develop a new way of powering and heating spacecraft when they are far from the sun and solar energy isn’t practical. UCF was one of 14 universities awarded grants under NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants' Early-Stage Innovations program, a prestigious funding competition that aims to accelerate the development of groundbreaking, high-risk/high-payoff space technologies to support the future space science and exploration needs of NASA. Mechanical and aerospace engineering Associate Professor Subith Vasu leads the team that will use the three-year US$550,000 award to develop storable chemical heat sources that can be controlled to provide heat and electrical energy, even in the very hot or very cold conditions found on some planetary destinations. Vasu, who is also affiliated with the Florida Space Institute, has expertise in rocket propulsion, hypergolic propellants and hybrid propulsion.

From a Laboratory to an Exploding Star: Bridging Chemical and Astrophysical Combustion

Theoretical and experimental studies of DDT/Parameter-free SNIa models
The combined experimental, numerical, and theoretical study " A unified mechanism for unconfined deflagration-to-detonation transition in terrestrial chemical systems and type Ia supernovae" recently published in Science presents a novel mechanism, through which fast turbulent flames can become intrinsically unstable and spontaneously transition to a detonation even in completely unconfined environments. This mechanism contributes to the understanding of the dynamics of fast, compressible, reacting flows, which play an important role in a wide range of applications from the aerospace propulsion and energy conversion systems, such as jet, rocket, and turbine engines and scramjets, to various astrophysical explosive phenomena. In particular, this study solves a long-standing astrophysical problem by confronting theoretical and numerical models with combustion experiments in a lab. The problem concerns the question of the explosion mechanism of Type Ia supernovae (SNIa). These remarkable astrophysical phenomena are powered by thermonuclear burning of degenerate relativistic stellar plasmas, which is in many aspects similar to premixed chemical combustion of gaseous systems on Earth. For instance, a thermonuclear burning front can also propagate as a turbulent deflagration, or as a detonation. Theoretical models show that SNIa explosions should involve both combustion regimes in order to agree with astronomical observations, but the mechanism of the unconfined deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) has remained unclear. Now the combustion experiments confirmed that subsonic flames interacting with subsonic turbulence can spontaneously accelerate producing strong shocks, and eventually detonations. Such catastrophic runaway occurs when the turbulent flame speed exceeds the Chapman-Jouguet deflagration velocity. Proposed theory establishes critical turbulent conditions required for the onset of this runaway, and it was corroborated for both chemical and thermonuclear flames using numerical simulations, and for premixed chemical flames using laboratory experiments.


This study was carried out by the research team led by Alexei Poludnenko (University of Connecticut and Texas A&M University) in collaboration with Jessica Chambers and Kareem Ahmed (University of Central Florida), Vadim Gamezo (Naval Research Laboratory), and Brian Taylor (Air Force Research Laboratory). Authors acknowledge the long-term support by the Energy, Combustion and Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics Portfolio of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in the areas of turbulent combustion and detonation via grants 12RSA-MFD001, 15RT0942, 16RT0673/FA9550-16-1-0441 and 19RT0258/FA9550-19-0322 (Program Manager: Dr. Chiping Li). This work was also supported in part by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration via grant NNH12AT33I (Technical Monitor: Dr. Keith MacGregor), and the Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health (Technical Monitor: Dr. Thomas Barczak) via grant AFC215FO-73. Computing resources were provided by the Department of Defense under the Frontier project award and by the Naval Research Laboratory.

In Memoriam

Professor Irvin Glassman

Professor Irvin Glassman, the Robert H. Goddard Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Emeritus at Princeton University, passed away Saturday, 14th December 2019 at his home in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. As a longtime member and Fellow of The Combustion Institute, co-author of the authoritative textbook Combustion, and the founding editor of the journal Combustion Science and Technology, Professor Glassman made pioneering contributions in chemical propulsion and fundamental combustion and was an innovator in the field of aeronautics. The Combustion Institute honors Irvin Glassman’s accomplishments as a leader who made significant contributions to the advancement of many diverse scientific communities around the world.


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