Biographical Information of Committee Members
Margaret Wooldridge (Chair) is an Arthur F. Thurnau professor in the departments of mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering, and director of the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program at the University of Michigan. Her research program spans diverse areas where high-temperature chemically reacting systems are critical, including power and propulsion systems, fuel chemistry, and synthesis methods for advanced nanostructured materials. Her research team has pioneered methods for characterizing fundamental fuel properties and performance in modern spark-ignition and gas-turbine engines. Dr. Wooldridge served on the faculty at Texas A&M University in 1995 before joining the University of Michigan in 1998. She is a 2013 recipient of the Department of Energy Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award and a fellow of the Combustion Institute, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Society of Automotive Engineers. Dr. Wooldridge received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
Jacqueline H. Chen, NAE, is a senior scientist at the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratories. She has contributed broadly to research in turbulent combustion, elucidating turbulence–chemistry interactions in combustion through direct numerical simulations (DNS). With the goal of achieving scalable performance of DNS on heterogeneous computer architectures, Dr. Chen leads an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, applied mathematicians, and computational scientists to develop exascale DNS capability for turbulent combustion with complex chemistry and multiphysics. Dr. Chen is a fellow of the Combustion Institute and the American Physical Society, and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She received the Combustion Institute’s Bernard Lewis Gold Medal Award in 2018, the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award in 2018, the Department of Energy Office of Science Distinguished Scientists Fellow Award in 2020, and the R&D 100 Award for the Legion Programming System in 2020. Dr. Chen was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018. Dr. Chen served on the National Research Council Committee on Building Cyberinfrastructure for Combustion Science. She received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
Frederick L. Dryer, NAE, is an Educational Foundation distinguished research professor in mechanical engineering at the University of South Carolina. He was previously a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University. Dr. Dryer’s research expertise spans a wide range of areas, including thermodynamics; physical chemistry; chemical kinetics; fluid dynamics; heat transfer; abatement of unwanted emissions from energy conversion systems; and understanding and mitigating fire hazards associated with the use of gaseous, liquid, and solid materials on earth and in low-gravity environments. He is a current fellow of the Combustion Institute, a former associate editor and editorial board member of Combustion Science and Technology, and a former editorial board member of the International Journal of Chemical Kinetics and Progress in Energy and Combustion Science. Dr. Dryer was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2021. He received a PhD in aerospace and mechanical sciences from Princeton University.
Tarek Echekki is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU). He is an expert on computational combustion and the modeling and simulation of turbulent combustion flows. Prior to joining NSCU in 2002, Dr. Echekki worked at the French
Petroleum Institute; Sandia National Laboratories; and the University of California, Berkeley. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr. Echekki serves presently as associate editor for the ASME Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. He has served on many panels in the past associated with grant proposals at the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the German Research Foundation, in addition to serving as a frequent reviewer for proposals and publications. Dr. Echekki received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
Ipsita Gupta is assistant professor in the Craft and Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering at Louisiana State University. She conducts research on multiscale, multiphysics problems using coupled fluid and heat flow, and reactive transport modeling for wellbore integrity, reservoir characterization, and gas hydrates. She has also conducted Bureau of Ocean Energy Management–sponsored research on worst-case discharge modeling from well blowouts. Dr. Gupta’s industry experience at Chevron spans strategic research and technology development in carbonate reservoirs, including those in Partitioned Zones, such as the Wafra oil field, and technical services and large capital project maturation in the Gulf of Mexico. She is a recipient of federal and industry grants, and the 2018 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program (GRP) Early Career Research Fellowship. She is coprincipal investigator on the National Academies GRP Safer Offshore Energy Systems grant “Mitigating Risks to Hydrocarbon Release Through Integrative Advanced Materials for Wellbore Plugging and Remediation.” She received a PhD in geological sciences from the University of South Carolina.
Joseph Katz, NAE, is William F. Ward Sr. distinguished professor of engineering and director and cofounder of the Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics at The Johns Hopkins University. His research extends over a wide range of fields, with a common theme involving experimental fluid mechanics and development of advanced optical diagnostics techniques for laboratory and field applications. His group has studied laboratory and oceanic boundary layers; flows in turbomachines; flow-structure interactions; swimming behavior of marine plankton in the laboratory and in the ocean; and cavitation, bubble, and droplet dynamics (the third focusing on interfacial phenomena associated with oil spills). Dr. Katz is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Physical Society. He served as editor of the Journal of Fluids Engineering and chair of the board of journal editors of ASME. He has coauthored more than 350 journal and conference papers. Dr. Katz was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2019. He received a PhD in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.
Robert P. Lucht is Ralph and Bettye Bailey distinguished professor of combustion in mechanical engineering at Purdue University and director of the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories. His present research activities include fundamental experimental and theoretical studies of electronic-resonance-enhanced coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS), femtosecond CARS, and polarization spectroscopy, as well as the application of dual-pump CARS and other laser diagnostics for measurements in combustion systems ranging from laboratory flames to gas turbine combustion test rigs. Dr. Lucht has authored or coauthored more than 190 articles in archival journals, and advised or coadvised 40 PhD students. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the Combustion Institute. In 2008, Dr. Lucht received the AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology Award, and in 2013, he received the Excellence in Research Award from the College of Engineering at Purdue University. He was a participant in a 2019 National Academy study Advanced Technologies for Gas Turbines. Dr. Lucht received a PhD in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.
Hope A. Michelsen is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and in the Environmental Engineering Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research program is focused on developing and using X-ray, optical, mass spectrometric, and theoretical techniques for studying
the chemistry and characteristics of combustion-generated particles inside the combustor, and their abundance in the atmosphere. Dr. Michelsen’s research experience includes gas-surface scattering experiments, atmospheric modeling, soot-formation studies, combustion-diagnostics development, atmospheric black-carbon measurements, and greenhouse-gas source attribution. She completed a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University in earth and planetary sciences; was a staff scientist at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.; and was a technical staff member at the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratories for 20 years before moving to the University of Colorado. Dr. Michelsen is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society, a full member of Sigma Xi, an inductee of the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame, and an associate editor of the Proceedings of the Combustion Institute. She received a PhD in chemistry from Stanford University.
Vedha Nayagam is a research associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and provides research support to the Microgravity Combustion Branch at the Glenn Research Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). His areas of research include combustion, fire safety, and fluid physics, with a primary focus on droplet combustion. Dr. Nayagam has more than 25 years of experience in droplet combustion research and has been the principal investigator/project scientist for several NASA-sponsored ground-based and flight (Space Shuttle and International Space Station) experiments involving droplet combustion. Dr. Nayagam has produced more than 50 peer-reviewed journal publications and more than 100 conference presentations. He has received numerous NASA awards, including the Exceptional Public Achievement Medal (2013) for his contributions to droplet combustion phenomena in reduced gravity, and the Silver Achievement Medal (2016) in recognition of cool flame discovery during droplet combustion onboard the International Space Station. Dr. Nayagam is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a member of the Combustion Institute, and the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research. He received a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky.
Ali S. Rangwala is a professor in fire protection engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His research interests include problems related to industrial fire and explosion problems. He has worked on such topics as deflagration of combustible dust clouds, ignition behavior of combustible dust layers, in-situ burning of oil, the spread of an oil slick in channels, velocity measuring techniques in fire-induced flows, and flame propagation and burning rate behavior of condensed fuel surfaces. Dr. Rangwala is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Award and the Sigma Xi Senior Faculty Research Award. He has published more than 50 journal articles and has presented in more than 60 conferences. Dr. Rangwala received a PhD in combustion and flame spread from the University of California, San Diego.
Abhishek Saha is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). His research encompasses areas of reactive flows and droplets in connection with power generation, propulsion, and biotransport. Before joining UCSD, Dr. Saha was a member of the research staff at Princeton University. Apart from his research in combustion and multiphase flows, he has served as a reviewer for leading scientific journals and as a panel member in reviewing research proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation. Dr. Saha received a PhD in mechanical engineering and earned the university-wide Outstanding Dissertation Award from the University of Central Florida.
William A. Sirignano, NAE, is Henry Samueli endowed chair in engineering at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). His research interests include spray dynamics and liquid atomization, turbulent combustion and ignition, aerospace propulsion, rocket combustion instability, automotive combustion, fire safety, noise suppression, and applied mathematics. Prior to his time at UCI, Dr. Sirignano served for thirteen years as a faculty member at Princeton University and five years at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds fellow status in the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American
Physical Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the Combustion Institute. Dr. Sirignano has received numerous awards, including multiple awards from AIAA, the 1996 Alfred C. Egerton Gold Medal from the Combustion Institute, and the 1993 Institute for Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems A.K. Oppenheim Prize. He has served on various boards and committees of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and is currently a member of the National Academies Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board. Dr. Sirignano was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2002. He received a PhD in aerospace and mechanical sciences from Princeton University.
Sibendu Som is manager of the Multi-Physics Computation research section in the Energy Systems Division at Argonne National Laboratory and a senior scientist at the Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering at the University of Chicago. He has more than a decade of experience in enabling technologies for more efficient engine combustion using computational tools. Dr. Som leads a computational fluid dynamics team at Argonne with a research focus on the development of nozzle-flow, spray, and combustion models, using high-performance computing for internal combustion engine applications. His team is responsible for developing predictive simulation capabilities to enable original equipment manufacturers to develop advanced high-efficiency, low-emission engines. Dr. Som has won numerous awards in the field of reacting flows and computational fluid dynamics, together with high-performance computing, including the 2020 Society of Automotive Engineers Fellow Award and the 2020 George Westinghouse Silver Medal. He received a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.