Engineer named inaugural fellow of the Combustion Institute

By David Staudacher

Kenneth Brezinsky, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, was elected a fellow of the inaugural class of Fellows by The Combustion Institute (CI).

The Combustion Institute is a nonprofit, educational and scientific society founded in 1954. It promotes and disseminates research activities in all areas of combustion science and technology for the advancement of many diverse communities around the world.

The first Fellows Selection Committee was assembled in June 2017, and charged with the responsibility to annually evaluate nominees and select candidates to become Fellows. Brezinsky was nominated and elected to the first class of fellows, an honor only 1.5 percent of non-student members can claim.

“I think it’s a great honor to be recognized by my peers for my contributions in combustion to the extent that they would elect me as a fellow in this very first year,” said Brezinsky, who also is associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering.

Brezinsky is a distinguished leader at UIC since 1996 and has been a faculty member of the mechanical and industrial engineering since 2003. He has been working in the area of combustion chemistry, aromatics oxidation and pyrolysis, oxidation of gasoline and diesel surrogates, and soot precursor chemistry since 1980.

His current research in combustion chemistry is focused on high temperature gas phase chemical kinetics related to combustion processes in aircraft, and gasoline and diesel related fuels. A very high pressure single pulse shock tube (a chemical shock tube) is used for these studies. The shock tube when coupled to gas chromatography/mass spectrometry permits the examination of stable species formed during the pyrolysis and oxidation. Funding for these projects typically comes from federal agencies such as National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Army Research Office.

Learn more about Brezinsky’s research at High Pressure Shock Tube Lab