Combustion Seminar held in College
COOL FLAMES IN MICROGRAVITY ALKANE DROPLET COMBUSTION
Professor at UCSD, Member of the National Academy of Engineers, and
Senior Scientific Advisor to UK- IR4TD
November 22, 2013, Seminar 3:00-4:00PM, Reception 4:00-4:30PM
Room 202 RGAN, University of Kentucky
Dr. Williams visited the UK College of Engineering to give his seminar, which was well attended by faculty and students. For more information see the abstract and biography below.
ABSTRACT: The International Space Station (ISS) provides a platform for fundamental microgravity experiments in the biological and physical sciences. As part of the NASA scientific program for ISS, experiments on droplet combustion are being performed. Those experiments, which were designed to study fire safety in spacecraft and elsewhere, have been in progress for more than three years, and more than 500 individual fuel droplets have now been burned in ISS. The microgravity environment affords longer residence times than are available on Earth, enabling investigations of combustion phenomena are not readily studied on the ground. A recent discovery in ISS is that quasi-steady combustion of alkane droplets can be supported by cool flames, a phenomenon not encountered under conditions achievable on the ground. This discovery has recently been selected to receive the NASA award for the most impressive discovery of the year in the physical sciences. The presentation will describe these experimental results, their interpretation, and differences between hot flames and cool flames.
Brief biography of Forman A. Williams: Forman Williams is Professor of Engineering Physics and Combustion in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He earned a BS degree from Princeton University in 1955 and a PhD in Engineering Sciences from California Institute of Technology in 1958. From 1958 – 64, Professor Williams taught in the Division of Engineering and Applied Physics at Harvard University; from 1964 – 81, he was Professor at the University of California, San Diego; from 1981 – 88, he was The Robert H. Goddard Chair in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. In 1988, Professor Williams returned to UCSD to assume his present position. From 1997 – 2006, he accepted an Adjunct Professorship in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Yale University. He served as the Director of the Center for Energy Research at UCSD from 1991 – 2006, and holds the Presidential Chair in Energy and Combustion Research from the University of California. He has written 400 research articles about his field of specialization, combustion, and his book, Combustion Theory, (second edition in 1985) is a respected treatise on the subject.