The aim of the Central States Section (CSS) is to assist in accomplishing the broad objectives of The Combustion Institute:

The other U.S. sections of The Combustion Institute are the Eastern States Section and Western States Section.

Please see a short history of the Central States Section for more information.

The Section By-Laws are available at this link. They were last revised 2005-03, and the revisions were approved by the membership at the 2006 meeting in Philadelphia.


Archived news items are also available.


For a complete list, visit the Meetings page.


This section list awards bestowed by the Section.

Outstanding Student Presentation Award

Recipient Institution Advisor Paper title
2014 (Tulsa OK)
Kenneth W. McCown III Texas A&M University E.L. Petersen Modified burning rates of aqueous HAN solutions containing methanol and metal oxides
Joseph Meadows University of Alabama A.K. Agrawal Time-resolved PIV measurements in lean premixed swirl stabilized combustor without and with porous inert media for acoustic control
Michael A. Penny Texas A&M University T.J. Jacobs Efficiency improvements with low heat rejection concepts applied to low temperature combustion
Evan Vargas Texas Tech University M.L. Pantoya The effects of particle size and packing density on microwave heating of aluminum powder compacts
2010 (Champaign IL)
Maria Agathou University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign D.C. Kyritsis A comparative experimental study of butanol electrosprays through phase-doppler anemometry
2008 (Tuscaloosa AL)
Melissa Holtmeyer Washington University in St. Louis R. Axelbaum Blow-off behavior for oxy-coal flames with varying oxygen-enrichment in N2 and CO2 environments
2006 (Cleveland OH)
Jignesh Maun University of Maryland P. Sunderland Thin film pyrometry with a digital still camera
2004 (Austin TX)
Tershia Pinder University of Michigan A. Atreya An experimental investigation of the effect of fuel concentration and velocity fluctuations on non-premixed jet flames
2002 (Knoxville TN)
Sha Zhang University of Kentucky J.M. McDonough A low-order discrete dynamical system model of turbulent fluctuations in a reduced mechanism for H2-O2 combustion

Combustion Art Competition

The Combustion Art Competition was initiated in 2004 at the International Combustion Symposium in Chicago, and this inaugural event received 40 submissions of outstanding quality. From 2004–2010, prizes were awarded by vote of a panel of judges; since 2011, ballots have been distributed to meeting attendees for voting. A cash prize is offered to winners. The winning entries from all years are displayed below.

The 2016 Combustion Art Competition was held at the Spring Technical Meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee.

All images are displayed with permission of the copyright holders; please contact the copyright holders for reuse permissions. Click on the image for a larger version.

2019 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Jackson Pollock Paints with Fire Prize for Artistic Merit — “Jackson Pollock Paints with Fire”

“Boil-over is a phenomenon typically observed when extinguishment of oil fires is attempted by using water. Water tends to sink to the bottom of the oil layer and vaporizes rapidly upon boiling, expelling droplets from the oil layer. This significantly enhances the burning rate and size of the flame. In our experiments to simulate in-situ oil spill burning, crude oil was burned over a water layer 10 cm in diameter, resulting in boil-over. In this photograph, the lower portion of the flame is inundated by burning oil droplets expelled from the boiling liquid, later ‘painting’ smoky streaks which resembles a Jackson Pollock painting. This image was captured using a Nikon D7100 at f/4.5 with an exposure time of 0.4 ms.
The authors thank the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (E17PC00016) for supporting this work.”
Sriram Bharath Hariharan, Michael J. Gollner, Elaine S. Oran (University of Maryland)

[image] Flame Garden Prize for Technical Merit — “Flame Garden”

“While we are all used to conventional comparison among flame structures, the flames can be seen and compared from a different point of view. Three diffusion flames created using a nanosecond discharge plasma-assisted burner are shown in the photos, each corresponding to a specific discharge frequency. The flame photos have been rotated around the burner nozzle and shaped beautiful flower-like images.”
Saeid Zare, Shrabanti Roy, and Omid Askari (Mississippi State University)

[image] Face of Carbon Honorable Mention — “Face of Carbon”

“The image illustrates toluene spray flame using an annular co-flow spray burner and soot planar laser induced incandescence.”
Radi Alsulami, Brye Windell, and Bret Windom (Colorado State University)

2018 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Anisolography Prize for Artistic Merit — “Anisolography”

“A sequenial presentation of changes of the flame radius and cell formation during the combustion of anisole/air mixture in a constant volume combustion chamber at 2 atm initial pressure, equivalence ratio of 1, and initial temperature of 453 K. The sequence forms a shape similar to a Nautilus shell.
The background picture is a Middle Easterm tile art from the tomb of the poet Hafez (1315–1390).”
Saeid Zare and Omid Askari (Mississippi State University)

[image] Rotating Detonation Combustion Prize for Technical Merit — “Rotating Detonation Combustion”

“This high speed video taken at 30 kHz shows the flow at the exit of a rotating detonation combustor at the University of Alabama. A choke ring is placed at the exit to operate the combustor at a high pressure using methane fuel and enriched air, 50% nitrogen and 50% oxygen by volume. A hydrogen-oxygen pre-detonator is used to ignite the fuel-air mixture which then initiates detonation in the annular channel of the combustor. The video depicts the exhaust flow starting from ignition which subsequently results in continuous rotating detonation. The detonation waves rotates at about 6200 Hz corresponding to wave velocity of about 2000 m/s.”
Robert Miller and Ajay K. Agrawal (University of Alabama)

2017 Combustion Art Competition
[image] The Blue Whirl First Prize for Artistic Merit — “The Blue Whirl”

“The ‘blue whirl’ is a newly discovered flame structure that naturally evolves from a traditional yellow fire whirl under specific conditions of fuel flow and air circulation. While a traditional yellow fire whirl is known to be sooty, the blue whirl (typically ~8 cm high) is seen to be completely blue, indicating the absence of soot in the flame. This image shows an instance of a yellow fire whirl transitioning to a blue whirl. Such transitions show yellow streaks of soot that travel downwards into the flame, and swirl within the blue conical structure.

This image was captured using a Nikon D7100 at f/5.3 with an exposure time of 3.125 ms. A visible blue ring forms the edge of the blue conical structure, with the yellow soot trace within it. Since the flame is formed using n-heptane poured over a water surface, a mirror reflection of the flame is seen below.”
Sriram Bharath Hariharan, Michael J. Gollner, and Elaine S. Oran (University of Maryland)

[image] Life-Cycle of Air Cushion During Droplet Impact Second Prize for Artistic Merit — “Life-Cycle of Air Cushion During Droplet Impact”

“In IC engines, deposition of fuel droplets on the engine walls is highly undesirable as it facilitates fuel-rich burning, incomplete combustion and soot formation. When a droplet impacts a liquid surface, it traps a microscopic air-film underneath, which provides a cushioning effect. If the cushioning is strong enough, the droplet can actually bounce from the surface instead of merging with it. The air-film cannot be seen directly, and its miniscule thickness (~1 micron) also cannot be easily measured. In this experiment we shone a white light from the bottom of a wetted glass surface, and observed beautiful interference patterns, just like the rainbow colors on a soap bubble. Different colors represent different thicknesses of the air-film from which the shape of the air-film can be spatially resolved.

Here, we portray the life-cycle of this air cushion upoon droplet impact, with each slice representing a time instant. The impact starts from the 12 o’clock position and time lapses clockwise. The first two slices are when the droplet is approaching the surface and the rest are when the droplet is leaving the surface. Surrounding side-view images show relative droplet locations.”
Xiaoyu Tang, Abhishek Saha, and Chung K. Law (Princeton University)

[image] Journey of Curvature in Wrinkled Flames First Prize for Technical Merit — “Journey of Curvature in Wrinkled Flames”

“Otherwise regular and smooth surface of an expanding flame can be converted into irregular and wrinkled morphology either by cellular instability or by turbulence. Under both these situations, wrinkling of flame-front becomes stronger as the flame grows, either by the increase in number of cells or by the effect of larger eddies. While these wrinkled flame-fronts consist of segments with widely varying local curvatures, it is interesting to watch how locally the curvature evolves with time.

If the instantaneous flame edges from various time instances colored by the local curvature are superimposed for expanding wrinkled flames, beautiful patterns emerge. Two of such flames are portrayed here, Top row: Cellularly unstable laminar flame and Bottom row: Turbulent expanding flame, with colors representing negatively (green circle), positively (pink circles) and weakly (blue dots) curved flame segments. Amidst the beautiful plethora of colorful dots, the evolution of local curvature can be visualized by tracing the same color dots.”
Abhishek Saha, Sheng Yang, and Chung K. Law (Princeton University)

[image] Flame Propagation in Narrow Channels at Varying Lewis Number Second Prize for Technical Merit — “Flame Propagation in Narrow Channels at Varying Lewis Number”

“A Hele-Shaw cell is used for this laminar flame instability research. Dimensions of entire visible area is 15.75in by 23.62in. The Hele-Shaw cell is first evacuated, and then filled with desired premixed gas mixture using partial pressure method. The gas mixture is ignited at one end of the cell by three ignition sparks. The flame propagates under constant pressure toward the closed end of the cell with ignition end open to the atmosphere. There is no turbulence pre-ignition in the cell. Light emitted from hot products behind flames is filmed in total darkness. The video contains several individual experiments of different gas mixtures and propagation orientations. They are also colored using Adobe Premiere during post process. The conditions for each experiments are:

  • C3H8-O2-N2 mixture with equivalence ratio of 2 and calculated adiabatic flame temperature around 1850K horizontally propagation through a 0.5in narrow gap between two plates.
  • H2-O2-N2 flames of equivalence ratio of 2 and calculated adiabatic flame temperature around 1200K downward propagating through a 0.5in narrow gap between two plates.
  • H2-O2-N2 flames of equivalence ratio of 2 and calculated adiabatic flame temperature around 1200K horizontally propagating through a 0.5in narrow gap between two plates.
  • H2-O2-CO2 flames of equivalence ratio of 0.2 and calculated adiabatic flame temperature around 900K upward propagating through a 0.5in narrow gap between two plates.
  • H2-O2-CO2 flames of equivalence ratio of 0.8 and calculated adiabatic flame temperature around 1200K downward propagating through a 0.25in narrow gap between two plates.
  • H2-O2-N2 flames of equivalence ratio of 0.8 and calculated adiabatic flame temperature around 1300K horizontally propagating through a 0.5in narrow gap between two plates.
  • H2-O2-CO2 flames of equivalence ratio of 0.35 and calculated adiabatic flame temperature around 1050K downward propagating through a 0.5in narrow gap between two plates.

Otherwise regular and smooth surface of an expanding flame can be converted into irregular and wrinkled morphology either by cellular instability or by turbulence. Under both these situations, wrinkling of flame-front becomes stronger as the flame grows, either by the increase in number of cells or by the effect of larger eddies. While these wrinkled flame-fronts consist of segments with widely varying local curvatures, it is interesting to watch how locally the curvature evolves with time.

If the instantaneous flame edges from various time instances colored by the local curvature are superimposed for expanding wrinkled flames, beautiful patterns emerge. Two of such flames are portrayed here, Top row: Cellularly unstable laminar flame and Bottom row: Turbulent expanding flame, with colors representing negatively (green circle), positively (pink circles) and weakly (blue dots) curved flame segments. Amidst the beautiful plethora of colorful dots, the evolution of local curvature can be visualized by tracing the same color dots.”
Si Shen (University of Southern California)

[image] The City of Vulcan Honorable Mention — “The City of Vulcan”

“The image is a combination of non-premixed, premixed, and solid propellant combustion.”
Sayan Biswas, Aman Satija, Michael Powell, Morgan Ruesch, Steven Son, Robert Lucht, and Li Qiao (Purdue University)

[image] Evanescing Flame: The Temporal Evolution of a Methane Counterflow Flame Honorable Mention — “Evanescing Flame: The Temporal Evolution of a Methane Counterflow Flame”

“The counterflow flame burner consists of two opposed vertically-oriented concentric burners. The upper burner supplies the fuel jet and the lower burner supplies the oxidizer jet. The two center jet exits are surrounded by a co-flow to shield the flame from the environment resulting in the circular flame shape. To capture the sequenced temporal evolution of the flame, we first ran the methane and air through the upper and lower parts of the counterflow burner respectively before the mixture was ignited. That results in a large rich flame around the upper part of the counterflow burner. After that, we introduced nitrogen as the co-flow gas to shield the flame. As we increased the rate of the co-flow, the inner circular flame started to shape. Finally, we decreased the oxidizer flow rate in order to shrink the flame. The pictures were taken through all the steps.”
Radi Alsulami and Colin Gould (Colorado State University)

2016 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Baby in Flame Prize for Artistic Merit — “Baby in Flame”
“A baby born from the flame, like in the legends of the East. Image taken from a down-fired, co-axial, non-premixed, methane-air flame in a laboratory combustor using a Canon EOS 550D at an exposure time of 1/400s.”
Akshay Gopan, Adewale Adeosun, Zhiwei Yang, Tianxiang Li, and Richard L. Axelbaum (Washington University in St. Louis)
[image] Bang! Transition to Detonation Prize for Technical Merit — “Bang! Transition to Detonation - A story told in 87 frames”
“An ethylene-oxygen mixture with an equivalence ratio of 0.7 was ignited using a spark gap at one end of a 0.6 m long, 2 mm diameter quartz tube. Flame chemiluminescence through the tube was recorded at 300 Hz, and resulting frames are displayed sequentially from top to bottom. The flame accelerates along the tube, transitioning from deflagration to detonation with a sudden increase in flame luminosity as the predicted temperature jumps to 3778 K. The detonation wave travels at a constant velocity near the Chapman-Jouguet velocity of 2200 m/s. A lower velocity wave is also visible propagating from the transition point towards the tube entrance.”
Chloe E. Dedic, Alex R. Tietz, and James B. Michael (Iowa State University)
[image] Bang! Transition to Detonation Honorable Mention— “Mesmerizing Micro-World of a Monopropellant Matrix (4M)”
“Flame speed of a solid monopropellant (nitrocellulose) enhances up to 14 times the bulk value when coupled to a highly conductive thermal base (graphite sheet) at microscale. This image made of several Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images, shows three phases of the graphite base/matrix,
  1. Before adding monopropellant (inner rectangle)
  2. After adding monopropellant (intermediate rectangle)
  3. After monopropellant burns out (outer rectangle)

Sayan Biswas, Shourya Jain, and Li Qiao (Purdue University)
2015 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Afrit - The Fire Monster Prize for Artistic Merit — “Afrit (Arabian mythology) - The Fire Monster”
“High speed schlieren photography of pre-chamber generated turbulent jet ignition of lean CH4/air - potential solution to ultra lean combustion. Devil's face is made of wrinkled turbulent flames. Horns are composed of two flame-jets from pre-chamber combustion. The hot puff on top of devil's head represents initiation of ignition in main combustion chamber. This image contains all three phases of prechamber generated jet ignition process, namely, the pre-chamber flame-jet, main chamber ignition point and flame propagation.”
Sayan Biswas and Li Qiao (Purdue University)
[image] Stars and Stripes Prize for Technical Merit — “Stars and Stripes”
“Flamelets in an iron particle suspension passing through quenching channels. Agglomerates burn discretely in the afterglow of the flame.”
Michael Soo, Jan Palecka, Phil Julien, Sam Whiteley, James Vickery, Sam Goroshin, David Frost and Jeff Bergthorson (McGill University)
[image] Combustion Arcoiris Honorable Mention for Artistic Merit — “Combustion Arcoiris (rainbow)”

“The pictures were taken for fuel flexibility experiments carried out at the University of California Irvine Combustion Laboratory (UCICL). The pictures show the structure of premixed flames with multiple fuel compositions and air to fuel ratios (only on the fuel lean regime). The fuel compositions used include fuel blends of hydrogen, natural gas and biogas.

The burner presented in the picture uses a porous material to stabilize the reactions. The porous ceramic burner presented in the pictures is the Duratherm™ by ALZETA Corp.”
Andres F. Colorado (University of California Irvine)

[image] Fire Eyes Honorable Mention for Artistic Merit — “Fire Eyes”

“Each eye is actually an image of a burning droplet with its surrounding soot and flame, suspending from a carbon fiber in normal gravity. The fuel used for this experiment was diesel doped with 3% (by weight) of a very heavy polymer, Polybutadiene, to investigate the effect of polymer additives on combustion characteristics. Due to presence of polymer, there is a period during which the droplet undergoes strong bubbling and swelling and takes many irregular shapes. Through sputtering, plumes of gas leave droplet surface and change flame standing and soot shell distribution. The image has been just colored and all the shadows around the eye are natural and represent the location of a very sooty flame around the droplet. For this experiment images were taken at 500 frames per second and the mean droplet diameter in the instant shown is about 0.55 mm.”
Mohsen Ghamari and Albert Ratner (University of Iowa)

[image] Turbulent Premixed V-Flame Honorable Mention for Technical Merit — “Turbulent Premixed V-Flame”

“Turbulence-flame interaction is a key to turbulent combustion modeling. Except for statistically one-dimensional planar turbulent flames, mean flow features such as shear layers also influence the interaction. The V-flame is one of flame configurations that emphasize this additional complexity due to flame geometry. A turbulent hydrogen-air V-flame has been simulated using the direct numerical simulation methodology. The image shows volume rendered vortices (cyan) and temperature field (red-yellow). The interaction characteristics change with the streamwise distance (vertical distance from the bottom). Near the flame holder, local flames interact with quite a few vortices parts of which are generated by the mean shear or wake behind the flame holder. The vortices quickly decay to have small effect on reaction zones in the downstream.”
Yuki Minamoto (Sandia National Laboratories) and Mamoru Tanahashi (Tokyo Institute of Technology)

[image] Soot: In the Wink of an Eye Honorable Mention for Technical Merit — “Soot: In the Wink of an Eye”

“Tiny soot particles are visible around a free-floating and stationary n-decane droplet in this image at one instant of the droplet burning history. External convective effects are absent. The resulting thermal symmetry leads to soot aggregates forming a spherical porous cloud (the flame, not visible, is about ten times the droplet diameter). This symmetric configuration of trapped soot aggregates belies the complexity of the processes that bring about its existence.”
Yuhao Xu (Cornell), Yu-Cheng Liu (U. Michigan-Flint), Michael Hicks (NASA) and Thomas Avedisian (Cornell)

2014 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Fired Up About Combustion Prize for Artistic Merit — “Fired Up About Combustion”
“A compilation of images depicting diesel fuel burning in open atmosphere was superimposed on the word “Combust” to create this art piece. Special care was taken to ensure minimal repetition of similar-looking flame structures in order to best reproduce the complexity and beauty of an actual fire.”
Michael Penny (Texas A&M University)
[image] Spin Combustion Regimes in Mo-Si-B Mixtures Prize for Technical Merit — “Spin Combustion Regimes in Mo-Si-B Mixtures”
“Spin combustion exists at the limit of combustibility, i.e., when there is not enough energy for the propagation of a planar front. The video demonstrates how an increase in the mixture’s exothermicity increases the number of hot spots in spin combustion and eventually leads to the formation of a planar front.”
M.S. Alam and E. Shafirovich (University of Texas at El Paso)

Click the image to download the video (29.1 MiB).

2013 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Blossoming Flame Prize for Artistic Merit — “Blossoming Flame”
“The series of eleven n-heptane/air flames demonstrate the transition that occurs in a turbulent flame as a result of low temperature oxidation of the reactants prior to their introduction into the high temperature flame. Scanning left to right, the degree of pre-flame reactant oxidation is increased by increasing the reactant temperature and/or the heated residence time. This transition, evident by the blossoming redness of the flames, can have serious implications on the flame properties, including burning rates, emissions, turbulent/combustion interactions, and flame regimes.”
Bret Windom, Bo Jiang, Sang Hee Won, Yiguang Ju (Princeton University)
[image] Three Faces of An Expanding Flame Prize for Technical Merit — “Three Faces of An Expanding Flame”
“The three images are snap shots of a spark-ignited expanding flame in different environments of the same hydrogen-air mixture.

The top flame shows the ideal, reference case of a stable, smooth flame surface in a quiescent environment at atmospheric pressure.

The middle flame is taken under elevated pressure simulating that within an internal combustion engine. The flame surface is now hydrodynamically unstable (i.e. the Darrieus-Landau instability) and develops cells, causing the flame to propagate and hence burn faster because of the increased flame surface area.

The bottom flame is taken in a highly turbulent environment which simulates another aspect of the engine interior. Now the flame surface is distorted by the multi-scale turbulence, which again leads to an increase of the burning rate. All images were taken at 8000 frame per second, using schlieren photography. Radius of the top flame is 11.4 mm.”
Chung K. Law, Swetaprovo Chaudhuri, Fujia Wu (Princeton University)

[image] CO Excalibur Honorable Mention — “CO Excalibur”
“The image is produced by simulating the combustion of a single coal particle in laminar flow using detailed chemistry.

The image shows the carbon monoxide (CO) concentration in the gas phase.

The blade corresponds to production of CO by devolatilization of the coal particle, the guard corresponds to homogeneous ignition and the grip corresponds to CO production by char oxidation.”
Babak Goshayeshi, James C. Sutherland (University of Utah)

[image] Hypergolic Ignition of Various Compounds with Nitric Acid Honorable Mention — “Hypergolic Ignition of Various Compounds with Nitric Acid”
“This movie shows the hypergolic ignition of three solid compounds with concentrated nitric acid. Reaction begins within 10 ms and is completed in a fraction of a second. The green color indicates the presence of boron.”
M. Pfeil, J. Dennis, T. Pourpoint, S. Heister, P. Ramachandran, and S. Son (Purdue University)

Click the image to download the video (6.9 MiB).

[image] Flame-made Nanoforest Honorable Mention — “Flame-made Nanoforest”
“Copper oxide (CuO) nanowires grown on copper substrate by thermal annealing method are decorated with cobalt oxide (Co3O4) nanoparticles by burning cobalt precursor coated CuO nanowires for 10 sec in a CH4/air premixed flame (fuel lean condition). A high temperature and ultra-fast heating rate of the flame enables rapid combustion of cobalt precursor in the vicinity of the CuO nanowires (localized combustion), in which generated gaseous products blows out the precursor as it nucleate/crystallize, finally forms nanoparticles chains around CuO nanowires.”
In Sun Cho (Stanford University)
2012 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Ternary Flame Art Image Prize for Artistic Merit — “Ternary Flame Art Image”
“This image shows a ternary flame system with a Santoro burner below a ring burner. The steady soot column generated by the acetylene diffusion flame passes into the hydrogen ring flame, where it is oxidized. This allows soot oxidation to be studied in the absence of soot formation. The camera is a Nikon D100 digital still camera at 6.1 megapixels. This research is supported by NSF.”
H. Guo, P.M. Anderson, P.B. Sunderland (University of Maryland)
[image] Flame Personality Disorder Prize for Technical Merit — “Flame Personality Disorder”
“This is a rainbow schlieren video rendering of a fuel lean swirl stabilized combustion process captured at 50,000 frames per second. Therefore, every second of this video represents approximately 2.4 milliseconds in real time. The flame results in two distinct regions of turbulent disorder. The lower half of the video shows fast, small-scale turbulent structures in the reaction zone that dissipate nearly instantaneously at the flame boundary. Larger scale, slower moving turbulent structures develop downstream of the flame in the product flow region.”
Dan Mitchell (University of Alabama)

Click the image to download the video (53.6 MiB).
2011 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Flaming Star First Place — “Flaming Star”
“Microgravity flames converging toward the center of the starburst ‘implode’ against an outflow of wind, creating a diffusion flame ‘supernova’.”
Sandra L. Olson (NASA Glenn Research Center)
[image] Dr. Combustion Second Place — “Dr. Combustion”
“A family of methane-air counterflow and premixed flames of different configurations with and without addition of nanoparticles. Depending on flame configuration, the particles may pass reaction zone, be heated and irradiate light (nose, beard, and hair). In certain configurations of a counterflow diffusion flame, the reaction zone acts as a strong fluid-dynamics source and diverts the particles, making them not reach the reaction zone (eyes and mouth). A classical methane-air diffusion flame provides Dr. Combustion with an elegant hat as he cannot conceal the joy of discovery.”
Bogdan Pavlov and Li Qiao (Purdue University)
[image] Super Fire Whirl Third Place — “Super Fire Whirl”
“A fire whirl developed over a pool of benzene, note the waves and disturbances on the fuel surface. An upward mirrored reflection of the whirl is rotated to create the s-like shape.”
Nelson Akafuah and Kozo Saito (University of Kentucky)
[image] Fan of Fire Third Place — “Fan of Fire - Surface Inclination Effects on Upward Flame Spread”
“This "fan of fire" visually displays the effect gravity has on upward flame spread over thermally-thick materials. Starting from the left "ceiling fire", as the inclination angle or tilt of a burning surface is increased underside flames transition from blue, well-mixed laminar flames into increasingly turbulent yellow flames on the topside that "lift" from the surface dramatically increasing the flame thickness. These images were taken perpendicular to the surface of a thick sample of Polymethyl Methacrylate mounted flush into insulation board as flames spread upward. These tests have helped in finding critical inclinations with maximum flame spread rates, burning rates and heat fluxes from the flame.”
Michael Gollner and Xinyan Huang (University of California, San Diego)
2010 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Porous Inert Media with Stable Methane Flame First Place — “Porous Inert Media with Stable Methane Flame”
“The flame produces a sound pressure level of 92.1 dB at an equivalence ratio of 0.7. An artistic sound plot spans across the bottom of the image.”
L. Justin Williams (University of Alabama)
[image] Flame, Gone With Butterfly Second Place — “Flame, Gone With Butterfly”
“CH4/Air premixed flame attached to a carbon-coated brass matrix cooled with water. Fuel rich to fuel lean from left to right and top to bottom by increasing air flow rate and decreasing CH4 flow rate. Small flames dance around and a butterfly appears. When the butterfly flies away, flame is gone.”
Yanan Gan and Li Qiao (Purdue University)
[image] The Heated Man in the Moon Third Place — “The Heated Man in the Moon”
“This Schlieren Image captures a turbulent hydrogen jet mixing with quiescent air (on the right), ignited by a spark plug (on the left) and the flame propagating through a constant volume combustion chamber.”
Tanisha L. Booker (University of Alabama)
2009 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Fire's Ribbons and Lace First Place — “Fire's Ribbons and Lace”
“The delicate and fractal nature of charring cellulose is amplified here in repeated magnified images of a flame spread front over ashless filter paper.”
Sandra Olson (NASA Glenn Research Center), Fletcher Miller (San Diego State University), Indrek Wichman (Michigan State University)
[image] The Devil's in the Small-Scale Details Second Place (tie) — “The Devil's in the Small-Scale Details”
“The research around the picture involves predicting the flame spread on warehouse fires using small-scale cone calorimeter data. The image shows a test performed on the cone calorimeter in which 2 cardboard cells are set up and free burned to better understand the burning characteristics of a larger packed commodity box. The outer shell of the box is corrugated cardboard and the fuel inside consists of polystyrene cups. The image shows the polystyrene burning after the front face of cardboard has burned away. The mass loss rate from the tests is then used to predict flame spread on large 30-40 foot stacks of boxes stored in warehouses.”
Kristopher Overholt (Worchester Polytechnic Institute)
[image] Man Makes Fire, Fire Makes Man Second Place (tie) — “Man Makes Fire, Fire Makes Man”
“This short exposure photograph of a non-premixed turbulent jet flame of ethylene burning in quiescent air captures detached flamelets with an eerily human form.”
Scott Skeen (Washington University in St. Louis)
[image] Swirl-Stabilized Flame Enclosed by Porous Inert Media Special Recognition — “Swirl-Stabilized Flame Enclosed by Porous Inert Media”
“Swirl-stabilized flame enclosed by porous inert media (PIM). PIM stabilized portion of the flame experiences flashback and the flame gradually stabilizes within the PIM.”
Daniel Sequera and Ajay Agrawal (University of Alabama)
2008 Combustion Art Competition
[image] HALO Burner First Place — “HALO Burner”
“Photo of a new ultra-low NOx process burner firing a refinery fuel gas mixture in a relatively cold test furnace at a low firing rate. The burner incorporates some advanced aerodynamic mixing techniques and is called the HALO burner because of the ceramic ring at the outlet.”
Chuck Baukal (John Zink Company)
[image] Outdoor Candle Second Place — “Outdoor Candle”
“A candle structure includes a candle body and a plurality of wicks. The candle body is configured with a top and bottom surface, and an outside wall that tapers substantially inward from the top surface to the bottom surface. The plurality of wicks is configured to supply stable preheated air through the gaps of standing wicks that protrude from the top surface of the candle structure. The plurality of wicks extends above the body and the wicks are aligned longitudinally. The plurality of wicks is arranged radially to taper outward toward the bottom surface of the candle body such that a flame is produced when the wicks are ignited. An air channel is configured to supply stable preheated air to a base of the flame, the air channel extending through the plurality of wicks and being graduated so that the flow of air through the air channel is substantially laminar. A heat conductive rod extending downward from a top of the air channel, wherein the heat conductive rod is configured to increase the temperature of and lower the air pressure of the air at the top of the air channel. It further maintains stable preheated air supply to the base of the flame. As a result, the flame is larger with less smoke and unburned fuel, stronger and less susceptible to air disturbances such as wind. When the wind gets strong, the adequately warmed air, passing through the air channel, increases. It increases the strength of the flame. The stronger the wind blows, the tougher the flame stands without smoke.”
Susumu Matsuyama (Almond Lamp Company)
[image] Centerbody Flames Third Place — “Centerbody Flames”
“The images shown are photographs of ethylene/air/nitrogen diffusion flames stabilized behind a bluff centerbody. The two images on the top show the centerbody flame photographed from the side (top left) and top views (top right). The blue regions are associated with the flame front and the other colors of the flame are largely due to blackbody radiation from the soot. The intense yellow radiation is from soot trapped in a tight ring vortex downstream of the stabilizing bluff body. The motion of the soot trapped in the vortex can be seen in the longer exposure photograph taken from the top.
The bottom two images are of a centerbody flame with the same inlet flow velocities as the case shown above but with higher nitrogen content in the feed gases. The image on the lower left shows a blue ring flame that forms around the main flame immediately downstream of the centerbody. This blue ring flame exhibits a slight oscillation in the vertical direction. The image on the lower right shows the region downstream of the ring flame for the same conditions. The disturbances in the downstream region of the flame are amplified as it passes through the tube, resulting in the large structures shown in the short exposure (0.8 ms) photo.”
Scott Stouffer, Garth Justinger (University of Dayton Research Institute), Mel Roquemore, Amy Lynch, Vince Belovich, Joe Zelina, Jim Gord (Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base), Keith Grinstead, Vish Katta and Kyle Frische (Innovative Scientific Solutions Incorporated)
2007 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Soot Spirals in a Laminar Flame First Place — “Soot Spirals in a Laminar Flame”
“In a nonpremixed jet flame formation of soot takes place within the flame zone. While soot particles are transported away from the flame zone they experience Newtonian, thermophoretic, and pressure forces induced via particle-fluid interaction. These forces in a centerbody flame produce a spectacular spiraling motion for the soot particles. Traces of soot particles (green) are visualized in the experiment by shining a YAG laser sheet. Radiation from soot (orange) and emission from excited CH radicals (blue) are also captured in the direct photograph of the laboratory flame. Calculations for this flame are performed using UNICORN code. Trajectories of the soot particles are shown in green, soot radiation is shown in orange and CH concentration is shown in blue. Soot particles originating at the flame surface are moving toward the center of the primary recirculation zone in a helical pattern. Some soot particles are also entering the secondary recirculation zone.”
Scott Stouffer, Viswanath Katta, William Roquemore, Garth Justinger, Vincent Belovich, Amy Lynch, Joe Miller, Robert Pawlik, Joseph Zelina, Sukesh Roy, Keith Grinstead and James Gord (Air Force Research Laboratory, Propulsion Directorate, Wright Patterson Air Force Base)
[image] The Almond Flame Second Place — “The Almond Flame”
“A dual cylinder wick lamp creates a flame inside an outer flame. The flame of the picture uses 91% rubbing isopropyl alcohol has a burning, vacuum column surrounded by a pink layer and a blue layer cylinder flame. The vacuum column holds the flame perimeter toward the center. The warm air flow through a heated almond flower surrounds the flame to improve the combustion of the outer flame and protect the outer flame from the wind. When the wind gets strong, the adequately warmed air, passing through the air channels in the center and between the cylinder wicks, increases. It increases the strength of the flame and results smokeless from the flame under windy conditions. The stronger the wind blows, the tougher the flame stands. This Almond Flame shows clean laminar flow offers steady purification, and strength under windy conditions offers unlimited fortune.”
Susumu Matsuyama (Almond Lamp Corporation)
[image] Spherical Ethylene Diffusion Flame in Microgravity Third Place — “Spherical Ethylene Diffusion Flame in Microgravity”
“This is an image of a spherical diffusion flame of ethylene burning in air in the NASA GRC 2.2 s drop tower. The image was recorded about 1.4 s after ignition. The ethylene flowrate is 1.5 mg/s and the scale is revealed by the 6.5 mm porous sphere visible in the image. The image was recorded using a Nikon D100 digital single-lens reflex camera with a 125 ms exposure.”
P.B. Sunderland (University of Maryland), D.L. Urban and D.P. Stocker (NASA Glenn Research Center), B.H. Chao (University of Hawaii) and R.L. Axelbaum (Washington University)
[image] Untitled Fourth Place
“CH* chemiluminescence imaging of cylindrical detonations in an C2H2 + O2 mixture. Successive detonations were initiated at the center points in a manner described in Cetegen, B. M., Crary, F. L. and Dabora, E. K., 'The interaction of periodically generated cylindrical detonations in a simulated hypersonic flow,' Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol. 28, pp. 629-635, 2000.”
Baki Cetegen, Lynwood Crary and Eli Dabora (University of Connecticut)
[image] Diesel Jets Fifth Place — “Diesel Jets”
“The picture shows simultaneous planar images of the soot (red) and OH-radical (green) distributions in combusting diesel fuel jets at various stages of development. They were acquired in an optically accessible diesel engine using overlapping laser sheets for planar laser-induced incandescence (PLII) of the soot and planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) of the OH. The two simultaneous images were acquired using two intensified CCD cameras, false-colored to show the soot in red and OH in green, and then superimposed to form a single image. These images were acquired as part of an ongoing study of in-cylinder processes in diesel engines to reduce emissions and improve the efficiency of these engines.”
John Dec (Sandia National Laboratories) and Dale Tree (Brigham Young University)
2006 Combustion Art Competition
[image] Microflame Sunflower First Place — “Microflame Sunflower”
“This montage was inspired by the natural patterns seen in sunflowers. The seeds in a sunflower are separated by the Golden Angle, which produces what looks like simultaneous spirals in both directions around the middle of the sunflower. In addition, the number of spirals and petals on a sunflower are always one of a number in the Fibonacci series (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55). This pattern is a re-occurring theme in nature (seashells, pinecones, etc...). We chose this pattern to represent our progress in microcombustion, as we spiral in to find the smallest possible flame. We also wanted the montage to represent the now flowering topic of microcombustion.”
Ben Mellish and Fletcher Miller (National Center for Space Exploration Research); Dan Dietrich and Pete Struk (NASA Glenn Research Center); James T'ien (Case Western Reserve University).
[image] Second Place
“In this color schlieren image, methane/air flames are seen as small vertical elements being emitted from a burner at the center of the image. The flames impinge on a 25 cm diameter cylinder mounted 10 mm above the burner surface. the cylinder is rotating in a counterclockwise direction at 5.5 meters/sec. This configuration is important in the flame treatment of plastic films by altering the film surface in preparation for printing.”
Colleen Stroud, Melvyn Branch and Jean Hertzberg (University of Colorado, Boulder).
[image] Radiation Demon Third Place — “Radiation Demon”
“Radiative heat flux contours on a tunnel wall from a three-dimensional flame spread model. Contours modified with nonlinear color map and some image processing.”
Ioan Feier (Case University).
2004 Combustion Art Competition
[image] First Place
“Low-speed opposing jets of fuel (top) and air (bottom) formed a flat laminar diffusion flame. As the jet velocities are increased a weak turbulent flame is generated. Velocity and particle fields are superimposed on temperature distribution on the left and right halves of the picture, respectively. Particles injected from fuel and air jets are shown with black and white dots, respectively. Jet instabilities generated vortices, which; in turn, enhanced mixing and broadened the reaction zone. The laminar flame at the center is extinguished and the turbulent flame in the wings is stabilized. Turbulent fluctuations are evident in the velocity field and the associated vortical structures are evident in the particle field. Simulations are performed using UNICORN code.”
Viswanath Katta, Terry Mayer, James Gord and William Roquemore (Wright Patterson Air Force Base)
[image] Second Place
“This is a photo of a full scale flare being tested at sunset at the John Zink R&D Test Center in Tulsa, OK.”
Chuck Baukal (John Zink Company)
[image] Third Place
“All four flames involve methane/oxygen/nitrogen diffusion flames at 1 bar in the NASA Glenn 2.2 second drop tower. The flame at upper left involves oxygen flowing into 28% (by volume) methane and has unusual pink coloration. The flame at upper right involves methane flowing into 40% oxygen and has large bright soot agglomerates. The flame at lower left involves oxygen flowing into 30% methane and has a bright soot halo outside of the flame sheet. The flame at lower right involves methane flowing into air and has a soot shell well inside of the flame sheet.”
Jason Taylor (National Center for Microgravity Research) and Richard Axelbaum (Washington University)


Since 2012, the Central States Section has awarded outreach grants for high school teachers to develop a combustion-related module for their curricula. Here are the recipients:

For a description of the objectives of the grant program and for the individual grant details, see the Outreach Grants page.

Student Support

This section includes information about travel support for student presenters at the Section Meeting and at the International Symposium.

The Section offers travel awards for students within the Section who travel to present at the International Symposium on Combustion. This includes the James E. Peters Travel Fellowship, awarded to one student to present at the Symposium.

Board of Advisors

The officers, chairs and at-large members are listed below, with their affiliation and the year that their term expires (superscripts denote term numbers). Of the 18 current members, 10 are from academia, 3 are with government agencies, and 2 are from industry.

Officers & Chairs
Chair (2023)* R.S. Tranter Argonne National Laboratory 2025*
Chair-Elect (2023) W. Kulatilaka Texas A&M University 2027*
Treasurer (2023)3 T. Lee University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2023*
Secretary (2021)1 R. Sankaran Oak Ridge National Laboratory 20241
Past-Chair (2023)* T.J. Jacobs Texas A&M University 2023*
Program Chair (2022) A. Ratner University of Iowa 20242
Combustion Art Competition Chair Y.-T. Liao Case Western Reserve University 20241
Outreach Chair K.K. Srinivasan University of Alabama 20262
Webmaster & Archivist [non-voting] C.E.A. Finney Oak Ridge National Laboratory
At-Large Members
S.K. Aggarwal University of Illinois at Chicago 20222
C. Kolodziej Argonne National Laboratory 20261
W.F. Northrop University of Minnesota 20221
P.T. Lynch University of Illinois at Chicago 20261
P.K. Senecal Convergent Science, Inc. 20262
S.F. Son Purdue University 20242

Financial Sponsors

The following are recognized for their past and continuing generous donations to support the Section:

2018   Central States Section, Minneapolis MN
    TSI Inc
2014   Central States Section, Tulsa OK
    National Science Foundation
    John Zink Hamworthy Combustion
    John Zink Institute
    University of Oklahoma
2012   Central States Section, Dayton OH
    National Science Foundation
    Spectral Energies LLC
    Innovative Scientific Solutions, Inc.
    University of Dayton Research Institute - von Ohain Fuels and Combustion Center
    General Electric Aviation
2010   Central States Section, Champaign IL
    National Science Foundation
    Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2009   6th U.S. National Combustion Meeting, Ann Arbor MI
    National Science Foundation
    University of Michican College of Engineering
    The Combustion Institute
    Princeton Instruments
    Pratt & Whitney
    University of Michigan Office of the Vice President for Research
    University of Michigan Department of Aerospace Engineering
    University of Michigan Department of Mechanical Engineering
2008   Central States Section, Tuscaloosa AL
    National Science Foundation
    Alabama Power
    International Journal of Engine Research
    UA Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies
2004   Central States Section, Austin TX
    National Science Foundation
2003   Joint U.S. Meeting, Chicago IL
    National Science Foundation
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    General Motors Corporation
    Rolls-Royce Corporation
2002   Central States Meeting, Knoxville TN
    General Motors Corporation
2001   Joint U.S. Meeting, Oakland CA
    Ford Motor Company
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
2000   Central States Meeting, Indianapolis IN
    Ford Motor Company
    General Motors Corporation
    Rolls-Royce Corporation
1999   Joint U.S. Meeting, Washington DC
    Ford Motor Company
    General Motors Corporation