Professor Derek Dunn-Rankin has been awarded the Oppenheim Prize from the Institute for Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems (IDERS). The prize honors brilliant contributions to the theoretical or interpretative aspects of combustion dynamics. Dunn-Rankin, chair of the Samueli School’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, is well known for experimental explorations of novel and interesting combustion problems and for the resulting contributions to resolution of critical open scientific questions and clarifications of the dominant physical processes in various unusual combustion circumstances.
Dunn-Rankin received the award in Taipei, Taiwan at the 24th International Colloquium for Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems on Aug. 1, 2013. The award cites Dunn-Rankin for “scientific explorations and clarifications on combustion diagnostics, electric field control of flames, sprays and atomization, and miniature combustion systems.”
“I am honored, particularly because Professor A.K. Oppenheim, for whom the award is named, was something of a mentor to me from my days at UC Berkeley,” says Dunn-Rankin. “He was not my formal advisor, but he had a big influence on my career, and he was the main reason that I became active at the International Colloquium for the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems. I am also honored and appreciative because these awards require a lot of work from a lot of people -- the nominators, those who write letters of support, the awards committee, and those who create the awards themselves. Considering all that, it is a humbling experience to receive this award.”
Named for the late UC Berkeley professor emeritus and IDERS co-founder Antoni K. Oppenheim, the Oppenheim Prize is awarded bi-annually. It is intended for an active scientist who is distinguished by showing “how to analyze or what it means.” This is the second time the prize has been awarded to a UCI engineer; Professor William Sirignano received it in 1993.