The Combustion Institute and Elsevier, with the assistance of an award committee, have selected two members to receive the annual Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award. This year’s winners are Zheng Chen and Michael Gollner, each of whom are recognized for significant contributions and research in fundamental or applied combustion or combustion-related fields.

Dr. Zheng Chen received his B.E. and M.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Tsinghua University in 2001 and 2003, and Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 2009. After that, he joined Peking University as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015. His research interests are in the areas of flame dynamics, propulsion systems, alternative fuels, and multi-scale modeling of reactive flow. Combining theoretical analysis, numerical simulation, and experiment measurement, his group has worked on challenging problems on ignition, accurate laminar flame speed measurement, fast flame propagation in autoignitive mixtures, deflagration-to-detonation transition, and detonation engines.

“It is a great honor for me to receive the 2020 Hiroshi Tsuji award. This is a recognition of the work done not only by myself but also by my group and collaborators. I am thankful to my advisor, Professor Yiguang Ju, for introducing me to this fascinating area of combustion and for his continuous support. I am also thankful to my group at Peking University and I feel lucky to work on combustion together with these intelligent and diligent students. I thank my family, my colleagues and friends in the combustion community, and the Chinese Section of the Combustion Institute for helping and supporting me,” said Dr. Chen.

Dr. Michael Gollner is an Assistant Professor and Deb Faculty Fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He previously was a faculty member in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park from 2012-2019 and received his M.S., B.S. and Ph.D. (2012) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego studying under Prof. Forman Williams. He is broadly interested in fire science problems, utilizing experiments and theory to understand fire spread, wildfires, and fire whirls. He is active in leadership of the IAFSS, IAWF and NFPA FPRF.

 “It is a huge honor to be selected for this award. Fire science has long been an important area of study for the combustion community but does not always have the same visibility as other research areas. This recognition means so much recognizing not only the contributions that I have made, but the importance of fire science within our community. The coupling of so many different physical processes at so many scales in fire challenges us to innovate as we strive to learn more. The support of so many colleagues from the combustion and fire science communities cannot be overstated, science has truly been a collaborative effort for me and the connections I’ve made through the Combustion Institute have been a big part of that,” said Dr. Gollner.

Co-sponsored by The Combustion Institute and Elsevier, the international award and prize of US $10,000 recognizes up to two early career researchers who have demonstrated excellence in fundamental or applied combustion science and have achieved a significant advancement in their field within four to ten years of completing a doctoral degree or equivalents. The annual award is named after Professor Hiroshi Tsuji, whose stable porous cylinder counterflow burner configuration has influenced fundamental studies and applications in laminar and turbulent combustion.

“We are excited to once again present the annual Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award to two exceptional early career researchers,” said The Combustion Institute President James F. Driscoll. “Each year, the committee’s decision is met with increasing difficulty as the pool of truly remarkable nominees expandsThe recipients and nominees for this honorable award stand as proof that the future of combustion science is in excellent hands.

Elsevier is proud to present the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award in partnership with The Combustion Institute for the fifth consecutive year,” said Kathleen Ahamed-Broadhurst, Elsevier Executive Publisher. Thank you to the Award committee for their hard work in selecting two deserving early career researchers. Congratulations to Michael and Zheng on earning this prestigious award.”

Chen and Gollner will be recognized for receiving the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award during the 38th International Symposium on Combustion in Adelaide, Australia, to be held in January 2021. Past recipients of the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award can be found on The Combustion Institute website. Questions regarding the award may be directed to: