The Combustion Institute and Elsevier, with the assistance of the selection committee, have chosen the 2023 recipients of the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award. This year’s recipients are Dr. Jacqueline O’Connor and Dr. Wenting Sun.

Dr. Jacqueline O’Connor is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. She received a B.S. in Aeronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and an M.S. (2009) and Ph.D. (2012) from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She was a post-doctoral researcher at Sandia National Laboratories from 2012-2013. Her laboratory at Penn State, the Reacting Flow Dynamics Laboratory, focuses on issues of combustion and fluid mechanics in power and propulsion technologies, including combustion instabilities, emissions, fuels, and combustor durability. She is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by the Combustion Institute community with the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Research Award,” said Dr. O’Connor. “I am very proud to be part of such a vibrant and supportive technical community, particularly my friends and colleagues who supported me through the early stages of my career. I am also very grateful to the wonderful students and collaborators I have had the opportunity to work with during my early career.”

Dr. Wenting Sun obtained his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 2013 and B.E. degree in Engineering Physics from Tsinghua University. He is currently an associate professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, his research focuses on plasma assisted combustion and high-pressure combustion kinetics. He was awarded the Bernard Lewis Fellowship from the Combustion Institute in 2012, Distinguished Paper Award for his presentation at the 33rd International Symposium on Combustion, AFOSR Young Investigator Award in 2015, and The Irvin Glassman Young Investigator Award from the Eastern States Section of the Combustion Institute in 2018.

Dr. Sun had this to say about the award: “I am truly honored and thrilled to be selected for the Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award. Being recognized by our community with the 2023 Tsuji Award is truly humbling. I have to acknowledge the hard work of my students, past and present, and research faculties whom I have worked with. Without their amazing work, we would not have been able to accomplish a fraction of what we have done. In the meantime, throughout my career, support, encouragement, and advice from my colleagues are invaluable and highly appreciated. I want to say thank you to everyone in our community. Thank you for this prestigious recognition.”

Co-sponsored by The Combustion Institute and Elsevier, the international award and prize of US $10,000 recognizes 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.

“This year, much like the previous seven, the selection committee was given the difficult task selecting the recipient of the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award from a long list of deserving candidates,” said CI President Philippe Dagaut. “We are pleased to present the eighth annual Tsuji Award to two recipients this year: Dr. Jacqueline O’Connor and Dr. Wenting Sun. Dr. O’Connor and Dr. Sun represent some of the most exceptional young researchers our field has to offer, and it is our pleasure to give them both this award.”

“On behalf of Elsevier, I would like to congratulate Dr. O’Connor and Dr. Sun and thank the selection committee for their diligent, tireless work,” said Kathleen Ahamed-Broadhurst, Elsevier Executive Publisher. “Choosing who received the eighth annual Tsuji Award from among the exceptional candidates was no simple matter, and we emphatically congratulate Dr. O’Connor and Dr. Sun on their selection. We wish them both the best as they continue their work, and applaud them for all they have already managed to accomplish in their young careers.”

Dr. O’Connor and Dr. Sun will be recognized for receiving the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award during the 40th International Symposium in Milan, Italy to be held 21-26 July 2024. Past recipients of the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award can be found on The Combustion Institute’s website. Questions regarding the award may be directed to: