Jacqueline O’Connor, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, United States, has been selected by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) as the 2018 Dilip R. Ballal Early Career Engineer Award winner. The award honors individuals for outstanding accomplishments during the beginning of their careers. Professor O’Connor was selected for her collected body of work in the area of gas turbine technology.

“I’ve been fortunate to work in a number of areas related to gas turbines, including thermoacoustic combustion instability, turbulent flames, soot formation, and combustor/turbine interaction,” O’Connor said. “There are still a wide range of technology challenges related to gas turbine combustion, as well as a lot of interesting fundamental questions to pursue. I’ve enjoyed working on both ends of that research spectrum.”

In an article posted by The Pennsylvania State University, “Since joining Penn State in 2013, O’Connor has had several accomplishments in regards to her research and teaching. Aside from her role as assistant professor of mechanical engineering, O’Connor is director of the Reacting Flow Dynamics Laboratory — part of the Center for Combustion, Power and Propulsion — where her research focuses on unsteady combustion phenomena in power and propulsion technologies, including power generation gas turbines, aircraft engines and diesel engines, using high-speed laser diagnostics.”

“Her research has led to identifying key pathways for combustion instabilities and the role of those instabilities in flame dynamics, and within her first year, she received research contracts from important industry partners. Her laboratory and research group is quickly becoming well known to the industry in terms of the unique research she has developed, and her work has led to the improvement of combustor design for more stable combustion.”

Visit The Pennsylvania State University website for the full article.

O’Connor has been an active participant in the IGTI since her time in graduate school – writing papers, reviewing papers, chairing sessions, and now serving on the Combustion, Fuels and Emissions committee. “This award is extremely meaningful to me because of the community it comes from,” O’Connor said. “I have great respect and admiration for my colleagues in the IGTI, and so it was extra special to be awarded this honor from a community I enjoy working in so much.”

Please join The Combustion Institute in congratulating Jacqueline O’Connor on receiving this prestigious award.