Subith Vasu, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, University of Central Florida, United States, has been selected by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) as a 2018 Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award recipient. The award recognizes and honors those young educators who are successfully preparing engineers for meeting the challenges that face society. Professor Vasu was selected for his contributions to teaching and to combustion research, most notably his work on advanced combustion for transportation.

“I am grateful to SAE for their recognition and I feel very fortunate to receive this award,” Vasu said. “It will be a great honor to participate in the Teetor program and I am looking forward to connecting with industry. I am very indebted to my mentors and students for their support and encouragement in my career. I am very proud to be working in the field of combustion where we are faced with ever-increasing challenges that need to be solved to enable better, efficient, and clean transportation systems.”

Vasu leads a research group that studies advanced biofuels for combustion, using shock tube and flame speed facilities, and utilizing novel diagnostics techniques. In an article posted by the University of Central Florida, “Vasu and his students research high temperature energy conversion to discover what happens when fuels such as gasoline convert into energy and change into new substances. The creation of new biofuels, Vasu said, brings questions of whether the fuel will emit substances that are safe for vehicle engines and for the environment. In his lab, Vasu uses a shock tube to study how these fuels break down – at what temperature, how long it takes and what they emit.”

Vasu has an outstanding record of successfully advising students at this early stage of his career and he has graduated four Ph.D. students, seven M.S. thesis students, and supported three postdoctoral researchers. Many of Vasu’s graduate and undergraduate students have published as first-authors on more than 25 journal articles, receiving recognition through fellowships and awards. After graduation, his students are finding prestigious roles in industry, academia, and national laboratories. Vasu has also volunteered as an advisor to many student design teams, and he helped to form the Combustion and Laser Diagnostics Society (CLADS), a student organization for combustion and diagnostics.

“My entire career has been in mobility industry related fundamental research on fuels and combustion, with a focus on advanced combustion strategies and alternative fuels for mobility interests,” Vasu said. “This award will certainly help me realize my lifelong goal of educating future leaders and decision makers about the importance of combustion research and opportunities.”

The Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award is the most current international recognition for Vasu and his research group. In 2017, he was selected by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) to receive the annual Dilip Ballal Early Career Award. In 2016, Vasu’s research group was featured in a documentary film titled Combustion Man, produced by the United Nations affiliated Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The film explored his research on destroying chemical weapons.

Please join The Combustion Institute in congratulating Subith Vasu on receiving this prestigious award.