Daniel Seery
1933 – 2024

Dr. Daniel Seery, a former President of The Combustion Institute, passed away on January 12, 2024 after a long illness in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Dr. Seery retired from United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) after about 40 years, during which time he made significant contributions to the field of combustion chemistry and contributed significantly to the International Combustion Institute (CI). Dr. Seery was known as a gentlemen scientist and engineer, and was frequently recognized for his encouragement and support of young combustion scientists not only at UTRC, but also within the community. During his early years he contributed to shock tube dissociation of halogens and their absorption spectroscopy and to reactions and processes leading to the production and destruction of nitrogen oxides (NO, N2O, NO2) within flames and on catalysts. Mid-career he contributed to the understanding of the use of sampling probes in flames, including aerodynamic quenching and applications to molecular beam sampling in low pressure flames. Throughout his career he contributed to combustion processes related to coal, and in the late 1990s, he led a project toward developing high efficiency, low emission, coal-fired, power generation systems.

Dr. Seery received his B.S. in chemistry from St. John’s University in 1955, and his M.S. (1958) and Ph.D. (1962) from Pennsylvania State University under Professor Howard Palmer’s tutelage. From 1962-64, he studied combustion chemistry of halogenated molecules at the University of Minnesota. In 1964, he joined UTRC and became the leader of the Combustion Sciences group ~1980, spear-heading a wide range of technologies from fundamental combustion science on gas-phase kinetics, flame structure and emissions, droplet combustion, and fuel chemistry, to practical applications related to fuel treatment in aerospace systems, low emission gas turbine engines, coal combustion, as examples.

Before serving as President and Vice-President for the CI from 1994-2001, Dr. Seery was Program Chair for the 21st ISOC held at the University of Munich in 1986, was a member of the Program Sub-Committee for the ISOC for many years, and served as the Colloquium Chair on Reaction Kinetics for the 25th ISOC. Prior to service to the international organization, Dr. Seery held key positions for the Eastern States Section. In addition, Dr. Seery served on the editorial board for Combustion and Flame, starting in 1980, and became Deputy Editor from 1984-1996. He also served on the editorial board for Progress in Energy and Combustion Science for many years starting in 1996. He was a member of the Combustion Research Facility Advisory Board for Sandia National Laboratories and participated in a variety of research panels for NIST, NSF, NAS, DoE, and GRI. In 1974, as a NATO/AGARD consultant, he delivered lectures throughout Europe on pollutant emissions from flames.

The Combustion Institute honors Dr. Seery as a leader, who contributed significantly to our community, as a member of industry during most of his career, yet impacting both academic fields and industrial applications.