Norman Chigier In MemoriamNorman Chigier
August 2, 1933 – August 22, 2022

“Dr. Norman Chigier was born to Moshe and Mina Chigier in Frankfort, South Africa. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, University of Witwatersrand in 1952, obtained his MA at the University Cambridge in 1960, completed his Doctor of Philosophy at the University Cambridge in 1961 and received the Doctor of Science degree at the University Cambridge in 1977.

Always interested in enlarging his scientific horizons and interacting with his peers, he held a multitude of appointments at various institutions worldwide. As a result, he spoke fluent Dutch, French, and Hebrew in addition to English. His permanent faculty appointments were first at the University of Sheffield in the UK and then at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was Director of the Spray Systems Technology Center until his retirement. After his retirement, Dr. Chigier remained active in the scientific community, attending and making presentations at combustion and energy conferences. He was actively involved with the Automotive Engine Research Institute in Shanghai at Jiao Tong University, and he remained a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Napoli and at the Technion in Israel.

Dr. Chigier made unique contributions to the fundamental understanding of complex swirl flows, initially using 3-hole and 5-hole Pitot probes and later, Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV). His work at Sheffield University, using LDV on gaseous fuels and liquid fuel sprays, led to important, original developments about swirl flows under non-reacting and reacting conditions. While at Sheffield, he took sabbatical leave to join a research team at NASA Ames and study trailing aircraft vortices and wake flows that are common in combustors. When he returned to Sheffield, he was enthused about his NASA experience and displayed some stunning new visualizations of trailing vortices from the wake of a single engine aircraft. Some of these pictures (wake flows and impinging jet flames on a flat plate) were published in Nature. Dr. Chigier also performed pioneering experimental work on sprays; he was first to recognize that drops in sprays do not behave as individual entities, but rather display collective behavior–a fact that is of major importance in designing sprays for target applications.

A prolific writer, Dr. Chigier published several books related to combustion and sprays (Combustion Aerodynamics (with J.M. Beer), Applied Science, 1972; Energy, Combustion and Environment, McGraw-Hill, 1981; Collective Phenomena (Editor), Brain Research, 1975; Combustion Measurements (Editor), Hemisphere, 1991; Mechanics and Combustion of Droplets and Sprays (Editor with H.H. Chiu), Begell House, 1996). In editorial matters, Dr. Chigier is best known in the combustion community for his vision in 1974 as the Founding Editor of the review journal Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, originally published by Pergamon Press, and that he edited until 2015 at which time the journal had already been published by Elsevier and its impact factor topped 20. In 1990 Dr. Chigier also became the Founding Editor of Atomization and Sprays, published by Begell House.

Dr. Chigier was a Fellow of the Institute of Fuel (Lubbock-Sambrook award 1968, 1975), a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Lewis F. Moody awards Fluids Engineering Division, 1965), and the first President of the International Council of the Institute Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems (Tanasawa Award, 1988).”

Above memorial provided by:

Dr. Josette Bellan
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology

For more information about the life and work of Dr. Chigier, read the published obituary. The Combustion Institute honors Dr. Chigier’s accomplishments and the work of scientific leaders who make significant contributions for the advancement of many diverse communities around the world.