Wolański HeadshotPiotr Wolański
1942 – 2023

Professor Piotr Wolański (1942-2023) passed away on 31 August 2023. As a longtime member of The Combustion Institute, Piotr’s impact on the combustion community was significant. Deemed an expert on detonation combustion and rocket propulsion, he also developed a series of lectures on combustion engines, spacecraft engines, and astronautics.

Prof. Wolański studied at Warsaw University of Technology (MSc, Eng. 1966, Ph.D. 1971) and was a professor there until his retirement in 2016. During his tenure, he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Power of Aeronautical Engineering (1987-1990) and Pro-Rector for Scientific Research (2002-2005) of the Warsaw University of Technology. He was also employed at the Warsaw Institute of Aviation starting in 1992. As a professor for five decades, Wolański mentored numerous students and Ph.D. candidates, leaving them with lasting and fond memories. Further, many of his students have gone on to significant success with their work, with all of them recognizant of Wolański’s role in their careers.

He also founded and mentored the Warsaw University of Technology Astronautics Student Association. Under his term, the first Polish satellite of the Earth was built. His work aided Poland’s involvement in the European Space Agency and the creation of the Polish Space Agency.

He has collaborated with many companies, universities, and research institutions, such as (USA) the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Pratt & Whitney, UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore National Lab., US Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Energy; (JAPAN) Nagoya University, Aoyama Gakuin University, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry; (CHINA) Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Northeastern University, China Jiliang University, Tsinghua University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Peking University; (SINGAPORE) IHPC and NTU, and many others.

Due to his many accolades and accomplishments, Prof. Wolański was recognized as one of the most outstanding Polish scholars and academics. Throughout his career, he participated in numerous scientific conferences, contributed to several books and publications, served on multiple scientific boards and committees, and functioned as a member of various scientific and academic societies. He was a Full Member of the Engineering Academy in Poland and a Member of the Board starting in 2015, as well as a Full Member of the Warsaw Scientific Society. Regarding his activity within The Combustion Institute, he was published in CI and CI-affiliated journals on many occasions, delivered a Plenary Lecture at the 34th International Symposium on Combustion in 2012, and was a member of the inaugural 2018 class of Fellows of The Combustion Institute.

The Combustion Institute honors Piotr Wolański’s accomplishments and the work of scientific leaders who make significant contributions for the advancement of many diverse communities around the world.