Forman A. Williams
Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Energy from combustion, combustion efficiency, and combustion instability problems in a variety of engines, including rockets. Professor Williams' studies range from investigations into the fundamental nature of energy and combustion to practical applications in energy conservation and production, as well as pollution control. Among other things, he looks at the structures of flames employing both detailed and modeled chemistry, conducting small-scale laminar combustion experiments to measure ignition and extinction. Williams' work in combustion has led to a greater understanding of pollutants. He has focused on the mechanisms of production of NOx emissions (oxides of nitrogen), which can be used to decrease pollution from automobiles. Williams has designed fundamental combustion experiments on the space shuttle and in the space station to look at the effects of gravity or microgravity on flames. By studying droplet and spray combustion for propulsion, more efficient rocket engines have been addressed. Most recently, Williams has been looking at fire safety and providing a San Diego chemical kinetic mechanism for use in combustion problems.
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