Michael Burke


1006 Northwest Corner Building
New York, NY 10027

Tel(212) 851-0782
Fax(212) 854-3304

Michael P. Burke unravels and quantifies the fundamental reactivity of gases relevant to energy conversion and atmospheres of Earth and other planets. He creates computational methods that capture both the molecular interactions invisible to the eye and macroscopic phenomena responsible for engineering design performance.

Research Interests

Combustion, energy conversion, gas-phase physical chemistry, multiscale modeling, autonomous science, uncertainty quantification

He also develops methods for autonomous scientific inquiry that blur the line between computers and experiments and accelerate scientific progress. A particular emphasis is the creation of predictive computer models for fuel oxidation that enable design of future combustion engines to meet growing needs for renewable fuels, improved air quality, and cost-effective energy solutions.

Burke’s data-driven chemical models combine experimental and theoretical data across multiple scales to produce highly accurate predictions with quantified uncertainties. He also develops fundamental chemical theories for reactions taking place in realistic mixtures, where the high concentrations of reactive molecules invalidate traditional chemical theories based on pure inert substances. Models, codes, and data developed by Burke and coworkers are used by others for a variety of applications, ranging from computing the performance of energy conversion devices engines to predicting the fate of compounds in the troposphere.

In his path to solving problems, Burke has traversed a range of disciplines across engineering, physical sciences, and data science. Burke earned his BS in mechanical engineering in 2005 at the Pennsylvania State University and PhD in mechanical and aerospace engineering in 2011 at Princeton University, where he was a Wallace Memorial Fellow and Princeton Energy and Climate Scholar. He then joined the Chemical Sciences and Engineering division of Argonne National Laboratory as a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow. At Columbia, he is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering and holds affiliations in Chemical Engineering and the Data Science Institute. In 2015, he received the Doctoral New Investigator award from the American Chemical Society.


  • Undergraduate research assistant in Mechanical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University (2004-2005)
  • Doctoral research assistant in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University (2005-2011)
  • Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow/Argonne Scholar in Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Argonne National Laboratory (2011-2014)


  • Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University (2014-present)
  • Affiliated Professor of Chemical Engineering, Columbia University (2014-present)
  • Affiliated Member of the Data Science Institute, Columbia University (2014-present)


  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)


  • Doctoral New Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society PRF (2016-2018)
  • Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at Argonne National Laboratory (2011-2013)
  • Wallace Memorial Fellowship (2009-2010)
  • Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars Fellowship (2008-2010)


  • M.P. Burke, R. Song. Evaluating Mixture Rules for Multi-Component Pressure Dependence: H + O2 (+M) = HO2 (+M). Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 36 (2017) 245–253.
  • M.P. Burke. Harnessing the Combined Power of Theoretical and Experimental Data through Multi-Scale Informatics. International Journal of Chemical Kinetics 48 (2016) 212-235.
  • M.P. Burke, C.F. Goldsmith, S.J. Klippenstein, O. Welz, H. Huang, I.O. Antonov, J.D. Savee, D.L. Osborn, J. Zádor, C.A. Taatjes, L. Sheps. Multiscale Informatics for Low-Temperature Propane Oxidation: Further Complexities in Studies of Complex Reactions. Journal of Physical Chemistry A 119 (2015) 7095–7115.
  • M.P. Burke, C.F. Goldsmith, Y. Georgievskii, S.J. Klippenstein. Towards a Quantitative Understanding of the Role of Non-Boltzmann Reactant Distributions in Low-Temperature Oxidation. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 35 (2015) 205-213.
  • S.S. Merchant, C.F. Goldsmith, A.G. Vandeputte, M.P. Burke, S.J. Klippenstein, W.H. Green, Understanding low temperature first-stage ignition delay: Propane. Combustion and Flame 162 (2015) 3658-3673.
  • C.F. Goldsmith, M.P. Burke, Y. Georgievskii, S.J. Klippenstein. Effect of Non-Thermal Product Energy Distributions on Ketohydroperoxide Decomposition Kinetics. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 35 (2015) 283-290.
  • Y. Georgievski, J.A. Miller, M.P. Burke, S.J. Klippenstein. Reformulation and Solution of the Master Equation for Multiple-Well Chemical Reactions. Journal of Physical Chemistry A 117 (2013) 12146-12154.
  • M.P. Burke, S.J. Klippenstein, L.B. Harding. A Quantitative Explanation for the Apparent Anomalous Temperature Dependence of OH + HO2 = H2O + O2 through Multi-Scale Modeling. Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 34 (2013) 547-555.
  • M.P. Burke, M. Chaos, Y. Ju, F.L. Dryer, S.J. Klippenstein. Comprehensive H2/O2 Kinetic Model for High-Pressure Combustion. International Journal of Chemical Kinetics 44 (2012) 444-474.
  • M.P. Burke, M. Chaos, F.L. Dryer, Y. Ju. Negative pressure dependence of mass burning rates of H2/CO/O2/diluent flames at low flame temperatures. Combustion and Flame 157 (2010) 618–631.