Michael P. Burke Receives the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award

Apr 30 2021

Michael P. Burke, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University, is the recipient of the prestigious Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award, co-sponsored by the Combustion Institute and Elsevier.  


Burke’s research focuses on combining physics and data across multiple scales to understand and predict the outcomes of complex reacting systems, primarily in combustion. To this end, he and his research group focus on theoretical studies of kinetics in mixtures (and associated non-equilibrium phenomena), uncertainty quantification that combines ab initio and experimental data across multiple scales, and high-throughput/information-rich experimentation.


“I am honored to be selected for the Hiroshi Tsuji award,” said Burke. “Research is very much a team effort. The monumental efforts and insights from the very talented students in my group at Columbia University as well as my collaborators, with whom I have had the pleasure of working, have been instrumental. We all share in this recognition together.”


In the Burke Lab at Columbia, Burke and his research team develop new models and techniques at the interface between mechanical engineering, physical chemistry, and data science for the complex reaction networks encountered in advanced high-efficiency, low emissions engines and in the atmospheres of Earth and other planets. 

Burke and his team create and apply novel multiscale, data-driven chemical modeling tools for the purpose of optimizing engine designs to achieve the highest energy efficiencies while meeting emissions requirements and other environmental constraints. For example, the prediction of these combustion reactions is important in order to quantify nitrogen oxide emissions from gas turbine engines that are used in a renewable energy electrical power grid. 

“We are entering an era where computational design tools can enable basic science at the molecular level to better inform engine design decisions even within a timeframe of one or two years,” said Burke. “This timeframe is unprecedented in our field.”


Co-sponsored by the Combustion Institute and Elsevier, the international award and prize of $10,000 recognizes up to two early career researchers who have demonstrated excellence in fundamental or applied combustion science and have achieved a significant advancement in their field within four to ten years of completing a doctoral degree or equivalents. Now in its sixth year, the annual award is named after Professor Hiroshi Tsuji, whose stable porous cylinder counterflow burner configuration has influenced fundamental studies and applications in laminar and turbulent combustion. 


Burke will be recognized for receiving the Hiroshi Tsuji Early Career Researcher Award during the 39th International Symposium on Combustion in Vancouver, British Columbia, to be held in July 2022.