With more than100 visiting researchers each year, many paths cross at the Combustion Research Facility. The CRF reunion luncheon, held during the 35th International Symposium on Combustion in San Francisco the first week of August, brought together a number of current staff, retirees, past and present postdocs, and other visitors.
Three CRF directors were in attendance—current director Bob Hwang; recently retired Bob Carling (2008–2013); and Bill McLean, who led the CRF from 1993–2005. “This is a chance to see a lot of old friends and colleagues who I don’t see so often,” said McLean. “Plus it’s interesting to hear about the new research. We’ll never run out of technical challenges to solve.”
While CRF postdocs occasionally move onto staff positions at Sandia, most leave for permanent research positions in industry, at government or private research institutes, or as faculty members at universities across the globe. The reunion luncheon brought together the “family” of Nils Hansen, Ahren Jasper (both CRF researchers), and Stephen Klippenstein, a Distinguished Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory. Klippenstein was a CRF researcher before joining Argonne, and Jasper was previously Klippenstein’s postdoc at Argonne before coming to the CRF. The three researchers are frequent collaborators.
Hong Im travelled all the way from Saudia Arabia, where he is a professor at the Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. He was a postdoc of Jackie Chen from 1996 to 1999 before becoming a professor at the University of Michigan. “The CRF was a great start for a career in academics,” he said. “Now the CCRC is trying to become the CRF of the Middle East.”
Matthew Campbell was probably the newest CRF researcher at the party. He had just completed his first week as a Sandia postdoc for Hope Michelsen. “Everyone has been very welcoming,” he said. “This party gives me the opportunity to meet a lot of successful CRF researchers face to face, people I’m familiar with through their work.”