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Robert Brown, Engineering, (515) 294-7934
Dennis Smith, Engineering Communications, (515) 294-0267
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- Robert Brown, a professor of mechanical engineering and chemical engineering at Iowa State University, was named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The honor recognizes Brown's engineering achievements in combustion and gasification technology. Specifically, Brown was cited for contributions in the advancement of the theoretical understanding of ionization processes in hydrocarbon flames and for the techniques he developed to study combustion and fluid dynamics in fluidized beds, an increasingly important combustion technology. Brown was also cited for his contributions to the science and engineering of gasification and pyrolysis of biomass fuels.

A Fellow is the highest elected grade of membership in ASME. ASME is a non-profit technical and educational organization with a worldwide membership of 125,000.

Brown holds five patents on inventions, one of which -- a carbon-in-ash monitor -- won an R&D 100 Award in 1997. Another patent, a latent heat-ballasted gasifier, has received national and international attention for its potential to expand the use of biomass resources. Biomass fuels are renewable sources of energy derived from organic matter such as wood products, dried vegetation, crop residues and aquatic plants.

Brown has published extensively with his graduate students in the areas of combustion, gasification, and pyrolysis, a thermal treatment process employed in the production of fossil and biomass fuels. Recently, Brown coordinated the establishment of a new multi-disciplinary graduate program at ISU in biorenewable resources and technology that will study plant and crop use for fuel, chemical, and materials production.

Brown joined ISU in 1983. He currently is director of the Biotechnology Byproducts Consortium and the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technology. Brown received his undergraduate degree from the University of Columbia, Missouri, and his master's and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University.


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