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Dr. Dryer (BAE’66, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) obtained his Ph.D. in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences at Princeton University (1972) and was engaged in combustion research at Princeton University for more than 50 years. He served on the Professional Research Staff from 1971 – 1981, joined the tenured faculty in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1981, became emeritus in 2013, and continued as a Research Scholar on the professional staff until 2015. Dr. Dryer joined the University of South Carolina in 2016 as an Educational Foundation Distinguished Research Professor in Mechanical Engineering. The extensive research facilities previously developed at Princeton are now part of the Fuels, Energy Conversion, and Propulsion Technologies Research laboratory within the University of South Carolina McNair Center. Dr. Dryer is actively engaged in experimental and computational research topics involving the interactions of fluid dynamics, multi-phase chemistry and physical chemistry, chemical kinetics, energetics, and heat transfer. His research has focused on applications-driven needs for advancing dynamic performance, increasing energy resource (carbon) utilization efficiency, reducing air-pollutant emissions, and mitigating fire-safety-related hazards associated with gaseous and liquid flammable production and use.
Dr. Dryer's combustion and reaction dynamics experience encompass a wide range of fuels, from hydrogen, syngas, natural gas, chemical process, and low BTU gases to individual liquid hydrocarbon and oxygenated species, their mixtures, petroleum-derived real fuels (including different types of gasoline, diesel fuel, HFO’s, and crude oil), (both hydrogenated and oxygenated) alternative components derived from natural gas, bio-resources, and waste, to "E-fuels", particularly hydrogen, methanol, ethanol, and ammonia, as energy carrier/storage media generated from (nuclear and renewable) power.
Other topical subjects addressed in his published work include chemistry/chemical kinetic and physical property effects on the combustion of hazardous wastes and solid materials (in terms of ignition processes, combustion/reaction dynamics, and emissions generation/abatement; U.S. energy security, and reductions in net-cycle-carbon and toxic emissions; fire-safety on earth and in microgravity environments; solid-phase/gas phase interactions, including droplet burning, particle burning, and catalytic interactions in reacting flows; performance of energetic materials for propulsion; conversion of hazardous materials s that initially contain metals, nitrogen, and/or halogens to benign products; performance and emissions properties of internal combustion engines, including hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, aerosol particulates; in-cylinder lubricant effects on engine combustion behaviors and emissions, and gas-phase soot, coke particulate formation, and sulfur/ash (metals) component effects in energy conversion, chemical processing, and incineration.