Doctoral students in chemical, mechanical engineering selected as inaugural John Zink research fellows

February 24, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Three Purdue doctoral students in mechanical and chemical engineering have been selected as the university's first John Zink Co. fellows through a program led by Discovery Park's Energy Center.

With funding from John Zink Co., Muhsin M. Ameen of Calicut, India; Ranjita Ghose of Bombay, India; and Brent Rankin of Tampa, Fla., will each receive $5,000 interdisciplinary research fellowships to advance their graduate work in combustion research. The three doctoral students were selected from a list of 10 finalists.

A reception and presentation on behalf of the 2012 class of John Zink fellows was Jan. 11 at Mann Hall in Discovery Park. In attendance were Energy Center director Maureen McCann, Purdue administrators, faculty advisers for the students, and John Zink Institute director Charles Baukal Jr.

"This wonderful new fellowship program offered annually in partnership with the John Zink Co. will advance the Energy Center's efforts to grow our collaborations with leading industry players and provide Purdue's best and brightest graduate students the opportunity to work alongside faculty in combustion research," McCann said. "We look forward to this as the beginning of a long relationship with John Zink for our students and our research mission."

Ameen is a second-year doctoral student in mechanical engineering, researching multiscale simulations of turbulent jet combustion under high-pressure and high-temperature conditions. His adviser is mechanical engineering professor John Abraham.

Ghose is a second-year doctoral student in chemical engineering, focused on the oxidative coupling of methane using novel solution combustion synthesized catalytic materials. Her adviser is Arvind Varma, the R. Games Slayter Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.

Rankin also is a second-year doctoral student in mechanical engineering, advancing work in the area of inverse radiation analysis and infrared image velocimetry for turbulent combustion applications in steam-assisted flames, flares and plumes. His adviser is Jay Gore, the Reilly University Chair Professor of Engineering.

"These three students have a tremendous future. And I already see potential applications for these great looking research projects," Baukal said. "It's exciting to be a part of this new partnership for launching the leaders of tomorrow in the combustion industry."

To be eligible for the research fellowships, students must have 3.0 GPA and be enrolled full time at Purdue. Applicants also submitted a report and presentation describing their research and how the fellowship would advance their efforts.

The Discovery Park program is administered at Purdue by Pankaj Sharma, managing director of the Energy Center. The next class of fellows will be selected in November 2012. Applications are due Oct. 1. For complete details, go online to

Based in Tulsa, Okla., John Zink Co. is a global leader in ultra?low emission process burners, boiler burners, duct burners, flares and thermal oxidizers. The company also is a global supplier of flare gas and vapor recovery systems. John Zink is a part of Koch Chemical Technology Group, LLC (KCTG), whose affiliates design, manufacture, sell, install and service process and pollution control services equipment, and provide engineering services for industries and municipalities worldwide. KCTG is one of the companies of Koch Industries Inc.

The Energy Center is part of the university's Global Sustainability Initiative, which was recently launched in Discovery Park to coordinate Purdue's research in sustainability challenges such as climate change, energy, food security, the environment and water.
Writer:  Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,

Sources:  Charles Baukal Jr., 918.234.2854,

                   Maureen McCann, 765-496-1779,

                   Pankaj Sharma, 765-496-7452,