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BYU professor receives international award for fossil fuel research

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers-International has announced that Brigham Young University professor, Dr. L. Douglas Smoot, will receive the Percy Nicholls Award for notable scientific achievement in the field of solid fuels.

This award will be presented to Smoot by Dr. Adel F. Sarofim, University of Utah professor and ASME Combustion and Fuels Division Award Committee Chair, at BYU's College of Engineering and Technology Convocation exercises on Friday, Aug. 15, where Smoot is also the convocation speaker.

Smoot is an emeritus professor of chemical engineering and dean emeritus of engineering technology and continues to teach at BYU. He has spent 44 of the past 51 years at BYU, including five as a student, six as department chair, and over 17 as dean.

He is the 58th recipient of the Nicholls award, first presented in 1942, with recipients from industry, government and universities.

Over the past three decades, Smoot has secured over $35,000,000 in research funds for BYU, organized and directed the internationally recognized Advanced Combustion Engineering Research Center, advised 53 masters and doctoral graduates, co-authored four books and written six chapters in books and 120 manuscripts, with a strong focus in solid fossil fuels, particularly coal.

The work with his research team has led to advances in gasification of coal, combustion of coal, formation of nitrogen oxide pollutants, coal dust explosion mechanisms, computer modeling of large-scale fossil fuel furnaces and oxidation of small coal particles. Earlier aerospace combustion work with 50 publications and papers dealt with solid and hybrid rocket fuels.

Smoot continues to consult, write and teach in these vital energy areas and is frequently an expert witness in accidental fires and explosions.

Writer: Elizabeth B. Jensen

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