Albert Ratner

Albert grew up in the Minneapolis, MN suburbs and decided in high school that he wanted to pursue a career in science or engineering. As a Caltech undergraduate, he found his calling in aerospace engineering, and was able to come to the University of Michigan to pursue a graduate degree. His time at Michigan afforded him many opportunities and helped set the course of his career. After receiving his PhD, he returned to Caltech as a post-doc and fine tuned his expertise and his skills managing students. Since then, he has spent nearly 18 years at the University of Iowa advancing from Assistant Professor, to Associate, to Full. He has published over 100 papers, graduated 10 PhD students who have gone on to successful careers themselves in academia and industry, and been recognized for his leadership and contributions. He has worked across a range of research areas including combustion instability, liquid fuel behavior, fire safety, biomass combustion and gasification, and biomedical devices. His achievements include being elevated to a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), elected to the steering committee for the main ASME conference (IMECE), elected to the chair of the Combustion and Fire technical committee (of ASME), elected to the executive board of the Central States Section of the Combustion Institute, and elected as the Program Chair for 2021 US National Combustion Meeting.

His successes come from the training and perspective he received through-out his education, but heavily from his time at Michigan. Everything from how to approach research challenges to how to work well with others in the lab, were all things that he learned and improved in at Michigan. Being an FXB Fellow afforded him the time and flexibility to pursue research topics that interested him, rather than what was already funded by an outside agency. It required greater personal investment to understand the problem, choice goals and milestones, and to work to a solution. With help and guidance by both his advisor, Prof. James Driscoll, other department faculty, and other graduate students, he learned and grew as a researcher into a person who could lead a research effort and successfully mentor students.