Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


A Q&A with Charles Baukal, Jr.: A Gallery of Combustion and Fire

Charles Baukal, Jr.

What inspired this book?

The Central States Section of the Combustion Institute (CSSCI) has been hosting a combustion art contest at its meetings for many years.  Someone at Cambridge University Press found out about that and asked if we would be interested in producing a book similar to Cambridge’s A Gallery of Fluid Motion but on the subject of combustion.  Most of the editors of the new book are members of CSSCI.  I have personally submitted combustion images that have won awards at the CSSCI art contest.

What do you hope will be the lasting impact of this book?

A shortcoming of most textbooks on combustion is the lack of color pictures illustrating the principles and theories that are discussed and even fewer on combustion applications.  Very few texts have color images which is unfortunate since combustion is a very visual phenomenon.  Without color, it is often difficult to determine what is happening in a flame.  We hope this book will serve as a supplement to the many good combustion textbooks to help students better understand what they are studying.

Can you share any interesting anecdotes from the book?

Some of the images in the book have won awards in combustion and fire art contests.

Figure 1.13- Transition in a turbulent flame

Why is your book important?

This is an important book because no other book has been found illustrating such a wide range of aspects of the important phenomenon of combustion.  It covers very small fundamental flames all the way to very large industrial combustion applications.  It covers a range of conditions ranging from microgravity found in space to high pressures found in internal combustion engines.

Who is the primary audience for the book?

While the primary target audience is graduate students studying combustion, the book should be of interest to professors, researchers, practitioners, and anyone interested in this very visual phenomenon.

Based on your previous answer to the primary audience of the book, what are the market needs/key challenges this audience faces?

Graduate students taking combustion courses may have had little exposure to the many aspects of this subject, so this book can be a visual aid to help them better understand what they are learning.  Similarly, while professors, researchers and practitioners may have much experience in a particular aspect of combustion, they often get little exposure to the many other aspects which this book can provide.

Figure 1.22- Boilover of a crude oil pool fire burning on water

Does your book solve this need/challenge? How?

This book solves the problem of lack of color images in a single source by providing numerous full color images on a very wide range of combustion subjects, including brief descriptions and references for those wanting further information.

What unique features do you think make the book stand out?

There are many unique features of the book including a representative sample of combustion images covering a very wide range of subjects and conditions, many well-known contributors from all over the world, and reasonably priced which makes it an attractive option as a supplement to combustion textbooks.

Find out more about A Gallery of Combustion and Fire

About The Author

Charles Baukal, Jr.

Charles E. Baukal, Jr is currently a Director at the John Zink Institute, a training and educational company for combustion engineers and researchers, and an Executive Officer with...

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