Collaborative efforts on dual-pulse laser-induced spark ignition garners “Best Paper Award”

Author: Nina Welding


Lydia Wermer, a graduate student in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, received the Best Paper Award during the 6th Laser Ignition Conference (LIC ’18), which was held in conjunction with the Optics and Photonics International Congress (OPIC2018), in late April in Yokohama, Japan.

The prize [a trophy and certificate] was presented for the paper “Ignition Enhancement by Dual-Pulse Laser-Induced Spark,” which highlighted the collaboration in combustion and propulsion between Notre Dame and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

As the first author on the paper, Wermer’s work was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program and the AFRL Summer Faculty Fellowship Program, under her faculty adviser Seong-kuyn Im. Im served as a co-author on the paper, as did Joseph K. Lefkowitz and Timothy Ombrello of the AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate.

Wermer, a fourth-year Ph.D. student, received her bachelor’s degree in 2013 in mechanical engineering from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Her research focuses on laser spark ignition with applications in combustors, where she uses schlieren and chemiluminescence imaging to experimentally compare enhancement by dual-pulse laser spark ignition to single-pulse ignition.

Assistant Professor IM has served as a faculty member at the University since 2016. His research interests encompass a variety of areas, including propulsion, fluid mechanics, compressible flow, combustion, laser diagnostics and optics. He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Physical Society and Combustion Institute.

Originally published by Nina Welding at on May 14, 2018.