Combustion Lab Dedicated to Longtime Aerospace Professor

A combustion lab was dedicated on Nov. 2 to Ben Zinn, an aerospace engineering professor who helped transform the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Ben Zinn
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Distinguished Aerospace Engineering Professor Ben Zinn has the distinction of being the longest serving faculty member at Georgia Tech.

When Zinn joined Georgia Tech in 1965, it was still building its reputation as one of the country’s foremost engineering centers. Zinn took it upon himself to mentor younger faculty members and recruit new ones to the program. He also helped establish partnerships with businesses and individuals outside Tech.

Now, the Ben T. Zinn Combustion Laboratory honors his service to the Institute.

"Ben is a pioneer who left his mark on academia in his field," said Georgia Tech President G.P. Bud Peterson. "He is the first U.S. combustion faculty member incorporating basic science into technology development -- studying fundamental problems at practical device operating conditions.  We are pleased to dedicate this facility today and to honor Ben Zinn for his contributions to Georgia Tech and to the field of combustion and energy."

At 13,000 square feet, the lab offers plenty of workspace. Its features include four high-pressure test areas for conducting large-scale combustion experiments, as well as an instrument calibration room, a small machine shop, and a tool room.

Zinn, who gave remarks at the dedication ceremony, became a Regents’ Professor in 1973. That distinction is the most prestigious one bestowed by the state university system.

His research fields include control of combustion processes and combustion instabilities in rocket motors, and he has published hundreds of papers. Zinn is also the co-holder of seven patents.