One of the remarkable legacies and contributions of AME is its significant interaction with industry. For over 100 years, our graduates have been a part of many well-respected companies. Our curricula and research activities have been helpful in building partnerships with industry. The collaboration of the internationally reputable Combustion and Flame Dynamics Lab at AME and John Zink Company is an example. The John Zink Company is an Oklahoma based a worldwide leader in burner manufacturing. In an effort to ensure that the next generation of energy and technology leaders will come from our graduates at the University of Oklahoma, a memorandum of understanding between the OU College of Engineering and John Zink Company was signed in 2007 through which funds are made available to support graduate students in the field of combustion. The memorandum was signed by Dr. S. R. Gollahalli, then Director of AME and head of the Combustion and Flame Dynamics Lab and Dr. Joseph Colannino, then Director of Research and Development of John Zink Company. The company founded in 1929 by John Steele Zink (an OU graduate), currently a division of the Koch group of companies, is a leader in the design and development of flares, process burners and boiler burners.
Since 2008, sixteen graduate students have been supported with the annual funding provided by John Zink Company. These students, designated as “John Zink Company Scholars,” are honored with individual awards from John Zink Company and certificates from AME. The students also take one of the several short courses on combustion that are offered at John Zink Company in Tulsa. In addition, their names are engraved in a plaque in Felgar Hall. John Zink Company is notified when the students are ready to graduate to provide the company with an opportunity to recruit them. The generous gift from John Zink Company has been helpful to the success of our AME graduate students in the field of combustion. Past John Zink Scholars are enjoying successful careers in industry (John Zink Company, Boeing, Schlumberger,) and academia (University of Texas-El Paso).
For the past several years, Dr. Charles E. Baukal Jr. has visited AME with some of his colleagues to present awards to the John Zink Scholars. Dr. Baukal is the director of the John Zink Institute and has been with John Zink Company since 1998. On March 27, 2015, Dr. Baukal presented awards to the John Zink Scholars for 2014-2015, Arun Balakrishnan, Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, and Mohammad Imran, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering.