AFRL Researcher wins Presidential Award for innovation, service

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Dr. Timothy Ombrello, a senior research aerospace engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Aerospace Systems Directorate, has been selected to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to young professionals at the beginning of their research careers.

"Being bestowed an award as prestigious as the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers was only possible because of the people and the environment that is present at AFRL," said Ombrello, who described himself as being "blown away" by the news. "The support and flexibility to explore new areas, ranging from basic to applied research, is second to none, and I would not trade it for any position in the world. I love coming to work each and every day, and I strive to make AFRL the place that everyone wants to join and see it the way that I do."

Ombrello's work involves understanding and controlling ignition and combustion processes for hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems. His research required the development and application of new energy deposition and ignition systems, as well as the diagnostic techniques to understand the transient processes involved.

The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Government agencies and departments select recipients annually based on the innovative nature of their research and their commitment to public service. The winners will receive their awards at a ceremony this spring in Washington, DC.

"These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to confront and understand challenges from climate change to our health and wellness," President Obama said in a press release issued by the White House. "We congratulate these accomplished individuals and encourage them to continue to serve as an example of the incredible promise and ingenuity of the American people."

In notifying the AFRL workforce of Dr. Ombrello's selection, AFRL Commander Gen. Thomas Masiello wrote, "Dr. Ombrello's experimental work on scramjet ignition has contributed significantly to AFRL's success in this game changing technology area.  Well done, Dr. Ombrello, and congratulations to the entire team!"