NEWS | Dec. 9, 2011

Dr. Robert E. Morris Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

By Daniel Parry

Dr. Robert E. Morris, Head of the Chemical Sensing and Fuel Technology Section in the Chemistry Division at NRL was presented the International Association for Stability, Handling and Use of Liquid Fuels, Inc. (IASH) Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 19, 2011, for his devoted research in the chemical behavior, characterization and handling of Navy mobility fuels.

Possessing more than 35 years of research experience, Dr. Morris helped define the mechanisms and kinetics of chemical changes that occur in petroleum and alternate fuels during use, contributed to the development of improved methods for detecting and quantifying thermal deposits, and aided studies in metal catalysis and oxidation mechanisms of heteratomic species of fuel.

Recent areas of research have included the development and application of advanced tools to perform fuel diagnostics and prognostics to characterize fuel degradation and the development of improved shipboard fuel quality surveillance capabilities based on novel chemometric modeling algorithms and improved sensing technologies that correlate critical fuel properties and engine performance to composition.

Before joining the Chemistry Division, in 1985, Dr. Morris served as the chemistry division head at Artech Corp., where his research group supported the Navy fuel program through the David Taylor Naval Ship R&D Center.

Present research by Dr. Morris focuses on a wide range of fundamental mechanistic studies, including hydrocarbon autoxidation during thermal stress and storage and the impact of catalytic metals and kinetic studies in both liquid and supercritical fuels. This has included synthesis and structure-reactivity studies of fuel soluble metal chelant mechanisms and the development of immobilized metal sequestering agents for Navy jet fuels.

As senior research chemist and member of the technical committee for the Navy Fuels & Lubes Cross Functional Team (CFT), Dr. Morris and his fuel research group provides basic S&T support for all Navy fuel activities within the CFT. He holds three patents and has authored over 90 papers and journal articles in the field of fuel chemistry. Dr. Morris also serves as the Chairman of the International Association for Stability Handling and Use of Liquid Fuels and on the technical steering committee of the Coordinating Research Council for Aviation Fuels.

Dr. Morris earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry with a minor in mathematics from University of Maryland in 1974, and a doctorate in organic chemistry with a minor in physical chemistry from American University in 1983. His graduate research into the kinetics of alcohol cyclization involved the derivation of rate constants of transient intermediate processes through the development of a novel non-linear regression technique.

The International Association for Stability, Handling and Use of Liquid Fuels, IASH, was founded in 1986. The purposes of the Association are to promote research and experimentation on the scientific and operational factors that affect the stability and handling of liquid fuels during their manufacture and blending, transportation, storage and use, and to provide a forum for the exchange of related ideas and information. Liquid fuels include crude oil and its refined products; fuels derived or processed from oil shale, tar sands, coal, and natural gas; and reformulated fuels such as those containing oxygenated components.