Dr. Finney has worked in Fuels, Engines, and Emissions Research at ORNL since 2002 following 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow and 8 years in close collaboration as a student; he is a joint faculty member with the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education at the University of Tennessee. Charles specializes in the unstable dynamics of nonlinear systems such as multiphase flow and combustion reactors. He has extensive experience with experimental and numerical analysis of internal combustion engines in a range of combustion modes, including compression, spark and homogeneous charge compression ignition. He has used the CONVERGE simulation tool since 2012 and has led multiple efforts using CONVERGE on the Titan and Summit supercomputers at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. Additionally, Charles has experience in multiphase reactor modeling using MFiX and is the author of multiple analysis routines in that codebase. He also has worked with thermochemical biomass and fossil-fuel energy conversion systems and on nondestructive diagnostic techniques such as acoustics and x-ray and neutron imaging.
Charles has authored over 100 technical publications and is a co-inventor on six U.S. patents. He is a developer of the commercial Flame Doctor® boiler monitoring system for coal-fired utility furnaces. Additionally, he has served in various roles with the Central States Section of The Combustion Institute and is the ORNL representative to the American Flame Research Committee.
Meritorious Service Award, Internal Combustion Engine Division, American Society of Mechanical Engineers — 2023
Team Science Award, Buildings and Transportation Science Division — 2022
Southeast Region Federal Laboratory Consortium Excellence in Technology Transfer Award — 2005.
Significant Event Award, UT-Battelle LLC — 2003, 2017
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Internal Combustion Engine Division — Distinguished Associate; History and Heritage Liaison; Newsletter Co-Editor
The Combustion Institute, Central States Section — Webmaster & Archivist
The Combustion Institute
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
American Flame Research Committee
Trademarks and Patents
Application of symbol sequence analysis and temporal irreversibility to monitoring and controlling boiler flames (U.S. Patent 6,775,645) — 2004.
Application of symbol sequence analysis and temporal irreversibility to monitoring and controlling boiler flames (U.S. Patent 6,901,351) — 2005.
Method of applying non-linear dynamics to control a gas-phase polyethylene reactor operability (U.S. Patent 7,226,789) — 2007.
Methods for monitoring and controlling boiler flames (U.S. Patent 7,353,140) — 2008.
Method for controlling air distribution in a cyclone furnace (U.S. Patent 7,484,955) — 2009.
Method for polymerization reaction monitoring with determination of entropy of monitored data (U.S. Patent 7,846,736) — 2010.