Lynn Melton

Lynn Melton

University Retirees - Science/Math Education

Professional Preparation

M.A. - Physical Chemistry
Harvard University - 1972
Ph.D. - Physical Chemistry
Harvard University - 1972
B.S. - Chemistry
California Institute of Technology - 1966

Research Areas

Research Description

Understanding of industrial mixing processes is often a key to the design of efficient chemical reactors. My research program targets the development of novel colorimetric and fluorescent reaction-based diagnostics for industrial mixing processes. It couples the use of acid-base, redox, and/or complexometric chemistry to the solution of important chemical engineering problems. The goal is to enhance chemical engineering design, either through diagnostics that provide direct engineering insight or through diagnostics that drive the development of improved turbulence models for computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

Ninth graders are often baffled and turned off by their introduction to chemistry. They are just learning to use symbols in their algebra course, and they see chemistry as symbols they do not understand. This facet of my research focuses on the development of hands on materials to model the fundamental concepts of chemistry. With these materials students are introduced to concepts such as atoms, atomic force microscopy, and mass spectrometry before they work with the symbols.

Fields of Research Specialization
  • Fluorescent Diagnostics for Combustion and Mixing
  • Development of Analytical Instrumentation
  • Problem Solving Using Analytical Chemistry
  • Engineering Applications (Process and Maintenance) of Analytical Techniques


Melton, L.A.; Lipp, C.W. “Criteria for Quantitative PLIF Experiments Using High Power-Lasers”, Experiments in Fluids (2003) 35: 310-316.  2003 - Publication
Rate constants for the reaction of OH with fluorophores determined by use of Fentons Reagent, with JingPing Peng, submitted to Journal of Solution Chemistry (12/2002). 2002 - Publication
Formation of Byproducts in Reactive Mixing Processes: A Colorimetric Diagnostic System, with Min Zhan, submitted to Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, (12/2002). 2002 - Publication
DISMT - Determination of Mixing Time through Color Changes, with C.W. Lipp, R. W. Spradling, and K.A. Paulson, Chemical Engineering Communications, 189(3), 322-338 (2002). 2002 - Publication
Measurement of Transient Temperature Field Within a Falling Drop1et, with Q.Z. Lu, AIAA Journal, 38(1), 95-101 (2000). 2000 - Publication
A Fluorescence-Based Method for Quantitative Measurement of Fuel Film thickness During Cold Start of Engines, with J. Yang, Applied Spectroscopy, 54, 565-574 (2000). 2000 - Publication
High Temperature Oxygen Resistant Molecular Fluorescence Thermometers, with F. Bai, Applied Spectroscopy, 51, 1276 (1997). 1997 - Publication
2-D Gas Phase Temperature Measurement Using Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging, with T.Q. Ni, Applied Spectroscopy, 50, 1112 (1996). 1996 - Publication

Additional Information

  • Member, Search Committee for Dean of School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, 1983
  • Chairman, Committee on Faculty Standing and Conduct, 1983-1991
  • Member, Academic Senate, 1989-97; Member, Academic Council, 1989-90, 1991-96; Secretary of the Academic Council, 1989-90; Speaker of the Faculty, 1991-3
  • Chairman, numerous committees of review for promotion and tenure
  • Member, Faculty interview committee for finalists for Presidential Search, 1994
  • Member, Drafting committee for Policy on Professional Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty, 1997-98
  • Member, Committee on Educational Policy (2005-present)
  • Chair, Safety Council (2005- present)
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals Scholarship, 1962 (Caltech)
  • Baxter Prize for undergraduate research, 1966 (Caltech)
  • NSF Undergraduate Research Participant, 1966, (Caltech)
  • Harvard University Scholarship, 1966, (Harvard)
  • NSF Predoctoral Fellowship, 1967-1971 (Harvard)
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
  • Society for Applied Spectroscopy