Prof. Paul D. Ronney is a Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. Prof. Ronney received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology, and a Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He held postdoctoral appointments at the NASA-Glenn Research Center and the Laboratory for Computational Physics at the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory and a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University before assuming his current position at USC.  Prof. Ronney was the Payload Specialist Astronaut (Alternate) for Space Shuttle mission MSL-1 (STS-83, April 4 - 8, 1997) and the reflight of this mission (STS-94, July 1 - 16, 1997).

Professor Ronney has extensive research experience in micro-scale combustion, turbulent combustion, edge flames, flame propagation in confined geometries (Hele-Shaw cells), internal combustion engines, premixed-gas combustion at microgravity, flame spread over solid fuel beds, premixed flame ignition by pulsed corona discharges, propagating fronts in motile bacteria, and radiatively-driven flows and heat transfer. His research is conducted in the Combustion Physics Laboratory at USC. One of his experiments, a study of premixed-gas flames at low gravity, called Structure Of Flame Balls At Low Lewis-number (SOFBALL) flew on the STS-83 and STS-94 Space Shuttle missions in 1997 and the STS-107 mission in 2003.

Prof. Ronney has published over 75 technical papers in peer-reviewed journals, made over 250 technical presentations (including over 35 invited presentations at international conferences), holds 7 U.S. patents, and has received over $12 million in funding for his research projects.  He is a past or present Associate Editor or Editorial Board Member of Combustion Theory and Modelling, Combustion and Flame, Microgravity Science and Technology, Micromachines, Energies and Progress in Energy and Combustion Science.  In recognition of his achievements, he is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and a recipient of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (U.K.) Starley Premium Award for the best paper published in the Journal of Automobile Engineering.