Professor Robert William Bilger (1935-2015) was an engineer who made significant contributions in combustion research and fluid mechanics. His research included developing the "Bilger mixture fraction" which expresses the mixture fraction that preserves stoichiometry regardless of differential diffusion effects. He also devised the now widely-used Conditional Movement Closure (CMC) approach for modelling turbulent reacting flows. Bilger's interest in environmental pollution included research into mechanisms of formation of oxides of nitrogen. He took a leading role in the introduction of stringent controls on sulphur, hydrocarbon, lead, asbestos and other atmospheric pollutants.
At the University of Sydney, where he was Professor of Mechanical Engineering from 1976 to 2006, he established the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering to facilitate research in collaboration with industry. He also conducted the world's largest photochemical smog chamber. Bilger was instrumental in the initiation and success of the International Workshops on Measurements and Computations in Turbulent Non-Premixed Flames and the Asia Pacific Conference Series on Combustion (ASPACC).
The Australia and New Zealand Section of the Combustion Institute recognizes Bob's service and is proud to commemorate him by naming the Opening Lecture of its biennial conferences as "The Bilger Lecture".