Seven new faculty join Dept. of Aerospace Engineering
Throughout this academic year, the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois is experiencing unprecedented growth. The department has hired five new tenure-track assistant professors and two new professors of practice, one in space systems and nanosatellite technology and one in applied aerodynamics and aircraft design.
“Our undergraduate and graduate student bodies have grown over the past few years,” said Bliss Professor and Head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering Philippe Geubelle. “This influx of outstanding new faculty members will bring new ideas and new energy to the department, expand our classroom capabilities, and greatly enhance our research capacity.”
Joining the faculty Jan. 1, 2019, as assistant professors are:
Andres Goza works in the areas of computational fluid mechanics and reduced-order modeling. He joins our department after completing his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and a postdoc at Princeton.
Francesco Panerai comes to Illinois with a recently announced Air Force Young Investigator Program (YIP) award. He is respected for his early career work at NASA Ames in experimental hypersonics and plasma/material interaction. Panerai received his Ph.D. from the Von Karman Institute in Belgium.
Melkior Ornik will bring to the department expertise in controls, dynamical systems, and estimation. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Toronto and recently completed a postdoc at the University of Texas at Austin.
Laura Villafañe Roca’s area of expertise is experimental multiphase flow physics. She received her Ph.D. in fluid mechanics and mechanical engineering from the Universitad Politècnica de València and joins our department after a three-year postdoc at Stanford.
Two professors of practice joined this fall:
Michael Lembeck leads the spacecraft section of the capstone senior design and serves as the Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Space Systems at Illinois (LASSI). He brings to the department knowledge and experience from his almost 30-year career working in the aerospace industry. He received his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois.
Jason Merret is a professor of practice in applied aerodynamics and vehicle design and coordinates the Aerospace Systems Engineering Program. He brings over a decade of experience from his career with Gulfstream. He also taught at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He received his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois.