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Majdalani Honored by AIAA, SAE and ASME

Imagine growing up with rockets pouring down all around you, changing your landscape on a daily basis. In this noisy and dangerous environment, a young Joe Majdalani began his lifelong fascination with rocketry. From dodging rockets to designing them, Majdalani’s experience with rockets has come full circle since his early years in Lebanon. Now, Majdalani is a distinguished member of the Faculty at The University of Tennessee Space Institute, recently earning outstanding honors in the top three engineering societies of the nation.

In addition to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International) granting Majdalani the prestigious Ralph R. Teetor Award in the Aerospace Category, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) named Majdalani to the Hybrid Rockets Technical Committee in April. It is a high honor just to sit on the committee, but AIAA has also designated Majdalani as their Technical Expert in Analytic Approaches to Hybrid Rocket Flow Fields.

For more than four decades, the AIAA has published a series of books known as Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, recording the advances in aerospace and related areas. Just released in April, the latest volume in the series is entitled Fundamentals of Hybrid Rocket Combustion and Propulsion and features three chapters written by Majdalani. According to the new publication, innovative hybrid rocket engines can be designed using a combination of environmentally-safe propellants, both solid and liquid. These can be injected in a variety of interesting ways, resulting in greater propulsion reliability and a high degree of operability. Majdalani’s chapters examine Analytical Models for Hybrid Rockets, Vortex Injection Hybrid Rockets, and High-Speed Flow Effects in Hybrid Rockets. The new book can be purchased from AIAA’s website at

Also active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Majdalani has recently been named an ASME Fellow. At UTSI’s Open Forum held last week, Professor Emeritus George Garrison, presented Majdalani with the official ASME Fellow’s pin, badge, and formal certificate. After Garrison enumerated Majdalani’s many accomplishments, UTSI Chief Operating Officer Don Daniel noted that becoming an ASME Fellow is quite an achievement. Applicants must submit a thorough proposal with five sponsors; Majdalani had eight, all highly respected professionals. “I’m immensely honored to receive this, and grateful to the Lord Almighty,” said Majdalani at the Open Forum.

Majdalani joined the rank of ASME fellow along with only a handful of other distinguished professors and scientists from around the country, including Jay Gore, Professor and Associate Dean of Engineering at Purdue University, Kenneth Kuo, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, and Peyman Givi, William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor of Engineering at The University of Pittsburgh.

Majdalani was named UTSI’s Jack D. Whitfield Professor of High Speed Flows in 2003; he teaches in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering. In the last five years, Majdalani has contributed 77 archival publications covering 3 book chapters, 24 journal articles and 50 conference papers. He lives in Tullahoma with his beautiful wife, Inna, and their two children, George and Laura.

MAJDALANI NAMED ASME FELLOW—UTSI Professor Joe Majdalani (center) is shown above having just received his official American Society of Mechanical Engineers Fellow pin, badge, and certificate from Professor Emeritus George Garrison (left). UTSI Chief Operating Officer Don Daniel (right) noted becoming an ASME Fellow is quite an achievement, requiring a thorough proposal and at least five sponsors

–UTSI Photo by Laura Horton