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UTSI Prof. Joe Majdalani Receives SAE Teetor Award in Aerospace Engineering

Joe Majdalani of Tullahoma, a professor at The University of Tennessee Space Institute, has been selected by the International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International) as one of the 2007 Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award recipients in Aerospace Engineering.

“Your outstanding contributions have distinguished you as one of the top engineering educators,” William Shapton, chairman of the award committee, wrote to Majdalani.

Credentials and standards of excellence in education of this year’s candidates were “extremely high and brought about very keen competition,” Shapton added.

Majdalani will receive the award during SAE’s 2007 AeroTech Congress & Exhibition in September.

“This is a prestigious award, and we commend Majdalani for this recognition of his professionalism,” said Donald C. Daniel, UT associate vice president and chief operating officer. “Joe is deserving of this latest honor, and his selection for the Teetor award also reflects well on the Space Institute.” Typically, only a few educators worldwide receive this award, Daniel noted.

Roy J. Schulz, Chair of UTSI’s Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science programs, recommended Majdalani for the award. Richard A. Gaggioli, former Chair of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Marquette University, described Majdalani’s activities at his previous home institution. Sean R. Fischbach, his graduate assistant residing in Manchester, wrote the student support letter. Majdalani thanked all of these as well as Martin J. Chiaverini, Lead Propulsion Engineer at Orbital Technologies Corporation, for their letters of recommendation.

Several activities will be planned for Majdalani at the AeroTech Congress & Exhibition, Chairman Shapton promised, including an industry tour, one-on-one meetings with internationally-known engineers and scientists, and participation “in all aspects of the program during the conference.”

“When I received notification of this award,” Majdalani said, “I was quite surprised because I knew how extremely competitive this award is. This honor was totally unexpected. I am blessed to have such true colleagues and outstanding students.”

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) elected Majdalani last fall as an ASME Fellow in recognition of exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession.

Majdalani joined the Space Institute’s Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering faculty in September, 2003. Before that he was on the tenured faculty of Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis. He earned his master’s degree in 1991 and his Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of Utah in the field of Mechanical Engineering. Recently, his theoretical work on compressible gas motions has led to the development of a unique mathematical methodology that can be used as a substitute for numerical simulations in treating multi-dimensional high speed flow problems. His work was recently published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, England, as one of the few review articles that appear each year in this historical journal. The new methodology that Majdalani unraveled can be used to solve many different types of fluid flow problems. His paper was entitled, “On Steady Rotational High Speed Flows: The Compressible Taylor-Culick Profile,” and Majdalani has shown that it is the key to solving many problems connected with rocket internal ballistics.

Majdalani has also done theoretical work on wave propagation that led to the development of a generalized-scaling technique in applied mathematics that has been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. His research on core flow modeling of solid, liquid, and hybrid rocket engines has resulted in the discovery, with his students, of new solutions to describe vortical and cyclonic motions in hybrid and liquid rocket engines, as well as advanced injection-driven flow fields in simulated solid rocket motors.

Majdalani and his wife Inna Zakomorna Majdalani, live in Tullahoma with their two young children, George and Laura.


Donald C. Daniel congratulates Joe Majdalani for receiving the SAE Teetor Award in Aerospace Engineering. Roy J. Schulz, left, and Sean R. Fischbach, a graduate research assistant at UTSI, were among supporters writing letters of recommendation.

— UTSI Photo by Tony Saad