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Agarwal receives Honorary Fellowship from Royal Aeronautical Society

Ramesh Agarwal will receive an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Aeronautical Society, the highest distinction for global aerospace achievement.

Ramesh Agarwal

Agarwal, the William Palm Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, will be given the award in recognition of his "outstanding leadership in aerospace education and research and for advancing the improvement and development of a wide range of flying aerospace vehicles through ingenious application of computational fluid dynamics."

He will receive the award in December at the society's Wilbur and Orville Wright Lecture in London.

From 1916-2014, the society awarded 179 honorary fellowships to a variety of notables, including:

  • Orville Wright, 1933, the first man to achieve powered flight
  • Sir Winston Churchill, 1944
  • Geoffrey de Havilland, 1953, who produced the first commercial jet airliner
  • Alan Mulally, longtime Boeing engineer and executive and former CEO of Ford Motor Co.
  • U.S. General Charles E. Yeager, the first pilot to have traveled faster than sound
  • Members of Royal Families from around the world

Agarwal, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has been on the WashU faculty since 2001, bringing with him two decades of industry experience at McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories (now Boeing Co.), the National Institute for Aviation Research in Wichita, Kan., and NASA Ames Research Center. His research at WashU focuses on computational fluid dynamics and electromagnetics, flow control, hypersonic and rarefied gas flows, microfluidics and bio-fluid dynamics. He also focuses on nanotechnology, carbon capture, storage and utilization and renewable energy systems.

While at McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories, Agarwal and his colleagues developed advanced CFD codes that were used in the aerodynamic analysis and design of all categories of aerospace vehicles. In addition, he developed the third-order accurate upwind scheme in 1981, also called the Agarwal Algorithm, to solve Navier-Stokes equations and co-developed the Rahman-Agarwal-Siikonen (RAS) one-equation turbulence model.

In 2014, he was the science principal investigator among a group of Missouri collaborators to win a $750,000, three-year grant from the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), with matching funds bringing the total award to $1.125 million, to develop new turbulence models for aircraft and turbomachinery. In addition, he co-developed another one-equation turbulence model with his graduate student, known as the Wray-Agarwal model, under this grant.

He has received numerous honors and awards for his research contributions. This year, he received the highest award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Reeds Aeronautics Award for the advancement of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the highest award from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the SAE Medal of Honor. Others include the 2014 SAE Excellence in Engineering Education (Triple E) Award; the 2013 SAE International Leadership Citation; the Institution of Engineering and Technology Heaviside Medal in 2012; American Society of Mechanical Engineers Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award; Royal Aeronautical Society Gold Award; American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerodynamics Award; James B. Eads Award of Academy of Science of St. Louis; American Society for Engineering Education/AIAA John Leland Atwood Award; SAE Clarence Kelly Johnson Award; SAE Franklin W. Kolk Award, ASME Fluids Engineering Award and the AIAA Lindbergh Award, among many others.



The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 88 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,300 undergraduate students, more than 900 graduate students and more than 23,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.