MMAE Seminar by Ashraf Omran: Bio-Inspired Aerodynamic Design



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Armour College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering will welcome Ashraf Omran, a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, to present a lecture titled “Bio-Inspired Aerodynamic Design.” The virtual seminar will take place from 12:45-1:45 p.m.

Contact Elena Magnus at for the seminar details and a link to join.


Historically, nature has inspired humans to enhance aircraft flight performance. In this seminar, we are going to discuss how to reduce aircraft noise by using natural inspiration. Owls have the capability to fly quickly while making minimal sound. The owl’s unique capability has inspired aerodynamic researchers and designers to implement serrations on aircraft wings in order to reduce noise. We will present what makes the owl unique by understanding the owl’s feathers from an engineering perspective and imitating the owl’s features in our aerodynamics design. We will show the experimental and theoretical results of our owl bio-inspiration design. This seminar is adapted from Omran’s Advanced Aerodynamics course at Johns Hopkins.


Omran is an adept educator, aerospace and mechanical engineer, and instructor. He is an expert in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, flight dynamics, spacecraft dynamics, kinematics of machines, robotics, control systems, and applied engineering. He is committed to presentations, publications, and volunteering in peer-reviewed roles for selected scientific journals. Omran has worked in previous roles as a senior software and control engineer with major engineering firms and brings a breadth of applied research and expertise to the classroom. Omran is currently a faculty member at Johns Hopkins. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Cairo University in Egypt. He earned a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Old Dominion University in Virginia, and shortly after receiving his doctorate, joined the its faculty of mechanical and aerospace engineering. While maintaining his faculty position at Old Dominion University, he worked as a research scientist at Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation to serve on a flight simulator NASA project. From 2011 to 2017 Omran worked as a senior control engineer at Case New Holland Fiat Industry in Burr Ridge, Illinois. In 2018 he returned to academia to teach at Texas A&M, followed by teaching at Loyola University Chicago. Omran has authored 24 patents in the field of transmission control systems and more than 40 papers in the field of flight dynamics, robotics, and control. He has earned several awards including:

  • Master Inventor at CNH Fiat for publishing more than 10 US patents, 2019
  • Subject of a CNH Fiat magazine article recognizing his accomplishments, 2013
  • The Lee M. Klinefelter Faculty Award for Overall Excellence in Aerospace, Old Dominion University, 2010
  • Travel Award to attend the AIAA Conference, Toronto, August 2010
  • Dean’s Doctoral Fellowship, Old Dominion University, 2009–2010
  • Research Assistantship, Research Foundation, Old Dominion University, 2008–2009
  • Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship, Cairo University, 1997–2002

Omran is a member of AIAA. He was the session chair of Nonlinear Systems II at the American Control Conference in San Francisco in June 2011. He was a distinguished and keynote speaker at the International Conference and Exhibition on Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from 2019 to present.


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