Fluid Dynamics Expert Louis Cattafesta Named Olin Endowed Department Chair



By Simon Morrow
Lou Cattafesta

Illinois Institute of Technology’s Armour College of Engineering has hired Louis N. Cattafesta III as professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering, effective August 1, 2022.

Cattafesta is the inaugural holder of the John G. and Jane E. Olin Endowed Department Chair in Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering. 

​​“We are very excited that Lou Cattafesta will be shepherding the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering to a new level of preeminence in the coming years. His many years of contributing to research, education, and service make him the ideal catalyst to lead the department in its next phase of growth and impact,” says Kevin Cassel, acting dean of Armour College. “I look forward to working closely with Lou to ensure success in our shared goals for the department as well as him joining the Armour College of Engineering leadership team.”

Cattafesta most recently served as a University Eminent Scholar and professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering. He previously was a professor at the University of Florida and a research scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center.

He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Penn State University in 1986, an M.S. in aeronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Penn State in 1992. 

“I am delighted to join the MMAE department at Illinois Tech, a department renowned for its scholarly history. I am also honored to be the inaugural recipient of the John G. and Jane E. Olin Endowed Department Chair,” says Cattafesta.

Cattafesta is the author or co-author of seven United States patents, seven book chapters, and more than 100 archival journal publications. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Physical Society, and the Royal Aeronautical Society.   

He is currently an associate editor for Experiments in Fluids.

Cattafesta’s research areas include experimental fluid dynamics with an emphasis on flow control and aeroacoustics, including airframe noise, acoustic liners, hybrid acoustic wind tunnels, and phased microphone array beamforming.

Image: Photo of Louis Cattafesta, credit to M Wallheiser/FAMU-FSU Engineering