MMAE Hosts Annual Lecture and Unveils Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

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By Simon Morrow

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Illinois Tech Professor Hassan Nagib, Dean Emeritus of NYU Tandon School of Engineering Katepalli Sreenivasan, Illinois Tech President Raj Echambadi, Illinois Tech Professor Emeritus Serope Kalpakjian, Professor at the University of Melbourne Ivan Marusic, Illinois Tech Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenneth Christensen

Illinois Institute of Technology’s Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering hosted the Nagib and Kalpakjian Annual Lecture on Turbulence and inducted Lois Graham (M.S. ME ’49, Ph.D. ME ’59) into the department’s Hall of Fame. 

Named Lecture Invites Turbulence Expert

The lecture was given by Ivan Marusic, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Melbourne. He highlighted the experimental measurements of drag reduction for systems with turbulent flow, which could be used to save energy in transportation systems such as airplanes, ships, and submarines.

Marusic primarily researches experimental and theoretical studies of turbulence at high Reynolds numbers, including using atmospheric surface layer flows and large wind tunnel facilities. He has received a number of prestigious awards and fellowships. 

Groundbreaking Former Professor Inducted into Department Hall of Fame

Graham joined Illinois Tech as a graduate student, at which time she was recruited to teach in the department. She was the department’s first female faculty member, and she remained on the faculty for 39 years until her retirement.

Graham accomplished a number of ‘firsts’ throughout her career.

In her education, Graham was the first woman to earn a degree in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the first female graduate student in Illinois Tech’s MMAE department, and the first woman in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. 

During her time at Illinois Tech, Graham encouraged countless students, and she started the Women in Science and Engineering and the Minorities in Engineering programs. 

She taught thermal sciences, participated in the development of innovative programs, encouraged countless women and underrepresented students to join science and engineering, and served as assistant director of the department for 20 years. 

Graham was the first woman to become a fellow of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, honoring her for her contributions to education in thermodynamics and cryogenics. 

Graham was elected to the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame in 2003, received a MMAE Alumni Recognition Award in 2008, was named a Person of the Millennium by Illinois Tech in 2009, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Illinois Tech in 2015.

Image: Illinois Institute of Technology John T. Rettaliata Endowed Chair Hassan Nagib, Dean Emeritus of New York University Tandon School of Engineering Katepalli Sreenivasan, Illinois Tech President Raj Echambadi, Illinois Tech Professor Emeritus Serope Kalpakjian, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Melbourne Ivan Marusic, Illinois Tech Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenneth Christensen