James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering Sarah Rajala has named Professor Alric P. Rothmayer interim chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Rothmayer will take over duties from Christina Bloebaum, who has accepted the position of Dean of the College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State University. Rothmayer’s appointment will begin July 1, 2018.
Rothmayer, who also holds a courtesy appointment in Iowa State’s Department of Mathematics, came to ISU in 1985 as an assistant professor of aerospace engineering. In 1989 he was promoted to associate professor, and in 1995 to professor of aerospace engineering.
He received his Ph.D. in 1985 in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. As an undergraduate he interned at NASA Langley from 1977-1979, in the Propulsion Aerodynamics, Mission Operations (orbital dynamics), Theoretical Mechanics (flight dynamics) and Atmospheric Sciences branches. As a graduate student he performed research as part of a NASA Center of Excellence program in Computational Fluid Dynamics at the University of Cincinnati, and was also a visiting graduate student researcher in the Mathematics Department at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London. In 1985 and 2001, he was a research fellow in the Mathematics Department at University College London. Dr. Rothmayer has been active in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), serving as a member of the AIAA Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee, the AIAA Academic Affairs Committee, and general chair of the 3rd AIAA Theoretical Fluid Mechanics Conference in 2002. Dr. Rothmayer has also been active in national technical committees for aircraft icing as a voting member of the SAE-AC-9C Aircraft Icing Technology Subcommittee of Aircraft Environmental Systems Committee of Aircraft Division of SAE.
Rothmayer was part of the team that developed physical models and software modifications for a NASA ice accretion program (LEWICE), for which he received the NASA Group Achievement Award as a member of the Lewice Software Development Team and a NASA Turning Goals into Reality (TGIR) Award as a member of the Aircraft Icing Project Team. Other awards include a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. Iowa State University honors include the Iowa State University Foundation Award for Early Achievement in Research, the Young Engineering Faculty Research Award and the Iowa State University Engineering Student Council Leadership Award.
He is a co-author of the 7th edition of the textbook Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics (John Wiley & Sons, 2012) and has more than 100 referenced journal and conference articles and book chapters. He is a co-author of a study that looks at the development, implementation and evaluation of an effective curriculum for students to learn computational fluid dynamics. He is an associate fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His research and educational specialties include viscous flow aerodynamics, boundary layer theory, and computational fluid dynamics for Navier-Stokes equations and boundary layer equations. He has researched multi-phase flows applied to aircraft icing, and has taught low and high speed aerodynamics and aerospace propulsion.
He currently serves as the Department of Aerospace Engineering Associate Chair for Education and oversees the undergraduate curriculum.
“With Dr. Rothmayer’s many years of experience in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, his many contributions to research, education of our students and his respected position with other faculty members, I know he will be an excellent leader in this time of transition,” said Rajala.