College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Aerospace Engineering’s Sarkar elected to ASCE Fellowship

Dr. Partha Sarkar, professor of aerospace engineering and civil engineering at Iowa State University, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

ASCE fellows have made celebrated contributions and developed creative solutions that change lives around the world. It is a prestigious honor held by 3% of ASCE’s 150,000+ members in 177 countries and is attained by professional accomplishments via application and election.

The ASCE, founded in 1852, is the nation’s oldest engineering society, with nine institutes including SEI (Structural Engineering Institute) and EMI (Engineering Mechanics Institute). Sarkar was elected as an SEI fellow in 2018 and is also a member of the EMI institute.

Partha Sarkar

Sarkar joined the Iowa State Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics in 2000 as a Wilson and Miller chaired professor after working as an assistant/associate professor of civil engineering at Texas Tech University. He has been a full professor at Iowa State since 2006 and also holds a courtesy appointment in civil engineering at ISU. He also serves as the associate chair for research in the aerospace engineering department and director of the Wind Simulation and Testing (WiST) Laboratory.

He has been involved in 49 research/education projects that have been sponsored by federal/state agencies and private industries and several industry-sponsored service projects. His research has resulted in more than 215  peer-reviewed publications including 71 journal papers, one book chapter, 20 technical reports, multimedia wind engineering educational software, four U.S. patents, and several international/national collaborations. He has advised 30 graduate students, including 13 Ph.D. recipients. Six of his former graduate students serve as faculty in U.S. universities and abroad while many others serve in key positions in the civil and aerospace engineering industries.

Through his research, he has significantly advanced the understanding of near-ground flow field and extreme wind loads on civil structures in hurricanes, tornadoes, microbursts, and gusts; pioneered the development of next-generation wind tunnels and wind simulation techniques by building the world’s first translating tornado/microburst simulator and the first boundary-layer wind tunnel with gust generation capability, and significantly advanced the aeroelastic theories to predict loads and response of flexible structures.

He has played a pivotal role in developing a nationally-recognized unique Ph.D. program in wind energy at ISU (WESEP), which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and has produced 22 Ph.D.s.

As an educator, Sarkar has brought in a unique blend of expertise in structures, vibrations, aerodynamics and wind-tunnel testing techniques to the undergraduate and graduate programs in aerospace engineering department at ISU. He teaches two undergraduate courses, Flight Structures Analysis and Vibrations and Aeroelasticity, to aerospace engineering students regularly, and three graduate courses, Introduction to Random Vibrations and Nonlinear Dynamics, Wind Engineering and Wind Energy System Design, to students from aerospace and other disciplines at ISU. The ISU’s AABL Wind and Gust Tunnel that he developed and the Bill James Wind Tunnel that he refurbished provide opportunity for the undergraduate students to get hands-on experience in wind-tunnel testing methods and measurement techniques through M2I and capstone design projects and other undergraduate laboratory courses. His research on aeroelasticity (e.g. flutter) of airfoils used in aircrafts and wind turbine blades and cables used in power-line conductors and suspension bridges have contributed to both undergraduate and graduate research programs in aerospace engineering. He has advised more than 70 undergraduate students who have got research experience by working in the WiST Lab wind tunnels.

While Sarkar’s ASCE  fellow grade became effective in December  2019, he will be formally inducted at the ASCE 2020 Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala to be held on March 13, 2020 in Washington, DC.

See the official ASCE news release.