Three mechanical engineering faculty set to retire this summer
Gary Settles, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is retiring June 2015. Settles has been an extremely strong contributor to the mechanical and nuclear engineering department’s teaching, research, and service since 1983. He is the director of the Penn State Gas Dynamics Laboratory and his research expertise is in experimental fluid dynamics, flow visualization, optical flow instrumentation, shock waves, gas dynamics, supersonic flow, convection and plumes, explosive trace detection, homeland security, biofluid dynamics, and particle-laden flows.
Settles’ contributions to his field and to Penn State have been acknowledged with several awards. The Penn State Engineering Alumni Society awarded him the Premier Research Award in 1992 and the Outstanding Research Award in 1986. In 2004 he received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Freeman Scholar Award. In 2006 he was named a Penn State Distinguished Professor. Settles is the author of the book Schlieren and Shadowgraph Techniques as well as 115 journal publications. He has advised 20 doctoral students and more than 30 master’s students.
James Brasseur, professor of mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and mathematics, is retiring August 2015. He joined Penn State’s mechanical engineering program in 1988. Prior to coming to Penn State, Brasseur held positions at the NASA Ames Research Center, the University of Southampton (UK), the Johns Hopkins University, and Clemson University. Brasseur’s research expertise falls into two areas: turbulence, turbulent flows, large-eddy simulation, and computational fluid dynamics; and mechanics, physiology, and modeling of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. In the past decade Brasseur has directed research at high-performance computing methods for wind energy and GI pharmaceutical sciences.
Professor Brasseur has advised 17 doctoral students, 6 master’s students, 12 postdoctoral scholars, and 9 undergraduate researchers. His excellent reputation in fluid dynamics simulation helped build the mechanical and nuclear engineering department’s strong reputation. Brasseur’s work has been recognized throughout his career. The Penn State Engineering Alumni Society awarded him the Outstanding Research Award in 1996, and in 2000 he was elected to the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars. In 2009 Brasseur was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society.
Brasseur is relocating to Colorado where he will hold a research faculty position in aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Domenic A. Santavicca, professor of mechanical engineering, is retiring August 2015. Santavicca joined the mechanical engineering program in 1984 and made significant contributions to combustion research during his tenure at Penn State. His research includes combustion dynamics in low emissions gas turbine combustors, active and passive combustion control, flame interactions in multi-nozzle combustors, fuel flexible combustion systems, syngas and hydrogen combustion, unsteady flame response mechanisms, turbulent flame propagation, spark ignition, liquid jets in cross flow, and optical fiber based combustion probes. Santavicca is affiliated with the Penn State Center for Combustion, Power, and Propulsion; the Combustion Institute; the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the Society of Automotive Engineers; and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Santavicca also made an impact on many students who are now successful engineers. During his time at Penn State, he supervised more than 8 post-doctoral scholars, 45 doctoral students, 35 master’s students, and 25 honors thesis students. The Penn State Engineering Alumni Society recognized Santavicca’s contributions to teaching and research with the Outstanding Research Award in 1990 and the Outstanding Advising Award in 1991. Santavicca plans to continue his research and the supervision of his current graduate students until the completion of their degrees.