Stanford News


CONTACT: David F. Salisbury, News Service (415) 725-1944;

Four Stanford faculty elected to National Academy of Engineering

Four Stanford University professors have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Three were elected to membership: Parviz Moin, the Franklin P. and Caroline M. Johnson Professor of Mechanical Engineering; R. Fabian Pease, professor of electrical engineering; and Paul V. Roberts, the C. L. Peck, Class of 1906, Professor of Civil Engineering. Antony Jameson, who joined the department of aeronautics and astronautics as the Thomas V. Jones Professor of Aerospace Engineering last month, was elected as a foreign associate.

The four were among 93 engineers whose election to the academy as members or foreign associates was announced on Feb. 14. Election to the academy is considered one of the highest professional distinctions that a U.S. engineer can receive. Academy membership honors those who have made "important contributions to engineering theory and practice, including significant contributions to the literature of engineering theory and practice," and those who have demonstrated "unusual accomplishment in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology."

Their election brings the number of Stanford academy members to 74 out of a total U.S. membership of 1,893 and 153 foreign associates.

Parviz Moin

Moin has made a career of studying turbulence. He uses supercomputers to simulate turbulent flows and uses the data to study flow physics. He has pioneered the use of direct and large-eddy simulation techniques for the study of turbulence. He also develops techniques for prediction of turbulent flows and studies strategies for the control of turbulent flow and other chaotic phenomena.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1974, Moin received his master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from Stanford in 1978. He worked as a National Research Council Fellow and staff scientist at NASA Ames Research Center before joining the Stanford faculty in 1986.

In 1987 Moin became the founding director of the Center for Turbulence Research, a research consortium between Stanford and NASA Ames Research Center. The center is devoted to fundamental studies of turbulent flows and is widely recognized as an international focal point for turbulence research.

Moin has received numerous awards from NASA, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Physical Society.

Among his current research interests is the study of ways to actively control turbulence. The basic idea is to cover an aircraft wing with millions of microscopic actuators combined with tiny sensors that cause the actuators to respond to fluctuations in the air's pressure in such a way as to control the small eddies that cause turbulent drag. Moin's efforts center on developing an algorithm that can be used to automatically control such a system. Theoretically, a system of this sort could cut air resistance in half. But even a 10 percent drag reduction in commercial jetliners would be significant because it would translate to about a 40 percent increase in the profit margin of the airline that operates them. A major effort to build such a "smart surface" is under way at UCLA and Caltech. So far, however, Moin's simulations indicate that the actuators are not powerful enough to achieve a significant level of drag reduction.

R. Fabian Pease

As a graduate student at Cambridge University, Pease designed and constructed the first scanning electron microscope that could image details as small as 100 angstroms (one millionth of a millimeter). Nearly 25 years later one of his students won a long-standing challenge by Caltech physicist Richard Feynman to write a complete page of text in an area with a height and width one-25 thousandth (1/25,000) that of a typical book page. The text they selected was the first page of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.

After graduating from Trinity College at Cambridge, Pease joined the faculty at the University of California-Berkeley. His best known work there involved the first demonstration that scanning electron microscopes can produce detailed images of biological samples.

In 1968 he joined Bell Laboratories, where he studied ways to reduce the amount of information required for digital television. His group also created the first large-scale integrated circuit using electron beam lithography, which is now the standard method for manufacturing microelectronic devices.

After 10 years at Bell Labs, Pease joined the electrical engineering faculty at Stanford. He continued his studies of scanning electron beam technology. Working with former engineering school dean James Gibbons, he provided the first direct evidence that this technology could be used to heal, or anneal, silicon wafers after they have been damaged by the implantation of ions to change their electronic properties.

Pease is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has consulted for a number companies, such as IBM, Xerox, Perkin Elmer, DuPont and the Affymax Research Institute and holds several patents. He is currently on a two-year leave working in Washington, D.C., with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Paul V. Roberts

Roberts began his career as a chemical engineer. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Princeton, his master's degree from Stanford and his doctorate from Cornell, he worked at the Chevron Research Co. and the Stanford Research Institute.

This background enabled him to move into the budding field of environmental engineering, particularly water treatment technology, in the 1970s. By applying the principles of chemical engineering to complex environmental problems, he has become a leader in the area of water treatment and groundwater decontamination.

Roberts initially pursued these studies in Switzerland, where he served as a senior research scientist and then head of the engineering department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Water Supply and Water Pollution Control. He returned to the United States in 1976 to join Stanford's civil engineering department as a research professor. He was appointed to the regular faculty in 1981.

Among other contributions, he and his students figured out how to design activated carbon adsorption filters that take into account the chemical action of natural organic compounds, a technology that is now widely employed in water treatment plants. They also demonstrated that an industrial process called air stripping worked effectively for removing synthetic organic chemicals from groundwater.

In the 1980s, Roberts served as principal investigator on a landmark groundwater remediation experiment conducted in Ontario with the University of Waterloo. This experiment determined the behavior and fate of different synthetic chemicals in the groundwater environment for the first time.

As a result of this work Roberts and his students have been honored five times with the American Water Association's Academic Achievement Award and his research papers have been recognized by the American Water Works Association and the International Association on Water Pollution Research.

Antony Jameson

In his office at Princeton, Jameson has several models of Boeing jetliners including the 737, 757, 767 and 777, given to him by the aerospace company because computer codes that he developed were used in their design. Jameson, who is a pioneer in the development of computer programs that simulate the airflow around aircraft, joined the Stanford faculty last month and is still in the process of moving his program across the continent.

An Englishman who spent much of his childhood in India, Jameson became involved with aircraft when he got a job at Bristol Aero-Engines in 1955 after completing two years in the British Army. This led him to study engineering at Trinity Hall, Cambridge University. After graduating in 1958, he stayed on to obtain a doctorate in magnetohydrodynamics and worked as a research fellow until 1963.

In 1966 Jameson joined Grumman Aerospace Corp., where he began to concentrate on the problem of predicting airflow around airplane wings as the airplane moves from subsonic to supersonic flight. He continued this work when he moved to the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University in 1972. Two years later, he was appointed a professor of computer science at NYU. Working with David Caughey of Cornell University, Jameson produced the first computer code that accurately simulated the airflow past a swept wing.

In 1980, he joined the faculty at Princeton University, where he served for two years as director of the program in applied and computational mathematics. Working with two colleagues, he produced the first code that modeled the airflow around an entire airplane. Called the airplane code, this model has been used extensively by NASA in the development of the next-generation Supersonic Transport.

Most recently Jameson has developed programs that not only calculate the airflow around an aircraft but also determine the best shape to produce the aerodynamic performance that the designer specifies. Last summer he and two associates used this program on a new aircraft project at McDonnell-Douglas. In a few months they were able to produce a wing design that was competitive with the one that required a year's work by a company design team.

Jameson has received awards for his contributions from NASA, the British Royal Aeronautical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is a fellow of the Royal Society.


By David F. Salisbury