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Aeronautical acoustics expert Karamcheti dies at age 70

STANFORD -- Krishnamurty Karamcheti, who was a professor of engineering at Stanford for nearly three decades and later dean of a Florida engineering school, has died at the age of 70. He was still teaching in Florida at the time of his death, Dec. 31, from a heart attack on a flight from the Bay Area to Los Angeles.

Karamcheti had been visiting his former students and friends in the Bay Area over the holidays and was traveling to visit his daughter when he died. A memorial service was held at Stanford Memorial Church on Jan. 8.

He was a principal founder in 1973 of the NASA-Stanford Joint Institute of Aeronautics/Astronautics, and he trained approximately 50 doctoral students while on the Stanford faculty from 1958 to 1986.

Born Feb. 8, 1923, in Anakapalle, India, Karamcheti earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from Benares Hindu University and a master's degree from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. In 1951, he came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar to study aeronautical engineering. He earned a doctorate from California Institute of Technology in 1956, and joined the Stanford faculty in 1958.

An honorary fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India and a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, he was an expert in fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, the kinetic basis of gas dynamics and the acoustics of fluid media. After helping to found the NASA-Stanford institute, he directed it until 1984. He also was chairman of Stanford's program in acoustics and noise from 1981 until his Stanford retirement as professor emeritus in 1986.

Karamcheti then was named chairman of the department of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering that is shared by Florida A&M University and Florida State University. In 1987, he was named interim dean of the 5-year-old college, and he became its second permanent dean in 1988 shortly after an engineering building complex was completed in Tallahassee.

During his first four years as dean, the undergraduate enrollment of the new college grew from 980 students to 1,623, and a graduate program was added. He resigned as dean in August 1992 but continued to teach and had taught a course there during the fall semester of 1993.

Karamcheti is the author of two published books and more than 100 journal articles. At least nine of his Stanford doctoral students are serving on university faculties in the United States and other countries. He was the recipient of the 1989 Aeroacoustics Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He is survived by three daughters: Indira Karamcheti of Middletown, Conn., Girija Karamcheti of Claremont, Calif., and Lore Karamcheti of Los Altos, Calif.; one son, Michael Karamcheti of Colorado Springs, Colo., and five grandchildren.



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