Professor elected for American Physical Society fellowship
A distinction awarded to a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has highlighted the overlap between research in physics and engineering.
Yogesh Jaluria, a Board of Governors professor in the department, said he received a fellowship from the American Physical Society for his research in the field of fluid mechanics — the physics of liquids, gases and plasmas.
Over the years, his work has achieved recognition by several engineering societies, including honorary membership to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2012. Yet Jaluria said this is his first time being recognized for achievements in physics.
According to the APS website, Jaluria joins 17 other researchers from around the world to receive the prestigious fellowship. He is the only professor from Rutgers to have received the distinction.
He said the letter awarding his fellowship indicated he is part of the 0.5 percent of the society’s community of more than 50,000 members to receive the peer-nominated award.
“It’s an honor to receive the fellowship as an engineer,” he said. “It means I’ve made significant contributions outside my own field.”
Jaluria said his work focuses on the spread and growth of fires. In 2001, he analyzed how the fire caused by Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center led to the collapse of the two towers. He has also studied the impact of fires and pollutants on the environment.
The society also recognized his research on the advancement of drawing optical fibers — flexible, transparent glass fibers thinner than human hair. Jaluria’s work on the fibers has contributed to development of advancing the fiber-optic communications network used by Verizon FiOS.
“I’ve got many interests,” he said.
Before coming to Rutgers in 1980, Jaluria said he received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and worked at the AT&T Bell Laboratories in Princeton.
Since then, Jaluria has published more than 400 technical publications, including nearly 200 in archived journals and 16 chapters in books.
Still, as Jaluria continues to pursue his career in research, he has been an active distinguished professor and advisor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said Ph.D. candidate Joseph VanderVeer.
He said Jaluria’s wide research interests have allowed him to advise nearly 60 doctoral and master degrees candidates.
VanderVeer, a technician in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said he has worked under Jaluria since 2010 on his research in statistical analysis of inverse heat transfer problems.
He said Jaluria has become a very influential and well-known figure in the field of thermal engineering, even publishing the graduate textbook “Convection Heat and Mass Transfer” on the subject.
“The distinction is no surprise,” he said. “His work is really important, not just to engineers.”
VanderVeer said his own work in defining the conditions for specific heat transfer problems has been difficult — typically, heat transfer problems are defined for a given situation.
“We are really studying and stretching the limits of engineering,” he said.
But he said Jaluria has always been a great guide in his research.
“He lets you get dirty enough to put you in the right direction,” he said.
He said Jaluria also served as the editor for several academic journals, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s Journal of Heat Transfer, the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer and International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer.
“Despite all he does, he still has time for his students,” he said.
Sunny Wong, another Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said he has been working under Jaluria since 2009 in chemical vapor deposition, a process used to produce high-purity, high-performance materials like carbon fiber and synthetic diamonds.
Wong said his work has expanded on research done by a previous student working under Jaluria, who has a very systematic approach that always leads him in a new direction.
Wong said as a professor, Jaluria was also encouraging, thorough and fair. When Wong approached Jaluria to become his research advisor four years ago, he said Jaluria was very eager to work with him.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have him as an advisor,” he said. “He is one of the best researchers I’ve seen.”
Jaluria will be honored for his accomplishments at the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics awards ceremony Nov. 24 in Pittsburgh, Pa.