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Engineering dean honored
October 19, 1998

Amir Faghri, dean of the school of engineering, has been given two distinguished awards by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The AIAA Thermophysics Award is given for scientific contribution to the study and application of the properties and mechanisms involved in thermal energy transfer, and the study of environmental effects on such properties and mechanisms.

"Faghri has made significant and sustained contributions in developing simple and advanced thermophysical models in heat and mass transfer," according to a press release by the AIAA.

Faghri has worked on developing the science and technology of heat pipes used for heating and cooling systems for space and for electronic application in diverse conditions.

"Recognition by my peers means a great deal to me," he said, "so I am honored to receive these prestigious awards." The AIAA is a global organization with nearly 30,000 individual members and more than 50 corporate members. For more than 65 years, the AIAA has served as the principal society for aerospace engineers and scientists.

The ASME gave Faghri their Heat Transfer Memorial Award for his work in phase change phenomena, including boiling, evaporation, condensation, melting and solidificatio n. ASME has 125,000 members. The Heat Transfer Award has been given annually since 1959 to individuals for their contributions to the field of heat transfer through teaching, research, design and publication.

Currently, Faghri is working on three projects funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Air Force. One is to find better ways to cool laptop computers; the second is about how to better cool electronic components in space when there is no field of gravity. And the third is to develop miniature cooling devices, because "the technology is moving in that direction."

Faghri, who was appointed dean of engineering in May, holds six U.S. patents for heat transfer systems as sole inventor. He has also written two books and more than 210 archival technical publications, including 135 journal papers. He has been a consultant for several major research centers, including the Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories, and as principal investigator has received more than $4 million in external research contracts.

Before he became dean, Faghri was head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Luis Mocete