The Michigan chapter of Sigma Gamma Tau named Luis Bernal, professor of Aerospace Engineering, as the posthumous recipient of the 2021 Silver Shaft Award. Bernal passed away on April 7, 2021 at the age of 71. For many years he was a friend, colleague, and valued member of the Michigan Aerospace Engineering department, and he made significant and lasting contributions as an undergraduate program advisor.
Michigan Aerospace students elected Bernal as the faculty member who best demonstrated the qualities of leadership, sincerity, and enthusiasm for teaching and the aerospace field. He made a lasting impact on the Michigan aerospace curriculum. He was the main developer of various of the department’s graduate courses in viscous flow, turbulent flow, and experimental fluid mechanics.
Bernal was a world-class scientist in the field of experimental fluid mechanics. Two of his microgravity fluid experiments, developed in collaboration with his students, flew on Space Shuttle Missions. His impact on the aerospace field is irreplaceable and his legacy will be remembered forever.
Bernal received his Engineering degree at the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 1971. He went on to receive his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology in 1981, and then his Dc.Ing from Polytechnic University of Madrid in 1983. He joined the Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in 1984 and retired as a full professor in 2020.
Michigan Aerospace Engineering