Professional headshot of Carlos Cesnik posing and smiling.

Carlos Cesnik appointed Aerospace Engineering Chair

Cesnik to lead Aerospace Engineering at U-M

The Regents of the University of Michigan have appointed Carlos Cesnik as the Richard A. Auhll Department Chair of Aerospace Engineering for a five year term effective July 1, 2023. Cesnik, the Clarence L. (Kelly) Johnson Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering, has served as a member of faculty at U-M since 2001.

“I am truly honored by the trust the University has placed in me, and I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to Dean Gallimore and his leadership team for selecting me for this role. And to my predecessor, Tony Waas, for his leadership during his tenure as chair.  I look forward to leading and inspiring our exceptional faculty and students, fostering an environment of collaboration, innovation, and academic excellence. Together, we will embark on a journey of growth, advancement, and impactful contributions to the field of Aerospace Engineering,” comments Cesnik.

The founding Director of the Active Aeroelasticity and Structures Research Laboratory, Cesnik led the Airbus-Michigan Center for Aero-Servo-Elasticity of Very Flexible Aircraft until last year and is currently a core founding member of the Michigan Initiative for Sustainable Aviation (MISA). He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Vertical Flight Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. 

Cesnik is an expert in multi-fidelity, multi-physics modeling, design, simulation, and experimentation of aeronautical systems.  His research has focused on computational and experimental aeroelasticity of very flexible aircraft in support to sustainable aviation; aero-thermo-elastic modeling, analysis, and simulation of hypersonic vehicles; active vibration and noise reductions in helicopters; and structural health monitoring for damage detection in metallic/composite structures and metamaterials. He has over 350 publications, keynote presentations and invited lectures in those fields.

He serves as a member of the College of Engineering Executive Committee, has been chair of the aerospace engineering graduate program, and recently was the faculty chair of the aerospace engineering strategic planning committee that developed the six strategic thrusts for the 2022-2027 timeframe. Cesnik has also been very active in his outside service, taking multiple leadership roles in professional societies. He has served in the AIAA’s Technical Activities Division for over 11 years and was its Director for the Aerospace Design and Structures Group, as well as an elected member of AIAA’s Council of Directors. He currently chairs AIAA’s Board of Trustees’ Content Advisory Committee.  

“I can think of no better person to continue building the future of aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan than Carlos Cesnik. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him since he arrived at U-M in 2001, and I know he’ll bring thoughtful leadership and dedication to the people of the department and beyond,” comments Alec Gallimore, Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at the College of Engineering.

Prior to joining the U-M, Cesnik was the Boeing Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and has also worked as a research engineer at Embraer S.A. He earned his Ph.D. (1994) in Aerospace Engineering and M.S. (1991) in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his M.S. (1989) and B.S. (1987) in Aeronautical Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, Brazil. He has been an active private pilot since 1981 and a UAS remote pilot since 2016.