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Elaine Oran

Adjunct Professor


3232 Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building
8228 Paint Branch Dr, College Park, MD 20742


Additional Title(s)
  • Glenn L. Martin Professor
  • Aerospace Engineering and Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland

Professor Oran, Gas Dynamics Laboratories, designs numerical methods for simulating complex fluid dynamic processes and then uses these methods to solve complex fluid dynamic processes. These methods and computer codes are then used to solve a wide variety of scientific and engineering problems. Her recent research interests include combustion and propulsion, rarefied gases and microfluidics, fluid turbulence, materials engineering, high-performance computing and parallel architectures, computational science and numerical analysis, biophysical fluid dynamics, wave equations, and astrophysical phenomena such as supernova explosions and jets. She is the author of over 300 refereed journal articles as well as many conference papers and presentations. She is also the coauthor of the book Numerical Simulation of Reactive Flow (2nd edition, Cambridge Press, 2001).


  • Ph.D., Yale University, Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences (1972)
  • M.Ph., Yale University, Department of Physics Yale University (1968)
  • A.B., Bryn Mawr College, Physics and Chemistry (1966)


  • Directed Study (Aero 490)
  • Directed Study (Aero 590)

Research Interests

Computational fluid dynamics, computational combustion, shocks and shock interactions, rarified gas flow, fluid and particle dynamics, and astrophysics.

Professional Service

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Honorary Fellow)
  • American Physical Society (Fellow)
  • Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (Fellow)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Fellow)
  • National Academy of Engineering (Member)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (Member)
  • American Geophysical Union (Member)
  • Combustion Institute (Member)
  • Society of Women Engineers (Member)
  • Sigma Xi (Member)

Recent Board Memberships and Service Activities

  • Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) of National Research Council
  • Editor-in-Chief, AIAA Journal (2003 – 2008)
  • Advisory Board, Acta Mechanica Sinica
  • Advisory Board, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California
  • Advisory Council, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University
  • Chair, Search Committee for National Academy of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering Section


  • Honorary Doctorate, INSA (2015)
  • American Physical Society Fluid Dynamics Prize, 2013
  • Hall of Fame, WITI, Women in Technology International
  • Achievement Award of the Society of Women Engineers
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science, Leeds University (2010)
  • Docteur Honoris Causa, Ecole Centrale de Lyon (2006)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, District of Columbia Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies (2010)
  • AIAA Propellants and Combustion Award (2008)
  • Louis Clark Vanuxum Public Lecture, Princeton University (2006)
  • Presidential Rank Award, Distinguished Senior Professional (2007)
  • Presidential Rank Award, Meritorious Senior Professional (2003)
  • Dryden Distinguished Lectureship in Aerospace Research (AIAA, 2002)Zeldovich Gold Medal (Combustion Institute, 2000)
  • Hall of Fame, Women in Technology International(WITI, 2000)
  • Oppenheim Prize (Institute for the Dynamics of Energetic and Reactor Systems, 1999)
  • Women in Science and Engineering Award in Science (WISE, 1988)
  • Arthur S. Flemming Award (US Government, 1979)