Dr. Elaine Oran Named SIAM Fellow


6/8/2009 - 49-09r
Contact: Donna McKinney, (202) 767-2541


Dr. Elaine Oran, Senior Scientist for Reactive Flow Physics at the Naval Research Laboratory, has been named a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Dr. Oran is recognized "for contributions to the simulation of reactive flows and other complex processes."

SIAM is an international community of over 12,000 individual members, including applied and computational mathematicians, computer scientists, and other scientists and engineers. The 2009 fellow is the inaugural class of fellows for SIAM.

As a Senior Scientist at NRL, Dr. Oran's current research includes development of numerical algorithms and the use of these algorithms in computerized models that describe a wide variety of complex fluid systems. These systems are used in research and applications ranging from microfluidics to astrophysics and cosmology. Her current work applies these simulation methods to design micron-sized devices for use in biosensors; design of micro-propulsion systems for use in air vehicles, space and planetary exploration; hazard reduction for the storage and handling of energetic materials including hydrogen fuels; basic physics of combustion processes involving flames; detonations and the transition to denotations; and explosions of supernovae.

Dr. Oran is responsible for programs sponsored by NRL, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Japanese research agency, NEDO. A substantial part of her work is involved with facilitating collaborations among government, academia, and industry. In addition to her work with ONR, Dr. Oran is a consultant to corporations and governmental agencies. Currently, she is at the center of a new collaboration among the U.S. government and a number of universities and private industries to design safe storage for hydrogen fuels. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Dr. Oran has extensively supported the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) group within NRL.

Dr. Oran has authored and co-authored hundreds of technical papers and articles, as well as the highly regarded textbook, Numerical Simulation of Reactive Flow, which is considered to be the most widely used text on the subject.

Dr. Oran received her A.B. degree in physics and chemistry from Bryn Mawr College; her M.Ph. degree in physics; and her Ph.D. degree in solid state physics and statistical mechanics.

For her seminal work, Dr. Oran has received a number of distinguished honors and awards, including:

  • Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Senior Professional
  • Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional
  • The Zeldovich Gold Medal of the Combustion Institute
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • Election to the Hall of Fame of Women in Technology International
  • Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers
  • Adjunct and visiting professorships at the University of Michigan and Leeds University (UK)
  • Honorary Professor of Physics, University of Wales
  • Election to the National Academy of Engineering
  • Selection as Editor-in-Chief of the AIAA Journal, the flagship journal of AIAA
  • Distinguished honorary degree, Docteur Honoris Causa, from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon.
  • Delivery of the Louis Clark Vanuxem Public Lecture at Princeton University
  • Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers



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