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NEWS | Nov. 21, 2014

Dr. Kazhikathra Kailasanath Honored with Captain Robert Dexter Conrad Award

By Donna McKinney

Dr. Kazhikathra Kailasanath, a physicist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), has received the Captain Robert Dexter Conrad Award. He is recognized for leading and conducting the basic research and the necessary applied engineering studies that have demonstrated the use of simple mechanical chevrons on jet exhaust nozzles as an effective noise-reducing retrofit for Navy F/A-18 Jet Aircraft Engines and that have demonstrated a Pulsed Detonation combustor retrofit for shipboard gas turbine engines with a 25% reduction in fuel consumption with no loss in generated power.

With these accomplishments, Kailasanath is noted for materially improving the Navy's future technical capability while advancing practical short-term solutions to two of the Navy's top technical problems. The award, named in honor of Captain Robert Dexter Conrad (1905-1949), recognizes outstanding technical and scientific achievement in research and development for the Department of the Navy.

At NRL, Kailasanath is the Director of the Laboratories for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics. In this position, he concentrates on developing and applying theoretical and numerical methods to study fluid and molecular properties of complex reactive flow and dynamical systems of interest to the NRL, Department of Navy, and the Department of Defense. His current research focuses on compressible reactive flows including advanced propulsion systems such as Pulsed Detonation Engines; on jet engine noise reduction; on unsteady flows over submarines, ship superstructures and Micro Air Vehicles; on chemical and biological contaminant transport in urban areas; on the dynamics and suppression of flames, fires, blast waves and detonations; on fundamental aspects of combustion, turbulence and multiphase flows; and on Direct Simulation Monte Carlo approaches to the study of flows in microfluidic devices.

Kailasanath is currently the principal investigator of an NRL program in Priority Issues in Naval Air Propulsion, and Office of Naval Research programs on Pressure Gain Combustion and Jet Noise Reduction.

Kailasanath received his B. Tech. in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, in 1976; his master's degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Insitute of Technology in 1977; and his doctorate in Aerospace Engineering (combustion) from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1980. He came to work at NRL in 1980, employed by Science Applications International Corporation. Then in 1984 he became a federal employee. In 1989, he was promoted to Supervisory Research Physicist at NRL. Kailasanath has authored 99 refereed journal articles and book chapters, 188 conference proceedings articles, and 32 internal technical reports. He also holds a patent, Method and Apparatus Using Jets to Initiate Detonations, awarded in 2005. He is on the Editorial board of the journals: Advances in Aerospace Engineering, Combustion Theory and Modeling, and the International Journal of Spray and Combustion Dynamics.

Kailasanath has been honored by his peers through election to Fellowship of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Physical Society, and the Institute of Physics (UK). He received the 2002 NRL Technology Transfer Award, a Special Act/Service Award in 1987, a NRL Invention Award in 2005, and numerous NRL Alan Berman Research Publication Awards. He received the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2009, the 2010 Best Paper Award from the International Gas Turbine Institute, and was honored as a Delores Etter Top Navy Scientist/Engineer of the Year for 2010.

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