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NEWS | Feb. 15, 2010

Dr. Kazhikathra Kailasanath Receives the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award

By Amanda Bowie

Dr. Kazhikathra Kailasanath, a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory, is the recipient of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award. He is being recognized as an international authority on the propulsion applications of detonation waves. Dr. Kailasanath is head of the Center for Reactive Flow and Dynamical Systems in the Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics.

Dr. Kailasanath's responsibilities at NRL include developing, supervising, advising on, and carrying out basic and applied research. The Center concentrates on the development and application of theoretical and numerical methods for the study of the fluid and molecular properties of complex dynamical systems of interest to the Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics, NRL and DoD. Current research in the Center focuses on compressible reactive flows in advanced propulsion systems; jet noise reduction concepts; unsteady flows over submarines, ship superstructures and Micro Air Vehicles; chemical and biological contaminant transport; dynamics and suppression of flames, fires, blast waves and detonations; various aspects of combustion, turbulence and multiphase flows; and to Direct Simulation Monte Carlo approaches to the study of flows in microfluidic devices.

Currently, Dr. Kailasanath is the principal investigator and Navy technical lead of an NRL program in Reactive Flow Dynamics, a Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) on Military Aircraft Jet Noise Reduction, and Office of Naval Research (ONR) programs on Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Jet Noise. He is the key representative from the Navy on a Government Team evaluating multiple industrial programs sponsored by DARPA to design and build high-efficiency pulsed-detonation engines (PDEs).

The most recent research conducted by Dr. Kailasanath has been assessing and documenting the potential of PDEs for air-breathing propulsion. His numerical simulations are used to explore the means of enhancing the performance of PDEs for air-breathing propulsion applications, and have been a key factor in explaining the wide differences in the reported performance of laboratory PDEs. Following up on Dr. Kailasanath's ground-breaking efforts, DARPA has proposed and initiated a program to design, build, test, and demonstrate PDEs for future applications. Dr. Kailasanath is the Navy technical lead for the multi-service PDE program that will cost over $400-500M over the next three years.

Dr. Kailasanath and his NRL team are participants in the SERDP designed to reduce military jet noise. Over the past three years, the team has conducted research proving that the source of jet noise could be reduced in half using easily retro-fitable techniques. This finding would make mitigating efforts such as ear protectors and helmets potentially that much more effective. In response to these efforts, the ONR has confidently proceeded with a comprehensive jet engine noise reduction program to quantify the significant noise reductions without damaging engine performance. Dr. Kailasanath is the technical lead for the ONR fundamental noise reduction research program.

Dr. Kailasanath earned his B. Tech. in aeronautical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, in 1976; his M.S.A.E. in aerospace engineering from Georgia Insitute of Technology in 1977; and his Ph.D. in combustion from Georgia Insitute of Technology in 1980.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Institute of Physics (UK). He is an active participant in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the International Combustion Institute, and the Institute of Physics (UK). He was the Deputy Editor of AIAA Journal from 2005 to 2008, and was an Associate Editor from 1995 to 2000. Since 1997 he has been a member of the editorial board for Combustion Theory and Modeling (Journal), and the International Journal of Spray and Combustion Dynamics (2008 to present). He has served as Chair (1996 to 1998) and Vice-Chair (1994 to 1996) of AIAA Technical Committee on Propellants and Combustion; Detonation and Supersonic Combustion Colloquium Chair for the 30th and 31st International Symposium on Combustion from 2003 to 2006; Vice-Chair of the 18th International Colloquium on the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems from 2000 to 2001; Technical Chair of the Propellants & Combustion Sessions, 35th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting in 1997; Program Advisory Committee of the 25th International Symposium on Combustion from 1993 to 1994; Papers Chair (1993 to 1995) and Program Chair (1991 to 1993) of the Eastern States Section of the Combustion Insitute; Board Member, Eastern States Section of the Combustion Insitute from 1991 to 2002; and Co-Presenter of two AIAA short courses.

For his contributions at NRL, Dr. Kailasanath received the 2002 NRL Technology Transfer Award, a Special Act or Service Award in 1987, and has received five Alan Berman Research Publication Awards. He has published over 300 articles on various aspects of fluid dynamics, combustion, propulsion and reacting flows.

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