Dr. Elaine Oran Receives Honorary Doctorate from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon

5/21/2007 - 25-07r
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Dr. Elaine S. Oran, Senior Scientist for Reactive Flow Physics at the Naval Research Laboratory, has received an honorary degree from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon (ECL), a prestigious French engineering school. They have conferred the honorific title "Docteur Honoris Causa of the ECL" on the basis of her influential path-breaking contributions to archival scientific literature and her outstanding service to the professional community. The degree was presented to Dr. Oran as part of the ECL's 150th anniversary celebration and is only the sixth honorary doctorate that ECL has ever given.

As 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 has also served as visiting faculty member at several academic institutions, including Leeds University, England, and the University of Michigan, where she is adjunct professor of Aerospace Engineering, and the University of Wales at Aberystwyth, where she was Honorary Professor of Physics. As a result of her mentorship, Dr. Oran has supervised the research of many Ph.D. students as well as hosted and directed the research of many national and international postdoctoral scholars at NRL.

In 1979, Dr. Oran received the Arthur S. Fleming Award and in 1988 the WISE Award in Science, given for achievement in science by Women in Science and Engineering. In 1999, she received the Oppenheim Prize for "outstanding contributions to the theory of the dynamics of explosions and reactive systems." In 2000, she received the Ya. B. Zeldovich Gold Medal, presented by the Russian Academy of Sciences for the Combustion Institute, and given for "outstanding contributions to the theory of combustion and detonations." In 2001 she became an honorary professor of the University of Wales. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2003 and is a Fellow of both the AIAA and the American Physical Society. In 2006, she received the Society of Women Engineers' Achievement Award.

She is presently editor-in-chief of the AIAA Journal. She is president of the Institute for the Dynamics of Energetic and Reactive Systems, and has served on both the boards of directors of both the AIAA and the Combustion Institute. Additionally, she is past chair and a founding member of the American Physical Society Division of Computational Physics and has been active in the Division of Fluid Dynamics.

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.

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