Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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University of Minnesota alumnus Ronald Adrian is named to receive an Outstanding Achievement Award

Professor Ronald Adrian

Dr. Ronald J. Adrian, a distinguished graduate of the University of Minnesota, will be honored with a prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award from the University on May 17, 2016. While attending the University of Minnesota, Dr. Adrian received his Bachelor's of Mechanical Engineering in 1967, and his Master's of Mechanical Engineering in 1969. The University of Minnesota presents Outstanding Achievement Awards to alumni and alumna who have attained "unusual distinction" and have demonstrated "outstanding achievement and leadership" in their respective field and community.

Dr. Adrian has achieved national and international recognition for his contributions to the field of fluid dynamics, specifically in the areas of wall turbulence, thermal convection, coherent structures in turbulence, and laser instrumentation. Dr. Adrian has developed new experimental and mathematical methods that have aided in the discovery of important aspects of turbulent flow. He was also an early developer of the laser Doppler velocimetry technique and a founder of the field of particle image velocimetry (PIV). Today, PIV systems are used around the world in academia, national laboratories, and industry to investigate fluid mechanics in fundamental and applied situations.

In regards to Dr. Adrian's work, AEM Department Head, Perry Leo comments, "Ron Adrian is a pioneer in developing novel methods to measure and analyze complicated fluid flows. His work has been used and cited by most if not all of our fluids faculty over the past twenty years." One of the AEM fluid mechanics faculty members is Professor Ellen Longmire, who says, "When I started at the U of M in 1990, one of my first steps was to develop a PIV measurement system based on Ron's original designs. His work on optimization of PIV imaging and processing is central to successful application of the method. Ron is also widely respected for his pioneering work on characterizing the organization and evolution of eddies within turbulent-wall bounded flows. Most of the current research in the field is guided by this model."

Currently, Dr. Adrian is a Regents Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Arizona State University's Fulton School of Engineering and heads the Laboratory for Energetic Flow and Turbulence. Dr. Adrian's research interests include the space-time structure of turbulent fluid motion and the development of techniques, both experimental and mathematical, to explore this structure. Prior to his time at ASU, Dr. Adrian was a professor in the Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Department at the University of Illinois from 1972-2005.

In addition to his research endeavors, Dr. Adrian served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Editor of Experiments in Fluids, Editor of the Springer Series in Experimental Fluid Mechanics and Founding Editor of He holds eight patents and has edited and authored countless research papers, books, and book chapters. In 2005, he was listed by the ISI Web of Science as one of the 250 Most Highly Cited Researchers in Engineering. Dr. Adrian has lectured nationally and internationally on the subjects of laser Doppler velocimetry, random signal analysis, and particle image velocimetry in more than 50 short courses attended by over 2000 professors, graduate students, professional researchers, and practicing engineers. His teachings have contributed to the introduction of new measurement techniques into the practice of fluid mechanics.

Dr. Adrian's pioneering contributions to the field of fluid dynamics are numerous, and as a result, he has won nearly every major award within the field. These awards include the 2001 Nusselt-Reynolds Prize for experimental fluid mechanics research, the 2002 AIAA Aerospace Measurement Technology Award for his role in developing the particle image velocimeter, the 2005 Fluid Dynamics Prize from the American Physical Society, the 2007 Fluid Dynamics Award given by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the 2010 Fluids Engineering Award given by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the 2010 Leonardo Da Vinci Award given by the International Symposium for Flow Visualization.

The Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics and the Mechanical Engineering Departments at the University of Minnesota will be holding an award ceremony and reception in Dr. Adrian's honor on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 in the Gary J. Balas Atrium.

Last Modified: 2016-05-25 at 08:52:01 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation