Austin Earns Promotion


AE faculty member Joanna M. Austin has been promoted from assistant to associate professor.

She has had significant recent success, having won a 2011 College of Engineering Xerox Award for Faculty Research and a 2010 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation.

Joanna M. Austin
Joanna M. Austin
 Austin conducts research focused on fundamental problems in fluid mechanics, particularly in reacting, compressible flows that occur in a broad range of applications: hypervelocity planetary entry, shock-driven bubble collapse, detonation and supersonic combustion, and high speed flow phenomena in geological applications such as explosive volcanic eruptions.

Her research is predominantly experimental, combined with analytical modeling. Upon her arrival at Illinois, she established the Compressible Fluid Mechanics (CFM) laboratory, and with the support of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, built the Hypervelocity Expansion Tube (HET) facility. This facility uses a novel method of gas acceleration to produce a minimally contaminated free-stream representative of planetary entry conditions for ground-based testing.

Austin has conducted a number of fundamental studies using the HET and other facilities in the CFM lab and has been published widely in such journals as Physics of Fluids, Progress in Aerospace Sciences, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Journal of Geophysical Research, and AIAA Journal. The depth and innovation of her research has led to funding by AFOSR, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and industries such as Gulfstream and Rolls-Royce.

Her honors and awards also include the Richard Bruce Chapman Memorial Award for distinguished research in hydrodynamics in the Engineering and Applied Sciences Division at Caltech, the Young Investigator Program Award from AFOSR, and a Best Paper Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee.