Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Wilbert J. Austin Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Engineering


Simon Ostrach is the Wilbert Austin Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Engineering at Case, and Former Director of the National Center for Space Exploration Research, Dr. Ostrach is acknowledged by NASA as one of 12 Super Stars of Modern Aeronautics and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the National Academy of Engineering. He retired in 2005 after 45 years on the Case faculty.  Over the course of a 60-year career, Ostrach has made groundbreaking contributions to engineering and to the understanding of natural convection and physiologic and microgravity flows. His primary current research interest is the effect of weightlessness on the behavior of fluids and how flows—which occur in nature and various technologies—are induced and affected by various forces. Knowledge gained through his research has enabled the development of technologies for producing crystals for semiconductors and for producing microelectronic mechanical (MEM) devices. Dr. Ostrach also designed major experiments that flew aboard the space shuttle in 1992 and 1995. These provided significant insight for developing life-support systems in space, as well as for ground-based materials processing. A fellow of numerous professional societies, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Ostrach has received honorary doctorates from four universities: University of Rhode Island, Florida State University, The Technion and Brown University. Aside from his impactful accomplishments in the engineering profession, Dr. Ostach was outstanding college wrestler and spent 25 years as one of the most highly respected NCAA wrestling officials in the nation.