Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Iwan Alexander


Department Chair, Cady Staley Professor of Engineering,
Faculty Director, Great Lakes Energy Institute
Phone: (216)-368-6045
Office Location: Olin

  • Ph.D., Washington State University, 1981
  • B.Sc. University of Wales, Swansea, 1977

Dr. Alexander is the Cady Staley Professor Engineering and Chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and since 2007 has been the faculty director of CWRU’s Great Lakes Energy Institute. Dr. Alexander’s research interests cover a number of topics  include computational fluid dynamics,  wind turbine aeroacoustics and wake dynamics,  wind farm layout optimization,  the physics and mechanics of fluid interfaces, multiphase flow and transport, crystal growth and solidification. This work has produced over a 120 refereed papers.  For the last fifteen years his research has included theoretical studies, computational simulations and experiments, particularly those processes associated with materials preparation and also with fluid surface dynamics. He was also involved with 5 space experiments, three involving semiconductor crystal growth, one liquid diffusion experiment and an acceleration measurement experiment.  Dr. Alexander serves on a number of national committees, is an AIAA associate fellow and has chaired two Gordon Research Conferences (Gravitational Effects in Physical-Chemical Systems and Thin Film and Crystal Growth Mechanisms), and is internationally recognized for his work on microgravity fluid processes.  From 2005-2010 he was the director of the National Center for Space Exploration Research (NCSER), a research center that is collocated at NASA’s Glenn Research Center.  At the NCSER he was directly involved in implementing the center’s vision to become a focal point for fluids and combustion research on fluid and transport processes in space exploration technologies and advanced human support systems under weightless and reduced gravity to provide a knowledge base for the design of future space exploration systems and technologies.  Dr. Alexander was awarded NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal in August 2008. Under his leadership Case Western Reserve University established the ‘Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation’ in 2007. The purpose of the institute is to develop, through farsighted energy research and energy-use strategies, innovative energy technology platforms that will provide low cost, reliable and sustainable energy.

Current Research Interests and Experience

  • Wind Farm dynamics/algorithms for optimal wind turbine placement in a wind farm.
  • Computational simulation of wind turbine acoustic noise generation
  • Electrical currents produced by fluid interactions with multiwalled aligned carbon nanotube arrays
  • Dynamics of two phase miscible and immiscible fluids
  • Dynamics and static behavior of fluid surfaces and interfaces
  • Simulation of bone growth using Monte-Carlo techniques