Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Kent H. Smith Professor Emeritus of Engineering



  • Ph.D., CalTech,  1960
  • M.M.E, Cornell University, 1951
  • B.M.E, The Cooper Union, 1950

Eli Reshotko is the Kent H. Smith Professor Emeritus of Engineering. He received his BME degree from The Cooper Union in 1950, an MME from Cornell University in 1951 and a PhD in Aeronautics and Physics from Caltech in 1960. He joined the NACA-Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory, now the NASA-Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio in 1951 and worked in compressible boundary layer theory, aerodynamic heating and boundary layer transition before taking leave to complete his PhD. Upon rejoining NASA, he served as Chief of the Plasma Physics Branch until he left in 1964 to take a faculty position at Case Institute of Technology. Over the last 35 years, he has done extensive work in stability theory, its role in transition and the control of transition, and has served since 1970 as the Chairman of the U.S. Boundary Layer Transition Study Group.

Eli Reshotko was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1984. He is a Fellow of AIAA, ASME, APS, AAAS and the American Academy of Mechanics. He was Chair of the Division of Fluid Dynamics of APS in 2000, having been Chair-Elect in 1999. He received the AIAA Fluid and Plasmadynamics Award in 1980 and was the AIAA Dryden Lecturer in 194 and was the APS 1999 Otto Laporte Award Recipient for "For lasting contributions and leadership to the understanding of transition to turbulence in high-speed flows and non-homogeneous flows."