James C. Hermanson Honored with Alden Chair in Engineering at WPI

Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. - James C. Hermanson of Paxton, Mass., associate professor of mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has been appointed the 10th recipient of the George I. Alden Chair in Engineering. The appointment is for three years and includes a stipend to be used for continued professional development of the recipient.

Hermanson, who came to WPI in 1995, earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Washington in aeronautics and astronautics in 1977, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology in 1980 and 1985, respectively. His research focuses on fluid mechanics, specifically compressible flow, combustion, turbulent mixing, multi-phase flow and heat transfer. His research has been supported by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the National Center for Microgravity Research and United Technologies Corp. His work has been published in leading professional journals such as Combustion and Flame, Combustion Science and Technology, the AIAA Journal, the Journal of Propulsion and Power and the Journal of Fluid Mechanics.

He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Combustion Institute and the National Space Society. He is also currently an associate editor for the AIAA Journal. In addition, he is a member of the Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi honorary professional societies.

Since 1971, the George I. Alden Chair in Engineering has been awarded every three years to a WPI faculty member in recognition for outstanding teaching in the field of engineering. Alden, a member of the WPI faculty from 1868 until 1896, founded the Alden Hydraulic Laboratories (now Alden Research Laboratories) in 1893. He also served as acting president of WPI and was president and chairman of the board of the Norton Co. He was noted for his scholarly work, his inventive genius and his outstanding teaching.

WPI, founded in 1865, is renowned for its project-based curriculum. Under the WPI Plan, students integrate classroom studies with research projects conducted on campus and around the world.