R. Ganesh Rajagopalan

United States of America


1953 - 2021

Professor R. Ganesh Rajagopalan of the Department of Aerospace Engineering (AerE) at Iowa State University College of Engineering passed away March 19. A highly regarded researcher, he was responsible for unique contributions to rotorcraft, wind energy systems and computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

During his time at Iowa State, Rajagopalan graduated 37 PhD and MS students, and taught numerous undergraduate and graduate-level courses. He was a dedicated teacher of aerospace engineering and shared his knowledge in a wide range of subject matter, which included aerodynamics, gas dynamics, CFD, aircraft performance, flight dynamics and wind energy. He and his students have made significant and wide-ranging contributions to the field of CFD.

Rajagopalan joined the Iowa State faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 1991 and professor in 2001. Prior to this, he was a lecturer, teaching fellow and research assistant at West Virginia University, where he received his PhD in aerospace engineering in 1984. He had received an MS in aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in 1978, a BS in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1976 and a BS in mathematics from Madras University in 1973.

He has been credited with numerous research citations, more than 70 research publications, 18 journal articles, and more than 50 conference papers at events around the world. He was also a principal investigator, co-principal investigator or investigator on more than 30 grant-supported research projects.

Rajagopalan was a VFS lifetime member and Gold Circle member, which recognizes longtime members of the Society, which he joined in 1985; he received the Alfred Gessow Best Paper Award at Forum 61 in 2005. He was an AIAA Associate Fellow and a technical consultant for numerous corporate interests and a reviewer of archival journals for many publications.

Source: "In Memoriam," Vertiflite May/June, 2021