Engineering Departments

Puri Named Engineering Science and Mechanics Department Head

Blacksburg, VA , June 08, 2004

Ishwar K. Puri, a professor of mechanical engineering and an executive associate dean of engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will become the head of Virginia Techs Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics Aug. 1.

Dr. Puri has worked with some of the strongest mechanics groups in the world, said Hassan Aref, dean of Virginia Techs College of Engineering. His enthusiasm for his new job and the tasks at hand has been infectious to the point where I sometimes forget that he is not already here.

Puri obtained his bachelors degree in mechanical engineering in 1982 from the University of Delhi. He received his masters and doctoral degrees in engineering science from the University of California at San Diego in 1984 and in 1987, respectively.

He served as an assistant research engineer at the University of California, San Diego from 1987 until 1990. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1994, and to full professor in 1999.

At UIC, he directed the mechanical and industrial engineering graduate programs from 1994 until 1997, and again during the 1999-2000 academic year. He served as the associate dean for research and graduate studies the following year, and as executive associate dean of engineering from 2001 until 2004. He was on the steering committee of the UIC Institute for Environmental Studies and headed UICs micro-and nanotechnology initiatives.

Puri has conducted research through major grants from NASA, National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), State of Illinois, the natural gas industry, and other industry. He established a European-US consortium to conduct engineering student exchanges at the undergraduate and graduate levels that was funded through the US Department of Education FIPSE program.

He is the author of over 180 archival and conference publications in the field of combustion. He has edited a book on the environmental implications of combustion processes, and a textbook on advanced thermodynamics.

Puri is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was a distinguished guest of the Swiss Leonard Euler Center of the European Research Community of Fluid Turbulence and Combustion in 1998 and 1999. He was a 1993 American Association for the Advancement of Science- EPA Environmental Fellow, a 1992 NASA/Stanford University Center for Turbulence Research Fellow, and a 1991 Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge.

Puri succeeds Norm Dowling who has served as the interim department head during the nationwide search.