Philip VarghesePhilip Varghese has been appointed chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin, Dean Gregory L. Fenves recently announced.

Professor Varghese, who also holds the Stanley P. Finch Centennial Professorship in Engineering, will assume his new duties Sept. 1. He replaces Robert Bishop, who held the position for six years.

Varghese joined the Cockrell School of Engineering in 1983 – the same year he earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. In a note to faculty and staff, Dean Fenves wrote that Varghese brings an excellent research record, strong teaching, vision and dedication to the department, as well as the university.

His research focuses on understanding the basic molecular processes occurring in high-speed and high-temperature flows. He specializes in non-intrusive optical measurements using lasers and in the study of non-equilibrium flows. He is currently the Director of the Center for Aeromechanics Research at the university.

Varghese was awarded a Fulbright Grant in 1993 to apply laser diagnostics to hypersonic wind tunnels in France. He has published more than 60 technical articles and reports and is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.