Three Faculty Members Promoted in 2020

September 4, 2020

Three faculty members in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics have been promoted – one to professor and two to associate professor – effective Sept. 1, 2020. Jayant Sirohi was promoted from associate professor to professor; Moriba Jah was promoted from associate professor without tenure to associate professor; and Ufuk Topcu was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor. All have made significant impacts on the department's teaching and research efforts.

Jayant Sirohi

portrait of jayant sirohiJayant Sirohi’s work focuses on investigating the fundamental physics of different types of vertical lift aircraft, such as coaxial, counter-rotating helicopters and electric aircraft for urban air mobility, by means of various experimental and computational tools. His group’s goal is to expand the capabilities and understanding of the complex aeroelastic behavior of future vertical take-off aerial vehicles. He is the principal investigator of the Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence funded by U. S. Army, Navy and NASA (2011-2016 and 2016-2021) and is currently working with Uber Elevate to help develop new rotor technology for vehicles that will be used in Uber’s proposed urban aviation ride-share­­ network, Uber Air. Sirohi earned a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park and joined the department in 2008. He holds the Eli H. Ramona Thornton Centennial Fellowship in Engineering. Learn more about Sirohi’s research.

Moriba Jah

portrait of moriba jahMoriba Jah is an expert in astrodynamics and a space environmentalist regarding space situational awareness and space traffic monitoring and control. He has been working on the transdisciplinary problem of “space junk” orbiting Earth for over a decade. His research program, ASTRIA (Advanced Sciences and Technology Research in Astronautics) developed ASTRIAGraph, the first knowledge graph for space traffic monitoring which combines multiple sources of information about anthropogenic space objects orbiting the Earth. He is a member of the Astrodynamics Technical Committee of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), a permanent member of the Space Debris Technical Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the first aerospace engineer selected as a TED Fellow. Jah earned his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado (Boulder) and joined the department in 2017. He holds the Mrs. Pearlie Dashiell Henderson Centennial Fellowship in Engineering. Learn more about Jah’s research.

Ufuk Topcu

portrait of ufuk topcuUfuk Topcu’s research involves the theoretical and algorithmic aspects of design and verification of autonomous systems. His group's work is at the intersection of formal methods, controls and learning. Current projects address creating truly autonomous systems with decision-making capabilities in uncertain environments and improving technology that involves human and autonomous interaction. Topcu’s research is supported by the DOD, DARPA, AFOSR, NASA, ONR, Sandia National Laboratories and more. He is a winner of the National Foundation Science CAREER Award and the Air Force Young Investigator Program Award. He was selected by the Department of Defense to lead a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) project aimed at developing artificial intelligence for UAVs. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley and joined the department in 2015. Learn more about Topcu’s research.