Dr. Michael W. Plesniak is Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Executive Director of Research Development for the School of Engineering and Applied Science at The George Washington University. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Prior to joining GW, he was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, the Eugene Kleiner Professor for Innovation in Mechanical Engineering at Polytechnic University of New York, and the Director of the Fluid Dynamics and Hydraulics Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). He received the 2006 NSF Director’s Award for Collaborative Integration for his contributions to NSF’s Cyberinfrastructure initiative.
Dr. Plesniak is a Fellow of the following: American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and the Washington Academy of Sciences; and a member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. He has authored over three hundred fifty refereed archival publications, conference papers and presentations, including numerous invited seminars and keynote addresses. He received the Distinguished Career in Engineering Award from the Washington Academy of Sciences in 2018, and the Fluids Engineering Award from ASME in 2017.
Prof. Plesniak has made significant contributions to education and research in the discipline of fluid dynamics. His specific contributions are in the field of turbulent flow physics for applications ranging from gas turbine cooling to biological flows. Current research interests include: fluid dynamics, multiphase flows, bio fluid mechanics, turbulence transport and mixing enhancement, cavitation, three-dimensional boundary layers, entrainment control, STEM education, and research management. Dr. Plesniak is the Director of GW’s Center for Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering. His research group is currently studying the physics of phonation and cardiovascular flows, and tissue engineering scaffolds. An overarching motivation for studying hemodynamics and speech production is to facilitate surgical planning, i.e. to enable physicians to assess the outcomes of surgical procedures by using faithful computer simulations.
Dr. Plesniak was recognized by the American Physical Society for his service to the profession with the inaugural Citation for Meritorious Service presented by the Division of Fluid Dynamics in November 2009. Prof. Plesniak was a recipient of the 2011 NASA DC Space Grant Consortium’s Outstanding STEM Faculty Award, awarded to faculty that make an outstanding contribution to STEM that goes above and beyond the classroom. He served as 2011 Lead Judge for the Siemens National Competition. Dr. Plesniak was also named the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Capital Section Engineer of the Year 2010-2011 for his work on contaminant transport in aircraft, service to the fluid dynamics community and public policy advocacy.
In the area of public policy advocacy, Dr. Plesniak was a member of the national level AIAA Public Policy Committee (Aeronautics subcommittee), ASME Inter-Sector Committee on Federal Research and Development (NSF Task Force), and the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (Infrastructure Issue Team, 2009-10). He was also a member of the national level AIAA Ethics Committee (2012-2014).