New Parks Endowed Chair Seeks to Enhance SLU’s Reputation Internationally
As the new Oliver L. Parks Chair in Engineering, Phillip Ligrani, Ph.D., plans to lift SLU's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology to new heights. With a focus on expanding the University's international presence, Ligrani will continue to develop SLU's reputation as a global leader in engineering and aviation.
Ligrani joined the University this fall as the director of graduate programs in Parks College and was formally invested as the endowed chair on Sept. 16. He also teaches as a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering within the college.
|Phillip Ligrani, Ph.D., already has fostered closer relations between SLU and Inje University in South Korea. Photo by Jeremiah Ingram
Recognized globally for his contributions to the field, Ligrani last month was appointed Distinguished Advisory Professor at Inje University in South Korea. The appointment will foster closer relations and academic exchanges between SLU and Inje University, and to further provide arrangements to support research collaborations.
"SLU has an outstanding engineering program, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to grow," Ligrani said. "I believe that research collaborations like our partnership with Inje University will not only provide great opportunities for learning, but also distinguish Parks College as one of the top engineering and aviation programs in the world."
Ligrani is no stranger to the international stage. As one of the most respected experts in engineering, Ligrani has presented lectures and keynote papers at many locations around the world, including China, Korea, France, Germany, England, Belgium, Croatia, the Ukraine, and the United States.
"Ligrani's international reputation for excellence makes him the perfect fit for the Oliver L. Parks Chair," said Krishnaswamy Ravindra, Ph.D., interim dean of Parks College. "Like Oliver Parks who founded the college in 1927, Ligrani has the vision and enthusiasm to provide a stimulating environment for the growth of graduate programs in engineering and aviation. We anticipate great things under his leadership."
More about Ligrani
Before arriving at SLU, Ligrani was the Donald Schultz Professor of Turbomachinery at Oxford University, where he also served as director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics.
He also taught for 14 years at the University of Utah where he held several positions including professor of mechanical engineering, adjunct professor of bioengineering, director of the Convective Heat Transfer Laboratory and associate chair of the department of mechanical engineering. Ligrani was honored with the department's "Professor of the Year" award in 1995 for outstanding classroom instruction. He has also received the NASA Space Act Tech Brief Award for "Development of Subminiature Multi-Sensor Hot-Wire Probes" and the Carl E. and Jessie W. Menneken Faculty Award for Excellence in Scientific Research.
In addition, Ligrani has secured numerous research funding awards including grants from The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, various industrial entities, and NASA. Widely published, he has authored or co-authored more than 133 journal articles, seven book chapters and 85 conference publications.
Ligrani earned his master's and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. He earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
About the Parks Chair
The Oliver L. Parks Chair is named for aviation pioneer Oliver Lafayette Parks (1899-1985). In 1927, he founded the nation's first federally certified flight school - Parks Air College -and is credited for helping to raise the standards for the amount and quality of training that student pilots were required to complete to earn commercial pilot certification. Parks donated the air college to Saint Louis University in 1946.
Today, SLU's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology has a worldwide reputation for aviation and aerospace engineering programs and is a leader in biomedical, electrical, mechanical and other engineering disciplines.