SLU Professor Honored for Contributions to Aerospace Engineering Education
Krishnaswamy Ravindra, Ph.D., professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering in Saint Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, is a recipient of the 2021 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Sustained Service Award for his more than 30 years of contributions to both the organization and the field of aerospace engineering and teaching.
Ravindra was selected as an honoree for his significant contributions in aerospace engineering education and service to the AIAA’s Committee on Higher Education.
A SLU faculty member for 33 years, Ravindra has also served in a number of leadership positions at Parks College including as department chair, interim dean and associate dean. He has been honored for his teaching and work with students with two awards from the Association of Parks College Students (APCS), an award given by SLU’s Student Government Association (SGA) and the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE) Faculty of the Year Award.
“Professor Ravindra is a dedicated faculty member who students say is both an amazing professor and a caring person,” Michelle Sabick, Ph.D., dean of Parks College, said. “He has spent his distinguished career serving the aerospace industry and I cannot think of person who is more deserving of this recognition from AIAA.”
The AIAA Sustained Service Award is presented to recognize sustained, significant service and contributions to AIAA by members of the Institute. The recipient must be a member in good standing who has shown continuing dedication to the interests of the Institute by making significant and sustained contributions over a period of time, typically 10 years or more. The AIAA considers recipients’ active participation and service at the local section, regional and/or the national level in selecting the award’s honorees.
Ravindra has been an AIAA member since 1981. He has served as faculty advisor for AIAA student section at Parks for nearly five years and as a faculty representative in the AIAA St. Louis section council for four years. He has been a member of the academic affairs committee of AIAA (now known as Committee on Higher Education) for 16 years. Ravindra has organized aerospace education sessions at the annual AIAA SciTech conference for many years. He has also acted as an evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for aerospace programs since 1994.
“Since this award is given to only 20 AIAA members to recognize sustained, significant service and contributions each year, I am truly honored and humbled by this award,” Ravindra said. “I have become a better instructor through my work with my fellow AIAA members. It has helped to connect Parks College to working professionals in industries. All the work associated with AIAA is on a voluntary basis and as such fits well with the mission of the University.”
Ravindra’s research interests include experimental fluid dynamics and design, and his teaching experience includes a number of courses in aerospace and mechanical engineering.
His work with the AIAA, he said, has informed his teaching in SLU’s classrooms, and has offered new opportunities to engage students with professionals in the field.
“It has helped me to encourage students to become AIAA members, so it broadens their horizon for lifelong learning,” Ravindra said. “It has also helped me to become a better teacher by interactions with faculty from other schools at conferences and attending aerospace education related sessions and has also helped to bring professional engineers from Boeing for classroom lectures and student design reviews.”
For over 80 years, AIAA has been committed to ensuring that aerospace professionals are recognized and celebrated for their achievements, innovations, and discoveries that make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. From the major missions that reimagine how our nation utilizes air and space to the inventive new applications that enhance everyday living, aerospace professionals leverage their knowledge for the benefit of society. AIAA continues to celebrate that pioneering spirit showcasing the very best in the aerospace industry. For more information about the AIAA Honors and Awards Programs, visit the AIAA.
Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.
Story by Amelia Flood, University Marketing and Communications