Morris named interim head of aerospace engineering


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Philip J. Morris, Boeing/A.D. Welliver Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Penn State, has been appointed interim head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, effective immediately.

Morris succeeds George Lesieutre, who had served as head of the department since 2004 and has accepted a position as associate dean for research in the College of Engineering.

“During my long career in the aerospace engineering department, I have been lucky to have worked with outstanding colleagues, an exceptional support staff and high-quality students who have kept me feeling young and energized,” said Morris. “This position represents a new challenge, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the department in this way.”

Morris has been an aerospace engineering department faculty member since 1977 and was named Boeing/A.D. Welliver Professor of Aerospace Engineering in 1991. Prior to joining Penn State, his experience included a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies and work as a research engineer with the Lockheed Company in Marietta, Georgia. He also spent time as a visiting research professor at the University of Southampton and Warwick University in the United Kingdom and has been a visiting research scientist at NASA’s Langley and Glenn Research Centers.

“Phil Morris is not just a scholar who commands national and international recognition, but he is also a great educator and an experienced academic manager. I am sure that he will build on the tremendous accomplishments of the aerospace engineering department during the tenure of George Lesieutre,” said Amr Elnashai, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering.

During his 39 years in the department, Morris has served as director of the Computational Fluid Dynamics program and director for the Center for High Performance Computing, where he worked with colleagues to develop a graduate minor in high-performance computing. That program evolved into the present graduate minor in Computational Science, which is currently being pursued by 70 students and has over 300 alumni.

Over the years, Morris has been recognized by the University and the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society for his teaching and research excellence, receiving the society’s Outstanding Teaching, Outstanding Research and Premier Research awards. He has also been recognized for his research within, and his contributions to, the aerospace industry, having received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aeroacoustics Award and Sustained Service Award. He was selected to deliver the Rayleigh Lecture by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and also presented the Inaugural ISVR Lecture for the Queen’s Anniversary Prize 2006 for Further and Higher Education.

In addition to his teaching duties and university service, Morris, who is a recognized authority on aeroacoustics, plays an active role in the department’s research on aircraft noise. His primary research areas include aerodynamic noise, turbulence modeling and computational aeroacoustics. His current research is focused on noise reduction for tactical fighter aircraft.

“Navy personnel on aircraft carriers are subject to noise-induced hearing loss caused by proximity to extremely powerful and noisy jet engines,” said Morris. “Our research in aerospace engineering involves the prediction and measurement of noise, but also, most importantly, the development of methods for its reduction.”

Morris’s professional affiliations include the AIAA, where he is a fellow; the Acoustical Society of America and the American Physical Society, where he is also a fellow. He has served as the chair of the AIAA Aeroacoustics Technical Committee and has been chair of several international conferences.

Morris says that he is still formulating his goals for the coming year, but his primary objective is to support the high quality of education and research performed in the aerospace engineering department and to work to ensure that this excellence continues.

Morris received a B.S. in aeronautics and astronautics, an M.S. in advanced acoustics and a Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Southampton.

Morris’s appointment will last one year, during which time the College will conduct a national search for a permanent department head.


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Chris Spallino

Philip J. Morris, Interim Department Head and Boeing/A.D. Welliver Professor of Aerospace Engineering

Philip J. Morris, Interim Department Head and Boeing/A.D. Welliver Professor of Aerospace Engineering



The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

229 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569