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March 29, 2018

COE Faculty Colloquium: Dr. Steven Schneider

Event Date: March 29, 2018
Hosted By: Dean of Engineering
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: ARMS 1109
Priority: No
School or Program: College of Engineering
College Calendar: Hide

Hypersonic Laminar-Turbulent Transition: Towards Exceptional Service in the National Interest

Dr. Steven Schneider
School of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Purdue University


Prof. Schneider will review a career focused on (1) developing and operating unique low-noise hypersonic wind tunnels with laminar nozzle-wall boundary layers and (2) becoming an international expert in hypersonic boundary-layer transition. Hypersonic transition is critical to the development of (a) ballistic and maneuvering reentry vehicles for military and civil applications, (b) interceptor vehicles for missile defense, and (c) scramjet-power vehicles for both weapons and access to space. This talk for non-specialists will describe some of the career dynamics of choosing to focus in one area, as customer interest moved away and then returned.

Steve Schneider received his B.S. from the California Institute of Technology in 1981. From 1981 to 1983, he worked at the Naval Ocean Systems Center in San Diego. Steve returned to Caltech in 1983, receiving a Ph.D. in Aeronautics in 1989 under Profs. Liepmann and Coles. His thesis involved experimental measurements of low-speed laminar instability and transition. He joined Purdue as an Assistant Professor in July 1989, and was promoted to Professor in 2004.

Since 1990, Schneider has focused on hypersonic boundary-layer transition, developing facilities and instrumentation for detailed measurements under quiet-flow conditions. A $1m 9.5-inch Mach-6 quiet-flow Ludwieg tube was completed in 2001, and achieved high Reynolds number quiet flow in 2006. He spent three decades studying the large literature in this area, learning from previous experts, and has written eight public-release review articles on hypersonic transition. He also worked to study the non-public flight data, in order to better relate the fundamental science to the aerospace systems needs, becoming a Sandia National Laboratory consultant in 2003 and writing two reviews of the non-public data. He is a Fellow of AIAA, and received the Ground Testing Award in June 2012. He presently serves as a Subject Matter Expert to various DoD programs, working through SNL, and is also the co-chair of NATO STO AVT-240, a working group on Hypersonic Boundary-Layer Transition Prediction.