The Viskanta Fellowship Lecture

About the Viskanta Fellowship and Lecture

The Viskanta Fellowship was created in 2013 to honor Raymond Viskanta, who served as a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University for 39 years. The honor is chosen by peers in the thermal science field and goes to emerging faculty members who show abilities to perform independent and innovative research in the field of thermal sciences. Viskanta Fellows spend a week at Purdue University's West Lafayette campus, and conclude their stay by giving the Viskanta Lecture.

Raymond Viskanta was born on July 16, 1931, in Marijampole, Lithuania to Vincas and Genovaite Viskanta. In 1944 his family fled Lithuania, traveling west to Germany. Shortly after WWII, his family was moved to displaced person camps in West Germany. In 1949 the family immigrated to the United States, settling within a large Lithuanian-American community in Chicago.

He received his formal education in Mechanical Engineering, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois (1955). He went on to complete a master’s (1956) and Ph.D. (1960) degrees from Purdue University.

Starting his career at Argonne National Laboratory, Ray joined Purdue's faculty as an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 1962. He became the W.F.M. Goss Distinguished Professor of Engineering in 1986. Ray taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels and conducted research in thermal sciences, heat, mass, and radiative transfer until his retirement in 2001.

Ray received recognition over his career not only because of the exceptional quality and productivity of his work, but because of its expansive breadth.  Most of his research was conducted jointly with students.  He guided the work of 64 doctoral, 48 master students and 39 postgraduate researchers. He developed over 540 publications in more than 50 journals in the U.S., Europe, and Japan and presented over 200 keynote papers and invited lectures at national and international conferences, universities, and research institutions.

Among many awards and international recognition, Ray received the U.S. Senior Scientist Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundations, was elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1987, and in 1990 as a foreign member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.  He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Engineering Degree from the Technical University of Munich in 1994 and an Honorary Doctor of Engineering Degree from Purdue University in 2007.

Raymond Viskanta passed away on December 27, 2021.

Past Speakers

2023 Eric Pop, Stanford University
2022 Guihua Yu, University of Texas at Austin
2021 Alan McGaughey, Carnegie Mellon University
2020 Austin Minnich, California Institute of Technology
2019 Evelyn Wang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2018 Baratunde Cola, Georgia Institute of Technology
2017 Andrei Federov, Georgia Institute of Technology
2016 Kripa Varanasi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2015 Chris Dames, Univ. of California Berkeley
2014 Laurent Pilon, Univ. of California Los Angeles
2013 Xinwei Wang, Iowa State University