Written: Jason Maderer
Devesh Ranjan is the next Eugene C. Gwaltney, Jr. Chair, effective January 1, 2022.
Professor Devesh Ranjan, associate chair for research and Ring Family Chair in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, has been named the School’s new Eugene C. Gwaltney, Jr. Chair. Ranjan has been a Georgia Tech faculty member in the Woodruff School since 2014 and holds a courtesy appointment in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. He begins his new role on January 1, 2022.
“Devesh’s strong leadership, both here on campus and as a representative of Georgia Tech for numerous external roles, makes him the ideal person to lead the Woodruff School,” said Raheem Beyah, dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair. “The breadth of his research gives him a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our faculty and students. I’m excited to partner with Devesh on his people-centered vision for the future of Georgia Tech’s oldest engineering school.”
Ranjan’s research focuses on the interdisciplinary area of power conversion and complex fluid flows involving shock and hydrodynamic instabilities. He also studies the turbulent mixing of materials in extreme conditions, such as supersonic and hypersonic flows. Ranjan serves as a co-director of the Department of Defense-funded University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics (UCAH). The UCAH is comprised of a network of universities, including Georgia Tech, that work with government, industry, national laboratories, and federally funded research centers to deliver the innovation and workforce needed to advance modern hypersonic flight systems in support of national defense.
“I’m both humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead the Woodruff School as its next Eugene C. Gwaltney, Jr. Chair,” Devesh said. “As one of the largest mechanical engineering schools in the nation, the Woodruff School offers an incredibly broad range of educational and research opportunities for students and faculty. It is an honor to lead such a diverse and dynamic school, and I am excited about what the future holds for us."
Ranjan has held a number of leadership positions at Georgia Tech. He served as interim vice president for Interdisciplinary Research (VPIR) earlier this year, overseeing all interdisciplinary activities. This included the Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs); Interdisciplinary Research Centers (IRCs); the Pediatric Technology Center (PTC), the Novelis Innovation Hub; the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging (CABI) and the Global Center for Medical Innovation. Ranjan also chaired the Woodruff School’s Fluid Mechanics Research Area Group from 2017–2018. He was a co-chair of Georgia Tech’s hypersonics task force, which developed the Institute’s blueprint for enhancing campus’s research capability in the field.
Ranjan’s research group has published more than 100 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. He has mentored more than 25 graduate and postdoctoral students during his career. Ranjan served as a Provost’s Teaching and Learning Fellow from 2018-2020 and was named a 2021 Governor’s Teaching Fellow. He was also named a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fellow for 2020-21.
He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and has received numerous awards for his scientific contributions. Ranjan was Georgia Tech’s first recipient of the Department of Energy’s Early Career Award, received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator award.
Before coming to Georgia Tech, Ranjan was a director’s research fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Morris E. Foster Assistant Professor in the mechanical engineering department at Texas A&M University. He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007.
He succeeds Samuel Graham, who was named Dean of Engineering at the University of Maryland. Steve Biegalski currently serves as interim chair of the Woodruff School and will return to his full-time role of chair of the Nuclear and Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics (NRE/MP) program at Georgia Tech.
“I am thankful for Steve’s leadership and dedication to the Woodruff School during this interim period,” Beyah said. “I’m also grateful to our selection committee, which was led by Aerospace Engineering School Chair Mark Costello, for its efforts in identifying a diverse, qualified pool of candidates for this important position.”