Top Research Scientist Joins UTC Faculty

Dr. Harry McDonald, a top NASA researcher and internationally renowned computational engineer, has joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

McDonald has been named to the endowed Chair of 21st Century Engineering and professor of computational engineering at UTC. McDonald will be a faculty member in the UT SimCenter at Chattanooga, a newly created research and educational program on the UTC campus. The program brings to Chattanooga its first doctorate, a joint effort with the UT campus in Knoxville.

“I am very excited about coming to UTC to work with the creation of their new computational engineering center,”said McDonald. “I think the whole atmosphere of the campus and the city were so welcoming. I see a real commitment from the University and from the community to create the best computational engineering program in the country and I definitely want to be a part of the program. It is very gratifying to see such support for your work.”

McDonald comes to UTC from the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, where he served as director since 1996. McDonald also held the position of professor of engineering at Mississippi State University and visiting professor at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

“I am eager to build upon a long tradition of strong sciences for this campus,”said Bill Stacy, UTC chancellor. “His peers have recognized him with highest honors in engineering in this country and internationally he has been recognized with induction into the most prestigious societies. In addition to his powerful intellect, he is a such a gentleman and it will be rewarding for our faculty, our students, and for people in our area to interact with Dr. McDonald. He is one of the most likeable men you could meet.”

McDonald has been named a fellow by the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Royal Aeronautical Society (UK).

McDonald, formerly the assistant director of computational sciences and professor of mechanical engineering at the Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering and doctorate in engineering from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

Before joining Penn State in 1991, McDonald was founder, president and chief executive officer of Scientific Research Associates, Inc., Glastonbury, Conn., where he was also responsible for overall management of the company’s computational physics laboratory which specialized in aero-hydro- and gas dynamics, optical electronics and biomedical research.

During this time McDonald was co-inventor of a patented novel ultra-high frequency ventilator which provides life support to critically ill patients suffering from Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is a disease that affects over 300,000 people in the United States each year. McDonald and his co-inventors were awarded the Small Businessman of the Year Award for High Technology by the State of Connecticut for this achievement.

From 1965 to 1976 McDonald worked as a research engineer for United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford, Conn., where he investigated problems concerning heat transfer and gas dynamics relative to aircraft engine performance and design.

After graduating from the University of Glasgow, McDonald worked for the British Aircraft Corporation, Warton, England, where he supervised wind tunnel testing, as well as takeoff and landing characteristics of existing and theoretical aircraft designs.

McDonald has authored and reviewed many papers on aeronautical research and development, has been a member of several aeronautical associations and has served on several advisory panels within the aeronautical community. He is an accomplished pilot, having trained in the Royal Air Force Reserve, and sailing enthusiast.

McDonald and his wife Dr. June McDonald, M.D., are both naturalized U.S. citizens and have three children.

“The people of East Tennessee are very excited about the future of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and that a person of Dr.Harry McDonald’s caliber would join UTC as a Distinguished Professor of Computational Engineering,” said Congressman Zach Wamp, Third District o f Tennessee. “The SIM Center at Chattanooga and the important doctoral program that is coming to UTC are the most important developments at the university in a generation. Between Dr. McDonald and Dr. David Whitfield of the SIM Center, UTC will be well positioned to become a valuable partner with NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy and other important national institutions in computational engineering and computer simulation. The future of UTC is bright as we welcome Dr. Harry McDonald to Chattanooga.”

The endowment for the Chair in 21st Century Engineering is being created by a $1.25 million allocation from the UTC Lupton Renaissance Fund.

For more information, contact Chuck Cantrell or Cindy Carroll in the UTC Office of University Relations at (423) 425-4363.