Elaine Oran Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Elaine Oran, the Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Aerospace Engineering, has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments in the unification of engineering, scientific, and mathematical disciplines into a computational methodology to solve challenging and unique aerospace combustion problems.

Oran is one of two University of Maryland (UMD) faculty members elected to the 2018 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most reputable honorary societies. Oran and David C. Driskell, UMD Distinguished University Professor emeritus, are among 213 new members of the academy being recognized for their accomplishments as scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic and philanthropic leaders.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences purpose is “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity and happiness of a free, independent and virtuous people.” The strength of the Academy lies in the intellectual leadership of its members and the wide range of expertise they bring to its studies and publications. Academy membership encompasses over 4,600 Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members and reflects the full range of disciplines and professions: mathematics, the physical and biological sciences, medicine, the social sciences and humanities, business, government, public affairs, and the arts. Among the Academy's Fellows are more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. Previous inductees include Ben Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, and such contemporary members as Naomi Leonard, Wanda Austin, and Nadine Aubry.

Widely recognized for her contributions to the advancement of science and engineering, Oran’s research includes work on chemically reactive flows, turbulence, numerical analysis, high-performance computing and parallel architectures, shocks and shock interactions, rarefied gases, and microfluidics, with applications to combustion, propulsion, astrophysical explosions, and micro-sensor design. In addition, Oran is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, (link is external) one of the highest honors to which an aerospace engineer can aspire. Oran is also an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which is the highest distinction conferred by AIAA, and recognizes preeminent individuals who have had long and highly contributory careers in aerospace and who embody the highest possible standards in aeronautics and astronautics. She is also a fellow of several societies including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the American Physical Society (APS), and the Combustion Institute. Oran has published hundreds of journal articles, numerous book chapters, and has delivered over 250 invited presentations.

Oran and Driskell join other distinguished notables in the 2018 class, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor, 44th President of the United States Barack H. Obama, author Ta-Nehisi Coates, philanthropist and entrepreneur Laurene Powell Jobs, and actor Tom Hanks. Driskell and Oran’s election into the academy brings the total number of UMD faculty who are members of the academy to 56.

“Membership in the academy is not only an honor, but also an opportunity and a responsibility,” said Jonathan Fanton, president of the American Academy. “Members can be inspired and engaged by connecting with one another and through academy projects dedicated to the common good. The intellect, creativity, and commitment of the 2018 class will enrich the work of the academy and the world in which we live.”

Founded in 1780, the academy honors exceptional scholars, leaders, artists, and innovators and engages them in sharing knowledge and addressing challenges facing the world. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony in October 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and join the Academy members who came before them, including Benjamin Franklin (elected 1781) and Alexander Hamilton (1791) in the eighteenth century; Ralph Waldo Emerson (1864), Maria Mitchell (1848), and Charles Darwin (1874) in the nineteenth; and Albert Einstein (1924), Robert Frost (1931), Margaret Mead (1948), Milton Friedman (1959), and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1966) in the twentieth.