New Faculty Member, 2020–21
Gokul Pathikonda has had a love for planes since a young age, and this later became his inspiration to pursue a career in aerospace engineering.
After completing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in India, he came to the United States to earn his master’s in aerospace engineering, where he discovered his interest in fluid mechanics.
“It was during this process that I started to develop a real appreciation for turbulent fluid flow because of the complexity of its physics and its near ubiquity in all natural and engineering phenomena,” says Pathikonda. “Turbulence seems chaotic, but it is elegantly dictated by orderly physics.”
Throughout his career, Pathikonda worked on predicting aerodynamic performance and heat-transfer characteristics of rough surfaces and predicting mixing efficiencies of chemical engineering reactors.
With his expertise in fluid mechanics and complex turbulent phenomena, Assistant Professor Gokul Pathikonda is looking forward to joining the School of Engineering for Matter, Transport and Energy in January 2021.
Pathikonda will be teaching introductory and advanced fluid mechanics, turbulence, aerodynamics, experimental and mathematical methods and other special topics, and he also looks forward to conducting research on hotspots in mixing flows.
“At the undergraduate level, I hope that the students gain both the physical intuition and mathematical tools needed for engineering design of fluid mechanical and aerodynamic systems,” says Pathikonda. “Those who still haven’t understood why they are learning calculus will have a pleasant answer in fluid mechanics, where each complements the other.”
Outside of teaching, Pathikonda enjoys playing squash, running, hiking, poetry and watching cricket.