Campus News

Leading researchers, alumni will honor UB’s Cyrus Madnia

Cyrus Madnia standing with arms crossed in front of a colorful map background.

UB engineer Cyrus Madnia will be feted by colleagues during a celebration of his scientific contributions.


Published April 9, 2019

The title of the workshop is “Modeling and Simulation of Turbulent Mixing and Reaction: For Power, Energy and Flight.”

However, it could just as easily be called “Cyrusfest.”

That’s because dozens of topflight researchers and UB alumni are meeting this weekend in Amherst to honor Cyrus Madnia, a longtime UB professor who has mentored a generation of engineers while conducting cutting-edge aerospace engineering research.

Madnia, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is an expert in computational modeling and simulation of turbulent flows. He has also made fundamental contributions in the field of computational modeling for nano-scale energy transport.

Additionally, Madnia is a pioneer in the use of direct numerical simulations (DNS) for assessing the performance of turbulence closure models.

“While many people are involved in similar work, Cyrus’s talent is unique and enviable. He has an exceptional talent in identifying and revealing the most relevant physics, and an excellent knowledge of high-speed computing and fluid mechanics,” workshop organizers Francine Battaglia, Daniel Livescu and Peyman Givi said in a joint statement.

“He has made outstanding contributions and has taken the lead to extend the knowledge to new frontiers. In doing so, he has developed the reputation of being a meticulous researcher who pays a great deal of attention to the quality of his research and fidelity of the results.”

Battaglia is professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UB. Livescu is senior staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Givi is Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Battaglia and Livescu are UB alumni. Givi is a former UB professor.

Madnia arrived at UB in 1992 as a postdoctoral associate. He became an assistant professor in 1994 and has since received many awards and accolades, including the National Science Foundation CAREER award, SAE International’s Ralph Teetor Educational Award and the State University of New York’s Chancellors’ Award in Teaching.

He has authored over 100 scientific studies and taught more than a dozen courses in thermal and fluid sciences. Madnia has advised or co-advised more than 20 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Many of these students now work in academia, government and industry. Here is a partial list of alumni expected at the workshop:

  • Virgil Adumitroaie (PhD, 1997), data scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Tomasz Drozda (BS 1999, MS 2002), aerospace research scientists at NASA Langley Research Center.
  • Sean Garrick (PhD, 1998), professor of mechanical engineering and associate vice provost, University of Minnesota.
  • Farhad Jaberi (PhD 1996), professor of mechanical engineering, Michigan State University.
  • Reza Jahanbakhshi (PhD 2016), postdoctoral fellow at John Hopkins University.
  • Farzad Mashayek, (PhD 1994), head of mechanical engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Richard Miller (PhD, 1995), associate professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson University.
  • Reza Sheikhi (MS 2002), president and CEO of Dana Scientific Inc.
  • Craig Steinberger (PhD 1997), engineering software analysist, GitHub

In addition, the workshop will include more than 20 other prominent scholars, including J. Philip Drummond, a distinguished research associate at NASA Langley Research Center; and keynote speakers Jackie Chen, a member of the National Academy of Engineering who works at Sandia National Laboratories, and Jay Gore, a professor of combustion engineering at Purdue University.