Ann R. Karagozian, the summa cum laude engineering graduate class of 78, has been teaching engineering here on the Westwood campus since she received her PhD in mechanical engineering from Cal Tech.
Given that, she's a perfect person to ask two not unrelated questions:
- What's the state of basic research in this country and its universities?
- Will the skies get any friendlier when planes are powered by alternative energy?
Sitting in her office with a million-dollar view and Mr. Spock smiling beneficently from her desk, Karagozian said of research: "The trouble is with the economic situation, everything is being cut."
This despite bipartisan political support for at least the concept of basic research as vital to the future of American technological competitiveness.
But Karagozian holds out hope that federal basic-research programs are somewhat insulated from cuts and that the trend of private industry partnering with universities on all kinds of research remains a powerful and important one.
As for one of her main research areas -- fluid flow and energy efficiency -- Karagozian doesn't see any major fuel alternatives changing how we design aircraft, but there will be important incremental improvements in mixtures and efficiency going forward.
Karagozian on basic research:
Karagozian on the future of aircraft propulsion:
This article was originally published on EBN's sister publication Drive for Innovation.