Penner Distinguished Lectures

Professor Stanford S. (“Sol”) Penner was the founding Chair of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Sciences (AMES) at the University of California, San Diego in 1964. He also served as the Director of the Institute for Pure and Applied Physical Sciences (IPAPS) from 1968–1971, the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 1968–1969, and the founding Director of the UC San Diego Center for Energy Research from 1974–1988. He was the founding Editor of both the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer and Energy (The International Journal). He served as an advisor to the U.S. President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Penner's early research dealt with the scientific replacement of empirical methods used for radiative heat transfer estimates in combustion and other systems by showing how to use fundamental spectroscopic parameters, many of which were measured in his laboratory. This work is cited in connection with three awards from the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics and in the award of an honorary doctorate from the Technische Hochschule Aachen. His other research dealt with combustion phenomena in aerospace propulsion as exemplified by the book "Chemistry Problems in Jet Propulsion” and numerous related publications during the time he served as a member of the NATO Advisory Group for Aeronautical Research and Development. Following an around-the-world sabbatical as a Guggenheim Fellow in 1971-72, he founded the UC San Diego Energy Center and served as its director for more than 25 years while searching for new fossil-fuel, nuclear, renewable, and other energy sources.

He is the author of more than three hundred journal articles and seven books. He has received numerous professional honors, including election to the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the International Academy of Astronautics; he has also been awarded the Distinguished Associate Award from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Founders Award from the National Academy of Engineering.

In 1999, the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering established the Stanford S. and Beverly P. Penner Distinguished Lecture Series. 


Penner Distinguished Lectures


AI and Computing for Fluid Dynamics: There is Plenty of Room in the Middle
April 8, 2024, 1:30 pm
Speaker: Professor Petros Koumoutsakos
Professor of Computing in Science and Engineering
Harvard University

Efficient, Agile, Data-driven Vision-Based Onboard Autonomy under Uncertainties
February 26, 2024, 1:30 pm
Speaker: Professor Jonathan How
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Turbulent-Laminar Patterns
May 9, 2023, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Laurette Tuckerman
Senior Researcher
Physique et Mecanique des Milieux Heterogenes, ESPCI, & Sorbonne University

Mechanics and 3D Functional Mesosystems: From Neural Interfaces to Environmental Monitors
March 3, 2023, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor John Rogers
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Northwestern University

Exploration in the Forest of Mechanical Systems Control
January 23, 2023, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Masayoshi Tomizuka
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
University of California, Berkeley


Robotics, Control, and 3-D Printing of Medical Devices
November 7, 2022, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Time Lueth
Professor of Micro Technology and Medical Device Technology
Technical University - Munich


Advancing Test and Analysis Methods to Support Design by Removing Traditional Boundaries
December 8, 2019, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Mary Baker
President and Technical Director
ATA Engineering, Inc.


Effects of Stable Density Stratification on Homogeneous Turbulence Decay
April 13, 2018, 2:00 pm
Speaker: James J. Riley
Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering
University of Washington


Emergence of In Vitro Vascularized Models and their Application to Studies of Metastatic Cancer
May 25, 2017, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Roger D. Kamm
Professor of Biological & Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A New Type of Heat Engine, Using LEDs as Refrigerators
March 3, 2017, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Eli Yablonovitch
Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department
University of California, Berkeley


Surprising Responses in Flows in Common Geometries: (i) Surface-Attached Bacteria, Biofilms, and Flow and (ii) Trapping of Bubbles in Stagnation Point Flows
May 27, 2016, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Howard A. Stone
Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Princeton University


Aerial Robot Swarms
January 13, 2014, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Vijay Kumar
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
University of Pennsylvania


Architectures for Control Using Highly Distributed, Slow Computing
February 4, 2013, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Richard M. Murray
Control & Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering
California Institute of Technology


The DOE SunShot Initiative: Science and Technology to Enable Solar Electricity at Grid Parity
October 29, 2012, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Rajet Ramesh
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering & Physics
University of California, Berkeley

Wall Turbulence Above the Buffer Later
October 29, 2012, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Javier Jimenez
School of Aeronautics
Universidad Politecnica


Mechanics of Wall Turbulence
June 6, 2011, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Parviz Moin
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Stanford University

Mechanical Principles of Hierarchical and Multifunctional Materials Inspired by Nature
June 6, 2011, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Huajian Gao
School of Engineering
Brown University


The Third Generation of Control Systems
May 17, 2010, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor P. R. Kumar
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


Managing Emissions from Fossil Energy Resources
February 9, 2009, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Klaus Lackner
Department of Earth & Environmental Engineering
Columbia University


Fracture, Fatigue and Aging in Bone: An Issue of Multiple Length Scales
September 29, 2008, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Robert O. Ritchie
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
University of California, Berkeley

System Identification: From Data to Models
April 14, 2008, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Lennart Ljung
Department of Electrical Engineering
Linköpings University

Biological Motility: Molecules and Mechanochemistry
February 4, 2008, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor L. Mahadevan
Professor of Applied Mathematics
Harvard University


Energy, Sustainability, and Development
May 14, 2007, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)

Cryogenic Turbulence
February 12, 2007, 3:00 pm
Speaker: K. R. Sreenivasan
International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy


Overcoming Inertia (Measuring Material Response at High Rates of Deformation)
November 3, 2006, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Rodney J. Clifton
Brown University

Multiscale Modeling of Materials: A Challenge in Predictive Science
May 15, 2006, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Michael Ortiz
Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering
California Institute of Technology

Information and Entropy Flow in Filtering and Control
April 7, 2006, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Sanjoy K. Mitter
Professor of Electrical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Explaining the Flow of Elastic Liquids
February 13, 2006, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor John Hinch
Professor of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
University of Cambridge


Mechanical Properties of Nanocrystalline Metals: Strong but Troubled
May 23, 2005, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Julia R. Weertman
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Northwestern University

The Rheology of Concentrated Suspensions; Latest Variations on a Theme by Albert Einstein
March 4, 2005, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Andreas Acrivos
Professor of Science and Engineering
City College of New York


Coordination of Groups of Mobile Autonomous Agents
November 19, 2004, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor A. Stephen Morse
Professor of Engineering and Computer Science
Yale University

Electrospray Wings for Molecular Elephants
May 7, 2004, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor John B. Fenn
2002 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

Nanomechanics of Single Biological Cells and Some Connections to Human Diseases
March 5, 2004, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Subra Suresh
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Feedback and the Internet: Control Driving a Rapidly Advancing Technology
November 21, 2003, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Tamer Basar
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

From Surface Tension-Induced Flows to Asymmetric Whirl Combustion - What Motivates a Research Endeavor?
April 28, 2003, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Irvin Glassman
Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Princeton University

The Fill of the Sandwich: Foams, Frames and Lattices
February 28, 2003, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Mike Ashby
Engineering Department
Cambridge University


A Fascination with Fluids
October 21, 2002, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Tony Maxworthy
Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
University of Southern California

Modeling and Measurements in Line-Focus Acoustic Microscopy for Thin-Film Analysis
February 25, 2002, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Jan B. Achenbach
Northwestern University


Constrained Control
November 30, 2001, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Graham Goodwin
University of New South Wales


Interfacial Fluid Mechanics
December 1, 2000, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Stephen H. Davis
Northwestern University

Automatic Control - The Hidden Technology
June 5, 2000, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Karl J. ÅStrom
Lund Institute of Technology

Mechanical Properties of Thin Films
April 7, 2000, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor William D. Nix
Stanford University

Energy Supplies for the 21st Century
January 24, 2000, 3:00 pm
Speaker: Professor Stanford S. Penner
University of California, San Diego