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Francesco Panerai

Francesco Panerai
Francesco Panerai
Assistant Professor
(217) 300-9628
302G Talbot Laboratory

For more information


  • Ph.D. Industrial Engineering, von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (Rhode-Saint-Genese, Belgium) and University of Perugia (Perugia, Italy) 2012. Thesis: "Aerothermochemistry Characterization of Thermal Protection Systems". Thesis Advisors: Prof. Olivier Chazot, Prof. Gianluca Rossi.
  • Research Master in Fluid Dynamics, von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (Rhode-Saint-Genese, Belgium) 2008.
  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Università degli Studi di Perugia (Perugia, Italy) 2007.
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Università degli Studi di Perugia (Perugia, Italy) 2005.

Academic Positions

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY) 2012 - 2015. Advisor: Prof. Alexandre Martin.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Aeronautics and Aerospace Department, von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (Rhode-Saint-Genese, Belgium) 2012. Advisor: Prof. Olivier Chazot.

Other Professional Employment

  • Material Scientist, Thermal Protection Systems and Materials Branch, NASA Ames Research Center (Moffett Field, CA) 2012 - 2018

Research Interests

  • Aerothermodynamics
  • High temperature materials
  • Hypersonics

Research Areas

Chapters in Books

Selected Articles in Journals

Invited Lectures

  • Ablation of carbon-phenolic materials in hypersonic flows
  • PICA-NuSil – what we know, what we speculate, what we are going to do
  • Thermal Conductivity of Woven Thermal Protection System Materials
  • Analysis of Carbon Fiber Ablators using Synchrotron Hard X-ray Micro-tomography
  • Ceramic Matrix Composites Gas/Surface Interactions in a High Enthalpy Plasma Wind Tunnel
  • Experimental characterization of the thermal protection system of a lifting reentry vehicle

Research Honors

  • von Karman Institute Excellence in Experimental Research Award (2008)
  • Analytical Mechanics Associates Group Achievement Award - The Asteroid Threat Assessment Project Arc Jet Team (2017)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award - Micro-Scale TPS Modeling Team (2017)
  • Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) (2019)

Courses Taught

  • AE 312 - Compressible Flow
  • AE 419 - Aircraft Flight Mechanics
  • AE 498 - Hypersonic AeroThermodynamics
  • ME 410 - Intermediate Gas Dynamics

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