Elaine Oran contributed significantly to the advancement of the engineering profession by pioneering a computational technology. This technology unified engineering, science, and math disciplines into a methodology for solving complex reactive flow problems.
As a senior scientist for reactive flow physics at the United States Naval research lab, she leads a team that has invented and implemented many of the individual algorithms and the modern computer methodology for accurate numerical simulation of reactive flows. Application areas include combustion, rocket and jet propulsion, reentry and microdynamic flows, material engineering, atmospheric physics, and astrophysical phenomena.
This methodology, by Elaine and her colleagues, delineates solutions to problems in many areas in addition to the combustion and aerospace fields.
Because of the nearly universal nature and importance of reactive flows, Elaine’s work has opened the way for other investigators to follow and undertake the definition of a broad range of previously unexplained reactive flow phenomena.
Elaine received a bachelor of art in both physics and chemistry from Bryn Mawr College, masters from the department of physics at Yale University, and a PhD from the department of engineering and applied sciences at Yale University.