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ODU Engineering Professor Osama Kandil Remembered

Osama A. Kandil, a world-renowned aerospace engineer who retired in 2014 after a long career of teaching and scholarship at Old Dominion University, has died. He was 72.

Kandil, eminent scholar emeritus in Old Dominion's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, spent nearly 40 years as a professor in the mechanical engineering department at the University and served as a founder and chairman of the aerospace engineering department. The two departments have since merged.

Oktay Baysal, a longtime colleague and former dean of the Batten College, said Kandil's varied academic achievements were legendary.

"Topics like 'wake-vortex interaction' or 'sonic boom' may not be in layman's vernacular, but to those who worked on these complex aerospace problems, Dr. Kandil was one of the top scholars in the world," Baysal said.

"His contributions to 'fluid-structure interaction' have improved airplane designs and may have saved lives. Prof. Kandil was a great engineering teacher and a mentor who educated thousands."

Kandil was born in Cairo, Egypt, and graduated with distinction from Cairo University with a bachelor of science degree from the School of Engineering. He went on to achieve a master's degree from Villanova University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

He joined the Old Dominion faculty in 1978. An expert in computational and theoretical fluid dynamics and aerodynamics and subsonic, transonic and supersonic flows, Kandil received more than $4 million in research grants and wrote more than 179 refereed journal and conference proceeding papers.

Appointed founding chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering in 1993, Kandil led the department until 2002. Kandil was an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the recipient in 2005 of a NASA Turning Goals into Reality award for outstanding contributions to sonic boom research.

Kandil is survived by his wife of 48 years, Rawia, and his two children, Dalya and Tarek Kandil. He was remembered at a memorial service on Oct. 28 at the Mosque and Islamic Center of Hampton Roads in Hampton.

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