01/23/2012 08:00:00

Rosakis Receives Commandeur de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques

Ares Rosakis, von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and professor of mechanical engineering, and chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, has been selected to receive the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques—the Commander grade of the French Republic's Order of Academic Palms. Originally a decoration created by Napoléon in 1808 to honor educators and scholars, it was established as an order in 1955 and now honors recipients from all around the world who have made significant contributions to the development of French culture, science, and education. It is currently awarded by the prime minister of France.

The order comprises three grades—commandeur, officier, and chevalier—and in distinction immediately follows such honors as the Legion of Honor and the Order of the Liberation.

Elected to the Academy of Engineering last year, Rosakis is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Society of Experimental Mechanics, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. His many honors include the Society of Engineering Science's Eringen Medal and the Caltech Graduate Student Council's Excellence in Teaching Award.

He received his BSc from the University of Oxford in 1978 his PhD from Brown University in 1982, the same year he joined Caltech as an assistant professor. He became associate professor in 1988 and professor in 1993. He directed the Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories (GALCIT), now the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, from 2004—the same year he was named von Kármán Professor—to 2009, when he was appointed division chair.

Written by Michael Farquhar