James Hermanson

Professor, Aeronautics & Astronautics

Space Exploration


Professor James C. Hermanson received a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics & Astronautics from the University of Washington in 1977.  Subsequently he was an Engineer with Boeing Aerospace Company.  He performed his graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology, earning a Master of Science in 1980 and a Ph.D. in 1985, both in Aeronautics.  Dr. Hermanson was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Institut für Physikalische Chemie at the Universität Göttingen, in Göttingen, Germany.  Other professional experience includes the Boeing Aerospace Company in Kent, WA, United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, CT. and Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA.  Professor Hermanson has been with the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the University of Washington since 2002, where he holds the rank of Professor and currently serves as the Chair of the Department. 

Professor Hermanson and his research groups are known for their work in compressible flow, combustion and two-phase flows.  His research in compressible flow has involved the study of the penetration and structure of gas-phase and supercritical-fluid transverse jets in supersonic flow, the instability and mixing associated with shock wave passage through turbulent vortex rings and jets, fuel droplet disruption in supersonic flow, and mixing enhancement in compressible flow by lobed mixers.  His work in combustion has included turbulent shear layer mixing and combustion, the stability and emissions of premixed and partially premixed turbulent flames, and the turbulent structure and emissions of strongly-pulsed, turbulent jet diffusion flames in normal- and microgravity.  Multi-phase flow research conducted by Prof. Hermanson’s group has examined condensing and evaporation films and the development of ultrasound diagnostics for film thickness measurement. 

Professor Hermanson’s astrobiology-related interests include spaceflight, orbital mechanics and thermodynamics as related to planetary environments.

Professor Hermanson is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.  Hermanson also served as Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal from 1998 to 2002.  In 2004 Dr. Hermanson received a best paper award for his work in microgravity combustion of pulsed, turbulent jet diffusion flames.  He was holder of the George I. Alden Chair in Engineering at WPI from 1999-2002 and received an NSF CAREER Award in 1998.  Hermanson is the author or co-author of more than 100 publications and conference papers.

Selected Publications

Narendranath, A. D., Hermanson, J. C., Kolkka, R. W., Struthers, A. A., & Allen, J. S. (2014). The Effect of Gravity on the Stability of an Evaporating Liquid Film. Microgravity Science and Technology, 189–199. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12217-014-9395-8

Narendranath, A. D., Kimball, J., Hermanson, J. C., & Allen, J. S. (2012). Manifestation of Instability Mechanisms in Liquid Films. Journal of Heat Transfer, 080908. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4006722

Kim, Y., & Hermanson, J. C. (2012). Disruption of Volatile and Nonvolatile Droplets Under Locally Supersonic Conditions. AIAA Journal, 1754–1765. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.j051582

Kim, Y., & Hermanson, J. C. (2012). Breakup and vaporization of droplets under locally supersonic conditions. Physics of Fluids, 076102. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4733459

Kimball, J. T., Hermanson, J. C., & Allen, J. S. (2012). Experimental investigation of convective structure evolution and heat transfer in quasi-steady evaporating liquid films. Physics of Fluids, 052102. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4711368

Fregeau, M., Hermanson, J. C., Stocker, D. P., & Hegde, U. G. (2010). Turbulent Structure Dynamics of Buoyant and Non-Buoyant Pulsed Jet Diffusion Flames. Combustion Science and Technology, 309–330. https://doi.org/10.1080/00102200903362526

Fregeau, M., & Hermanson, J. C. (2009). CO/NOxEmissions of Strongly Pulsed Jet Diffusion Flames. Combustion Science and Technology, 536–554. https://doi.org/10.1080/00102200802640824

Kimball, J. T., Bailey, M. R., & Hermanson, J. C. (2008). Ultrasonic measurement of condensate film thickness. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, EL196–EL202. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.2968297

Hermanson, J. C. (2007). Dynamics of Supersonic Droplets of Volatile Liquids. AIAA Journal, 730–733. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.26962

Som, S. M., Kimball, J. T., Hermanson, J. C., & Allen, J. S. (2007). Stability and heat transfer characteristics of unsteady condensing and evaporating films. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 1927–1937. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2006.09.031