New leadership for FlowPAC and Hessert Lab set stage for future fluid mechanics research

FlowPAC - Institute for Flow Physics and Control logo

Notre Dame’s rich tradition of advancing the frontiers of fluid mechanics and human flight is entering its next chapter of growth with strategic changes in leadership.

Scott Morris
Scott Morris

Scott C. Morris, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering (AME), has been named director of the Institute for Flow Physics and Control (FlowPAC) within the College of Engineering. A faculty member of AME and FlowPAC since 2002, Morris has built an internationally recognized research program in turbomachinery aerodynamics.

As director of FlowPAC, he will foster collaboration across the College of Engineering and University and with industry partners, capitalizing on FlowPAC’s research strengths in turbulence, experimental methods, numerical methods, aero-optics, propulsion and power generation, and hypersonic flows.

Robert Chlebek
Robert Chlebek

Robert Chlebek has been named director of Hessert Laboratory within AME. Formerly the facilities and operations administrator of Hessert Laboratory, Chlebek has been a key contributor in the development and oversight of several of the facilities in Hessert since 2010. He is now responsible for all facilities, infrastructure, and staff in both the Hessert Laboratory and Hessert Laboratory at White Field facilities.

Morris and Chlebek assume the roles previously held by Thomas C. Corke, Clark Equipment Professor, founding director of FlowPAC, and director of Hessert Laboratory, who is transitioning from those responsibilities to dedicate himself to the development of a new era of hypersonic systems research at Notre Dame. He will serve as advisor to the Vice President for Research and Director of Notre Dame’s Hypersonic Systems consortium.

“For more than 18 years, FlowPAC has been an internationally recognized leader in fundamental and applied aerodynamics research,” said Thomas E. Fuja, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “This is a tribute to Tom Corke’s vision and drive. I know that Scott Morris and his team will continue FlowPAC’s trajectory of excellence.”

“The future is bright for both FlowPAC and Hessert,” said Kenneth T. Christensen, Viola D. Hank Professor and chair of aerospace and mechanical engineering. “Tom Corke has championed both FlowPAC and Hessert Laboratory, resulting in the commissioning of novel experimental facilities and the hiring of faculty experts to utilize them. I look forward to his work advancing hypersonics at Notre Dame and to collaborating with Scott to expand the visibility and impact of FlowPAC and with Rob to continue to grow the unique infrastructure that will drive the next generation of discovery and impact in fluid mechanics and related engineering applications.”

Additional information about FlowPAC can be found at the website

— Nina Welding, College of Engineering