Yoav Peles has been named chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at the University of Central Florida, effective Dec. 23, 2014.

The appointment, announced today by Michael Georgiopoulos, dean, UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), came after a national search to fill the position that was previously held by the late Suhada Jayasuriya, who joined the faculty of Drexel University in August 2013. Since then, Challapalli Suryanarayana has led the department as interim chair.

As MAE chair, Peles will lead one of five CECS academic departments. MAE has 30 faculty and 13 staff, and offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering; and a doctorate in mechanical engineering. MAE has more than 2,400 undergraduate and 150 graduate students enrolled.

Professor Peles has served as associate chair of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering — and program director of mechanical engineering — at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

Peles joined Renssalaer in 2002 after working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a post-doctoral researcher. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1999.

His research expertise is in the field of convective heat transfer at the micro scale, with special interests in flow boiling. He has advised the research of approximately 20 doctoral students. With about 2,800 citations, Peles’ research findings have been published in nearly 150 archival journals, papers, book chapters and a book, many of which have been co-authored by his student mentees. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and other sponsors.

Peles is the chair and co-founder of the first 2015 Gordon Research Conference on Micro and Nanoscale Phase Change Heat Transfer; was the co-chair of the 2013 Workshop on Micro and Nano Surfaces for Phase Change Heat Transfer; the chair of the 2013 ASME International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels (ICNMM); and the co-chair of the 2011 and 2012 ICNMM.

He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, the recipient of the ONR Young Investigator Award, and the DARPA/MTO Young Faculty Award.

Peles’ goals for MAE include:

  • To create a joyful community with a sense of shared ownership in which individual stakeholders excel and have a sense of common purpose and pride;
  • To become a global magnet for domestic and international students and scholars from diverse backgrounds, cultures, demographic groups, and gender;
  • To be recognized as an internationally premier department of prominent scholars that leads in all disciplines comprising mechanical and aerospace engineering. Discoveries, concepts, and theories by our faculty, students, and staff will lead the intellectual discussions in the academic research communities;
  • To provide top-tier educational experience to all undergraduate and graduate students;
  • To enhance interdisciplinary collaborations within the college and with other colleges, centers and institutes at UCF, and
  • To enhance and promote collaborations with local, national, and international corporations.
  • CECS is one of the nation’s largest colleges of engineering and computer science with approximately 8,800 students enrolled.

    Learn more about UCF’s role in the aerospace and defense industries.