Ashok Gopalarathnam


  • 919-515-5669
  • Engineering Building III (EB3) 3256
  • Visit My Website

Dr. Gopalarathnam directs the NCSU Applied Aerodynamics Group. Dr. Gopalarathnam (referred to by his students as Dr. G) is committed to the development of innovative and useful ideas, concepts, and methodologies for the design of aircraft, other types of vehicles, and for alternative-energy systems. He is interested in applied aerodynamics, flight mechanics, aircraft design, adaptive aircraft, and design methodologies.

At the graduate level, Dr. G teaches Airfoil Theory (MAE 551) and Wing Theory (MAE 561). In these courses, the students look beyond theoretical methods in aerodynamics and address practical requirements in the design of airfoils and wings. At the undergraduate level, Dr. G teaches Aerodynamics of V/STOL vehicles (MAE 452) and Flight Vehicle Stability and Control (MAE 462). In MAE 462, his students do team projects in which they design/build/fly micro-gliders.

The graduate students who work with Dr. G are motivated and have an interest in flight and aerodynamics. During their studies, they are exposed to a mixture of theoretical, experimental, and computational methods applied to the design of a wide range of aero-hydrodynamic systems. His students work on sail boats, race cars, aircraft, and wind turbines, to name a few.

Outside of work, Dr. G spends time with his family and enjoys recreational flying when time permits.


Ph.D. 1999

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.S. 1993

Aerospace Engineering

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

B. Tech. 1989

Aerospace Engineering

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

Research Description

Dr. Gopalarathnam is presently 1) developing adaptive aerodynamics for morphing aircraft, 2) developing aerodynamic prediction techniques for flight dynamics simulations, and 3) studying unsteady and post-stall aerodynamics of aircraft, helicopters, micro-aerial vehicles, and flight in nature. In MAE, Dr. G works with Dr. Edwards, Dr. Wu, and Dr. Peters.


Leading-edge-vortex tailoring on unsteady airfoils using an inverse aerodynamic approach
Suresh Babu, A. V., Narsipur, S., Bryant, M., & Gopalarathnam, A. (2022), PHYSICS OF FLUIDS.
Novel Surface Flow-Reversal Sensor Applied to Detection of Airfoil Stall
Aleman, M. A., Gopalarathnam, A., & Granlund, K. (2022, May 13), JOURNAL OF AIRCRAFT.
Flow criticality governs leading-edge-vortex initiation on finite wings in unsteady flow
Hirato, Y., Shen, M., Gopalarathnam, A., & Edwards, J. R. (2021), JOURNAL OF FLUID MECHANICS, 910.
Leading-edge flow sensing for detection of vortex shedding from airfoils in unsteady flows
Saini, A., Narsipur, S., & Gopalarathnam, A. (2021), PHYSICS OF FLUIDS.
Low-Order Method for Prediction of Separation and Stall on Unswept Wings
Hosangadi, P., & Gopalarathnam, A. (2021), JOURNAL OF AIRCRAFT.
Theoretical and experimental investigation of an unsteady airfoil in the presence of external flow disturbances
SureshBabu, A. V., Medina, A., Rockwood, M., Bryant, M., & Gopalarathnam, A. (2021), JOURNAL OF FLUID MECHANICS.
Aeroelastic inverse: Estimation of aerodynamic loads during large amplitude limit cycle oscillations
Kirschmeier, B., Pash, G., Gianikos, Z., Medina, A., Gopalarathnam, A., & Bryant, M. (2020), JOURNAL OF FLUIDS AND STRUCTURES, 98.
Amplitude Annihilation in Wake-Influenced Aeroelastic Limit-Cycle Oscillations
Kirschmeier, B. A., Gianikos, Z., Gopalarathnam, A., & Bryant, M. (2020), AIAA JOURNAL, 58(9), 4117–4127.
Artificial Lumbered Flight for Autonomous Soaring
Powers, T. C., Silverberg, L. M., & Gopalarathnam, A. (2020), JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE CONTROL AND DYNAMICS, 43(3), 553–566.
Limit cycle characterization of an aeroelastic wing in a bluff body wake
Gianikos, Z. N., Kirschmeier, B. A., Gopalarathnam, A., & Bryant, M. (2020), JOURNAL OF FLUIDS AND STRUCTURES, 95(0).

View all publications via NC State Libraries


Control of Aeroelastic Structures via Prescribed Aerodynamic Disturbances
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/01/20 - 6/30/23)
Development of a Fast Low-Order Aerodynamic Prediction Method for Aircraft Configurations in Post-Stall Flight
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)(1/01/18 - 8/15/18)
Further Aerodynamic Modeling of Aerial Refueling Tanker and Receiver Interactions
US Navy(10/16/17 - 10/14/22)
Aerodynamic and Aeroelastic Behavior of Wings in the Presence of Upstream Vortical and Viscous Disturbances
US Air Force - Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)(7/01/17 - 6/30/21)
Aerodynamic Modeling of Aerial Refueling Tanker and Receiver Interactions
US Navy(6/02/16 - 8/28/17)
CFD and Experimental Studies to Aid Development of Low-Order Aerodynamic Prediction Methods for Post-Stall Flight
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)(1/01/16 - 9/15/17)
Angelfish: Initial Planning and Project Management
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)(6/19/14 - 1/31/16)
Evaluation of Flexible Micropost Arrays for Shear Stress Measurement
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)(7/10/14 - 7/09/16)
Aerodynamic Sensing using Miniature Transducers
General Electric Co.(3/01/13 - 12/31/13)
Harnessing Fluid-Structure Interaction in Wind Power and Sustainable Air Transport
University Global Partnership Network (UGPN)(3/01/13 - 2/28/14)