Ashok Gopalarathnam


  • 919-515-5669
  • Engineering Building III (EB3) 3256
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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.


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).
Aerodynamic Sails for Passive Guidance of High-Altitude Balloons: Static-Stability and Equilibrium Performance
Waghela, R., Yoder, C. D., Gopalarathnam, A., & Mazzoleni, A. P. (2019), JOURNAL OF AIRCRAFT, 56(5), 1849–1857.
Low-Order Model for Prediction of Trailing-Edge Separation in Unsteady Flow
Narsipur, S., Gopalarathnam, A., & Edwards, J. R. (2019), AIAA JOURNAL, 57(1), 191–207.
Model Reduction in Discrete-Vortex Methods for Unsteady Airfoil Flows
SureshBabu, A. V., Ramesh, K., & Gopalarathnam, A. (2019, April), AIAA JOURNAL, Vol. 57, pp. 1409–1422.
Vortex-Sheet Representation of Leading-Edge Vortex Shedding from Finite Wings
Hirato, Y., Shen, M., Gopalarathnam, A., & Edwards, J. R. (2019), JOURNAL OF AIRCRAFT, 56(4), 1626–1640.
Design and demonstration of a seabird-inspired fixed-wing hybrid UAV-UUV system
Stewart, W., Weisler, W., MacLeod, M., Powers, T., Defreitas, A., Gritter, R., … Bryant, M. (2018), BIOINSPIRATION & BIOMIMETICS, 13(5).
Leading-Edge Flow Sensing for Aerodynamic Parameter Estimation
Saini, A., & Gopalarathnam, A. (2018), AIAA JOURNAL, 56(12), 4706–4718.
Leading-edge flow criticality as a governing factor in leading-edge vortex initiation in unsteady airfoil flows
Ramesh, K., Granlund, K., Ol, M. V., Gopalarathnam, A., & Edwards, J. R. (2018), Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics, 32(2), 109–136.
Testing and Characterization of a Fixed Wing Cross-Domain Unmanned Vehicle Operating in Aerial and Underwater Environments
Weisler, W., Stewart, W., Anderson, M. B., Peters, K. J., Gopalarathnam, A., & Bryant, M. (2018), IEEE JOURNAL OF OCEANIC ENGINEERING, 43(4), 969–982.

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 - 3/15/21)
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)