University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies

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Institute for Aerospace Studies
Established 1949 (1949)
Parent institution Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
Academic affiliation University of Toronto
Location Downsview, Ontario, Canada

The University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS, /juːˈt.əs/ yew-TY-əs) is an advanced research facility for aeronautics and aerospace engineering, located in the Downsview district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1949 by founding Director Gordon N. Patterson, the institute is managed by the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and mainly receives funding from governmental agencies such as the National Research Council, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Space Agency. Notable international sponsors include the European Space Agency, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, NASA Ames Research Center and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

UTIAS enrolls about 80 students in M.A.Sc., M.Eng., and Ph.D. programs. In addition, institute members work with the faculty's undergraduate engineering science division to teach courses in the program's aerospace concentration option.[citation needed]


In 1970, the institute was involved in the emergency rescue of the Apollo 13 astronauts, after the mission was aborted by a major accident en route to the Moon. UTIAS was contacted for assistance due to its expertise in shockwaves and aerospace dynamics.[1] Engineers and Scientists at UTIAS calculated the amount of pressure needed to separate the Lunar Module from the Command/Service Module without damaging the hatch, allowing the crew to survive the re-entry to Earth.[2] Observing the 40th anniversary of the incident in 2010, lunar module pilot Fred Haise wrote a letter thanking the UTIAS team for its contribution.[3]

In August 2010 the landmark 40 ft steel sphere, the vacuum source for a blowdown supersonic wind tunnel which was Gerald Bull's Master's thesis experimental apparatus, standing outside the entrance of UTIAS was removed to make room for the Microsatellite Science and Technology Centre.[citation needed]

In recent years,[when?] the institute has produced the world's first microwave-powered aircraft, the world's first engine-powered ornithopter (both inventions of James DeLaurier), and Canada's first space telescope, MOST. The major expertise areas represented are aircraft design, particularly at subsonic speeds, flight simulation, space robotics, microsatellite technology, computational fluid dynamics and nuclear fusion. The institute's partners in the aerospace industry include Bombardier Aerospace, MD Robotics (formerly Spar Aerospace) and General Atomics. It operates the Canadian Advanced Nanospace eXperiment Program for the study and testing of nanosatellite technology.


The Professors at UTIAS are:[citation needed]

  • David W. Zingg, B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D., UTIAS Director 2005-present --- Computational Aerodynamics
  • Ö. L. Gülder, B.Sc. (METU), M.Sc. (METU), Ph.D. (Manchester), UTIAS Associate Director --- Combustion and propulsion
  • H. T. Liu, B.A.Sc. (Shanghai), M.A.Sc. (Beijing), Ph.D. (Associate Director) --- Flight Systems and Control
  • T. D. Barfoot, B.A.Sc., Ph.D. --- Autonomous Space Robotics
  • Gabrielle M. T. D'Eleuterio, B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. --- Space Robotics
  • C. J. Damaren, B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. --- Spacecraft Dynamics and Control
  • A. Ekmekci, B.S. (Istanbul Tech.), M.S. (Lehigh), Ph.D. (Lehigh) --- Experimental Fluid Dynamics
  • P. R. Grant, B.A.Sc. (Manitoba), M.A.Sc., Ph.D. --- Vehicle Simulation
  • C. P. T. Groth, B.A.Sc. (UBC), M.A.Sc., Ph.D. --- Computational Fluid Dynamics and Propulsion
  • J. Kelly, B.Sc. (Alberta), M.Sc. (Alberta), M.S. (USC), Ph.D. (USC) --- Space & Terrestrial Autonomous Robotic Systems
  • P. Lavoie, B.Sc.(Queen's), M.Sc. (Queen's), Ph.D. (Newcastle) --- Flow Control and Experimental Turbulence
  • P. B. Nair, B.Tech. (IIT Bombay), M.Tech. (IIT Bombay), Ph.D. (Southampton) --- Computational Modeling and Design Optimization Under Uncertainty
  • S. P. Sampath, B.Eng.(MYSORE), M.Eng. (IISc), Ph.D. (Sask), MBA (McGill), FCAE --- Combustion, Emissions, Aviation, and the Environment
  • A. P. Schoellig, M.Sc. (Georgia Tech), Dipl. Eng. (Stuttgart), Ph.D. (ETH Zürich) --- Dynamic Systems
  • C. A. Steeves, B.A., B.A.Sc.(UBC), Ph.D.(Cambridge) --- Multi-Functional Structures
  • Adam M. Steinberg, B.A.Sc, M.S.E. (Mich), Ph. D. (Mich) --- Experimental Engines
  • Robert E. Zee, B.A.Sc.(Waterloo),M.A.Sc.,Ph.D --- Managing Director, Space Flight Laboratory

The Senior Lecturers at UTIAS are:[citation needed]

Name Degrees Research Area
James W. Davis B.A.Sc. (Toronto), M.A.Sc. (UTIAS), Ph.D. (UTIAS) Fusion Energy and Plasma
M. R. Emami B.Sc. (Sharif), M.Sc. (Sharif), Ph.D. Space Mechatronics

The Adjunct Professors at UTIAS are:[citation needed]

Name Degrees
Kieran A. Carroll B.A.Sc. (Toronto), M.A.Sc. (UTIAS), Ph.D. (UTIAS)
I. Fejtek B.Sc. (Dalhousie), B.Eng. (McGill), M.A.Sc. (UTIAS), Ph.D. (Stanford)
F. Liu B.Sc. (Tsinghua), Ph.D. (Sheffield)
J. C. Ower B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. (Carleton)
Christian Sallaberger B.A.Sc. (Waterloo), M.Sc. (Berkeley), Ph.D. (UTIAS)

Past Faculty[edit]

Professors Emeriti

Name Degrees From To Research Area Notable Publications Notes
J. D. DeLaurier B.S. (Illin.), M.S., Ph.D. (Stanford) 1974 Low-speed Aerodynamics
Jaap H. de Leeuw Dipl. Eng (Delft), M.S (Georgia Tech), Ph.D. 1958 UTIAS Director 1975-1985, died 2012
Bernard "Ben" Etkin B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., D.Eng. (Carleton) 1942 Flight Dynamics Dynamics of Atmospheric Flight, Dynamics of Flight: Stability and Control Member, Order of Canada; died 2014 (see also U of T In Memoriam)
John Barry French B.A.Sc. (Toronto), M.Sc.(Manch.), Ph.D. 1961 Rarefied Gasdynamics, Mass Spectrometry Member, Order of Canada
Irvine Israel Glass Ph.D. 1950 Shock Waves Prof. Glass's personal records in the University of Toronto archive, Professor I. I. Glass: A Tribute and Memorial Died 1994
James J. Gottlieb B.Sc., M.Sc. (Sask), Ph.D. Computational Fluid Dynamics, Shock Waves
Anthony A. Haasz B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. 1972 Fusion Materials UTIAS Director 1995-2005
Jorn S. Hansen B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. (Waterloo) Solid Mechanics, Aircraft Structures
Peter C. Hughes B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. (UTIAS), MBA (York,1996) 1966 Spacecraft Dynamics and Control Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics, So You Want To Be A Professor? Founder of Dynacon Enterprises Limited
Gordon W. Johnston B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. (1953) 1970 Aeroacoustics
Gordon N. Patterson Pathway to excellence: UTIAS, the first twenty-five years Founding UTIAS Director 1949-1974, died 1990
Lloyd D. Reid B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. 1965 Aircraft Stability and Control, Piloted Aircraft Performance Dynamics of Flight: Stability and Control
Herbert Spencer Ribner B.S. (Cal. Tech.), M.S. & Ph.D. (Washington University in St. Louis, 1939) 1955 Aeroacoustics died 2005
J. P. Sislian M.Sc. (Yerevan), Cand. Phys. & Math. Sci. (Moscow), Ph.D.
P. C. Stangeby B.Sc., M.Sc., Dipl.Sci., D.Phil.(Oxon) 1972 Fusion Energy Technology
Philip A. Sullivan B.E., M.E. (N.S.W.), D.I.C., Ph.D.(London) 1965 Air Cushion Vehicles
Roderick C. Tennyson B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. 1965 Aerospace Structures and Materials So You Want To Be A Professor? UTIAS Director 1985-1995

Past Professors

Name Degrees From To Research Area
Joaquim R. R. A. Martins M.Eng. (Imperial College), M.Sc. (Stanford), Ph.D. (Stanford) 2002 2009 Multi-Disciplinary Optimization
Raymond Measures Ph.D. (Imperial College London) 1964 1991 Lasers, Plasmas, Optical Fibres and Structural Sensing
Werner G. Richarz B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., Ph.D. (UTIAS) 1978 1989 Aeroacoustics

Notable Alumni[edit]

  • Gerald Bull (Ph.D., 1950) One of the world's leading experts in ballistics, developer of advanced artillery, assassinated in 1990.[citation needed]
  • Thomas Siddon (M.A.Sc. & Ph.D., 1968) Served as Canadian federal Secretary of State for Science and Technology, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and Minister of National Defence.[citation needed]



UTIAS-Developed Satellites Launched[edit]

  • MOST, launched 30 June 2003 (Structure, Thermal, On-Board Computer and Communications subsystems, also ground station)
  • CanX-1, launched with MOST
  • CanX-2, launched 28 April 2008
  • NTS (Nanosatellite Tracking Ships), launched 28 April 2008 (build for ComDev)
  • AISSat-1, launched 12 July 2010 (built for Norwegian Defense Research Establishment)
  • CanX-3 satellites --- TUGSat-1 and UniBRITE-1 launched 25 February 2013


  1. ^ Sullivan, Phil. "An Account of UTIAS Involvement in the Rescue of Apollo 13". University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. 
  2. ^ "Canadians celebrate Canada's contribution to the safe return of the Apollo 13 astronauts on 40th anniversary of original space mission". Canadian Air and Space Museum. 
  3. ^ "UTIAS - Bringing Apollo 13 Home". Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. 

External links[edit]