Mark D. Maughmer

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Mark D. Maughmer
Institutions Pennsylvania State University
Alma mater University of Illinois, 1983
Known for Aerodynamics, Winglet Design

Dr. Mark D. Maughmer (born January 18, 1950) is a Professor of Aerospace Engineering in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. He is a widely published author known throughout the world as one of the leading aerodynamicists, especially in the areas of airfoil and winglet design and analysis, wing optimization, natural laminar flow aerodynamics, and subsonic, low turbulence wind-tunnel design and operation.[1]


PSU-90-125 winglet airfoil profile

In 1987, Peter Masak called on Dr. Maughmer about designing winglets for his sailplane to improve performance. Others had attempted to apply Richard T. Whitcomb's NASA winglets to gliders, and though they did improve climb performance, this did not offset the parasite drag penalty in high speed cruise. Masak was convinced it was possible to overcome this hurdle, and Maughmer was willing to join his quest.

By trial and error, they ultimately developed successful winglet designs for gliding competitions, using a new PSU–90–125 airfoil designed by Maughmer and Michael Selig specifically for the winglet application. At the 1991 World Gliding Championships in Uvalde, Texas, the trophy for the highest speed went to a winglet equipped 15-meter class limited wingspan glider, exceeding the highest speed in the unlimited span Open Class, an exceptional result.[2]

The winglets were originally retrofit to production sailplanes, but now most high-performance gliders are equipped from the factory with winglets, or some other wingtip device.[3] Dr. Maughmer has consulted with German sailplane designers on winglets, non-planar wing tips, and other aerodynamic improvements incorporated in several production sailplanes.

Education and Academics[edit]

He received his Ph.D. (Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering) from the University of Illinois in 1983, M.S. from Princeton University in 1975 and B.S. from the University of Illinois in 1972. Dr. Maughmer received the PSES Outstanding Teaching Award in 1993, and the PSES Premier Teaching Award in 2001. In 2009, Dr. Maughmer received the ASEE Fred Merryfield Design Award, a national award for teaching excellence in engineering design. He is active in the AIAA and has served on the Aircraft Design Technical Committee (1987–90). For the Soaring Society of America, he is chair of configuration and design for the Technical Board, serves on the Board of Directors for the Collegiate Soaring Association, and received the society's Exceptional Service Award in 1991. He is on the Board of the International Organization for the Science and Technology of Soaring (OSTIV), and is the Technical Chairman of that organization. He is also a glider pilot and a flight instructor with the Penn State Soaring Club. He is currently the faculty adviser for AERSP 404H at Penn State and has been teaching at the university for over 25 years.

Selected Publications[4][edit]

  • Selig, M. S., M. D. Maughmer, and D. M. Somers. 1995. A Natural Laminar Flow Airfoil for General Aviation Applications. Journal of Aircraft Vol. 32(4) pp. 710–715.
  • Dini, P., and M. D. Maughmer. 1994. A locally Interactive Laminar Separation Bubble Model. Journal of AircraftVol. 31(4) pp. 802–810.
  • Maughmer, M., L. Ozoroski, D. Straussfogel, and L. Long 1993. Validation of Engineering Methods for Predicting Hypersonic Vehicle Controls Forces and Moments. Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics Vol. 16(4) pp. 762–769.
  • Selig, M. S., and M. D. Maughmer. 1992. Generalized Multi-Point Inverse Airfoil Design. AIAA JournalVol30(11). pp. 2618–2615.
  • Dini, P., M. S. Selig, and M. D. Maughmer. 1992. A Simplified Transition Prediction Method for Separated Boundary Layers. AIAA Journal Vol. 30(8) pp. 1953–1961.
  • Maughmer, M. D., and D. M. Somers. 1989. Design and Experimental Results for a High-Altitude, Long-Endurance Airfoil. Journal of Aircraft Vol. 26(2) pp. 148–153.


  1. ^ Groen Brothers Aviation Consultant Resumes. Accessed January 3, 2007.
  2. ^ Masak, Peter (Apr–May 1992). "Winglet Design for Sailplanes" (PDF). free flight. 1992 (2): 8. ISSN 0827-2557. Retrieved 2006-01-07. 
  3. ^ The tip of the iceberg by Curtis Chan, In: Engineering Penn State Magazine, Summer 2000.. Accessed 2010-09-01
  4. ^

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