Research Group Director:

Professor Marilyn J. Smith


Dr. Smith is the director of the Georgia Tech Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence, a seven University team that tackles research in fields related to Vertical Lift and Vertical Flight. Her research group is AE School's Computational Nonlinear Computational Aeroelasticity Lab, where she leads an internationally recognized and award-winning research team in the areas of unsteady aerodynamics and computational aeroelasticity using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for all vehicle types including rotary-wing, fixed wing and launch vehicles, as well as sustainable energy (wind and wave energy). As a member of the NASA FUN3D development team, she contributes to state-of-the-art unstructured algorithm development, in particular for overset, moving frames. As an affiliate of the Aerospace Systems Design Lab (ASDL), she helps to integrate high performance computing with the design process. Dr. Smith is the author or co-author of more than 200 technical publications in the fields of adaptive algorithms, vehicle aeromechanics and fluid structure interaction, sustainable energy, and biomimetic design. She participates in numerous international research partnerships including the NATO AVT 282 and 338 Technical Working Groups and the US/French Rotary Wing Aeromechanics International Partnership Agreement. She has been a guest expert in aviation for PBS, National Geographic, and NPR.

Current Service:

  • Deputy Technical Director - Aeromechanics, Vertical Flight Society
  • Southern Regional Director, Vertical Flight Society
  • Board of Directors, Vertical Flight Society
  • Technical Council, Vertical Flight Society
  • Board of Directors, Vertical Lift Consortium
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Fluids and Structures
  • Associate Editor, AIAA Journal
  • Associate Editor, Aeronautical Journal (Royal Aeronautical Society)
  • Associate Editor, AHS Journal


  • Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS)
  • AIAA Fellow
  • Technical Fellow of the American Helicopter Society
  • 2018 NASA Group Achievement Award (FUN3D Development Team)
  • 2015 2 Best Paper Awards and Gessow Best Forum Paper Finalist at the AHS Forum;
  • 2014 AHS Agusta-Westland International Fellowship Awards (US/French IPA)
  • 2012 AHS Agusta-Westland International Fellowship Awards (HART-II Workshop)
  • 2007 NASA Group Achievement Award (UH-60A Airloads Workshop)
  • 2006 GIT Women in Engineering Faculty Mentoring Excellence Award
  • 2004 GIT Women in Engineering Outstanding Faculty Member Award
  • 1999 GIT Women's Leadership Conference Outstanding Faculty Member Award



  • Aeroelasticity & Structural Dynamics
  • Aerodynamics & Fluid Mechanics