Mississippi State names new director for flight laboratory

July 2, 2012

jha-214x300STARKVILLE, Miss. – An aerospace engineer with extensive experience in aircraft design is the new director of the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University.

Ratneshwar “Ratan” Jha officially joins the university July 1, at which time he will take on the director’s role and a faculty position within the department of aerospace engineering. He takes over for Lori Bruce who had served as interim leader since 2010 when David Lawrence retired.

“Raspet Flight Lab is a unique and valuable resource to the university and the state, and we are confident that Dr. Jha will develop new research partnerships and projects at Raspet and continue its tradition of attracting new industry to our regional and state aerospace hub,” said Sarah Rajala, dean of the Bagley College of Engineering.

Jha comes to Mississippi State from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., where he served as an associate professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from IIT, Kharagpur, India; a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology; and a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University.

He has conducted research in structural health monitoring, modeling of composite and smart structures, adaptive control of structural vibrations, intelligent flight controls, and multidisciplinary design optimization. He has published more than 95 peer reviewed articles and has been co-investigator on research grants awarded more than $4 million.

Part of the university’s Bagley College of Engineering, Raspet Flight Research Laboratory was established in 1948. Since that time it has grown and expanded to include two state-of-the-art facilities and research endeavors with government and private industry including the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, Lockheed Aircraft Corp., Honda Research and Development, and NASA.

Recently, Raspet has served as a start-up facility for various aerospace companies in Mississippi providing workspace, technical training, and assistance with product development and research. These efforts have help companies such as American Eurocopter, Aurora Flight Science, GE Aerospace and Stark Aerospace establish bases in Mississippi, bringing more than 700 high-tech jobs to the state.

For more information about Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, visit www.raspet.msstate.edu.

More information about the Bagley College of Engineering can be found at www.bagley.msstate.edu.