E. Philip Muntz, professor and chairman of aerospace engineering in
the School of Engineering and professor of radiology in the School of
Medicine, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
This is the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer.
With the addition of Muntz, USC now numbers 13 NAE members in its
This honor follows Muntz’s appointment last June to the School of
Engineering’s M.C. Gill Chair in Composite Materials.
Muntz pioneered research in electron-beam fluorescence techniques. He
was elected to the NAE for his “sustained innovative technical and
academic leadership in rarefied gas dynamics and non-equilibrium flow
phenomena, including imaginative, diverse applications.”
One of his most outstanding research achievements is identifying the
molecular velocity distribution function measurements in the interior
of a shock wave. This remains the only way to validate in detail the
kinetic theory and simulation methods for highly non-equilibrium
Muntz was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics
and Astronautics in 1982 for “sustained creative contributions to
low-density gas dynamics and flow physics, and for related
applications of fluorescent technology leading to significant
advances in radiology.” He is also a member of the American Physical
Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of
Sciences. In 1987, he received the AIAA Contribution to Society Award
for techniques that improved radiographic examinations, particularly
Muntz has contributed to more than 100 journals and proceedings and
is the co-holder of 15 U.S. patents. He co-edited Rarefied Gas
Dynamics, three volumes of AIAA’s 1989 “Progress in Astronautics and
Aeronautics” and Reduced Dose Mammography in 1978.
Muntz was born in Ontario, Canada, and became an American citizen in
1985. He received his B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the
University of Toronto in 1956 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in
aerophysics from the University of Toronto in 1957 and 1961.
He has been a consultant for General Electric, the American College
of Radiology and the National Research Council. He is currently a
consultant to the CALSPAN Corp. and the International Science and
Technology Institute in Washington, D.C.
Muntz joined USC as an associate professor in 1969. From 1971 to 1974
he was professor of aerospace engineering, and in 1974, he became
professor of aerospace engineering and radiology.
He was named co-chairman of the department of aerospace engineering
in 1987 and became chairman in 1992. Muntz was responsible for
broadening its research and education activities in gas kinetics,
hypersonics, planetary and space sciences and astronautics.
In July 1992, Muntz delivered the Harold Grad Lecture on “Theory,
Computations, Experiments and the Future,” in Vancouver, Canada, at
the Rarefied Gas Dynamics Symposium.
“Appointment to the M.C. Gill Chair,” said Muntz, “provides an
opportunity to develop a program within the engineering school that
deals with high-performance materials, such as composites, in the
modern design environment.”
The M.C. Gill Chair was established in 1986 by M.C. Gill, founder,
chairman and chief executive officer of M.C. Gill Corporation, to
support research into composite materials. Gill, who graduated from
the school in 1937, is a member of its Board of Councilors.