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Arthur F. Messiter | Faculty

Arthur F. Messiter

Professor Emeritus, Aerospace Engineering

Short Bio

Professor Messiter’s research interests have been in theoretical aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, and in applications of singular perturbation theory to complex flow problems.  His publications have included studies of laminar boundary-layer interaction theory, external and internal transonic flows, supersonic and hypersonic aerodynamics, as well as shear-layer instability, turbulent boundary-layer interactions, surface waves, and problems in aeroelasticity.  The citation for his election as APS Fellow mentioned in particular his asymptotic description of laminar boundary-layer interactions.  Before coming to Michigan, he worked in research departments at Grumman Aircraft Corporation and Hughes Aircraft Company.  In the year preceding his retirement, he was chosen as the first Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor. 


  • Ph.D. (Aeronautics and Mathematics) 1957, California Institute of Technology
  • M. Aero. E.  1953,  Cornell University
  • B. Engr. Phys.  1952,  Cornell University

Society memberships 

  • American Physical Society (Fellow)
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Associate Fellow)
  • American Helicopter Society (Member)

Positions Held at Michigan 

  • Professor Emeritus 1998-
  • Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor 1997-1998
  • Professor 1969-1997
  • Associate Professor 1962-1969

Specializations and Research Interests

Boundary-layer theory, transonic and hypersonic aerodynamics, other areas of fluid mechanics, applications of singular perturbation methods

Teaching Interests

Aerodynamics, fluid mechanics, helicopter theory

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow APS
  • Associate Fellow AIAA
  • Assoc. Ed., SIAM J. Appl. Math. 1970-1975
  • College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award 1986