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Ali Nayfeh

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus


Aerodynamics, perturbation methods, nonlinear dynamics and chaos, ship and submarine motions


1964Ph.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University
1963M.S., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University
1962B.S., Engineering Science, Stanford University

Courses Taught

Course NumTitle
ESM 6984SS: Model/ID Nonlinear Systems
ESM 6754Perturbation Methods
ESM 5754Intro Perturbations
ESM 5414Nonlinear Systems
ESM 4444Stability of Structures



Ed.-in-Chief, J. Vibration & Control, 1995-Present

Nonlinear Sci. Book Series, Wiley, 1992-Present 

Ed.-in-Chief, Nonlinear Dynamics J., 1990-Present

Contributing Ed., Intl. J. Non-Linear Mech., 1988-1990

Special Awards

Recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering, 2014

Univ. Dist. Prof. of Engineering Emeritus, 2010 

Acad. Gold Medal of Honor, Acad. of Transdisciplinary Learning and Advanced Studies, 2008

AMD/ASME Tom Caughey Awd., 2008

ASME Lyapunov Awd., 2005

Va. Life Achievement in Science Awd., 2005 

IEEE Power Elect. Soc. Trans. Prize Paper Awd., 2001

ASME J. P. Den Hartog Awd., 1997 

AIAA Pendray Aerospace Lit. Awd., 1995

Honors and Awards

2008The Academy Gold Medal of Honor from The Academy of Transdisciplinary Learning and Advanced Studies
2008AMD/ASME Tom Caughey Award, first recipient of newly instituted award
2005ASME Lyapunov Award, first recipient of newly established and prestigious award. (Presented for lifelong contributions to the field of nonlinear dynamics.)
2005Virginia Life Achievement in Science Award
2004Honorary Doctorate, Politechnika Szczecinska, Poland
2004Plenary Lecture: Nonlinear Normal Modes of Large Systems with Inertial Nonlinearities, EUROMECH 457 Colloquium, French Riviera, June 7-9
2004Plenary Lecture: A Smart Controller for Cranes. International Conference on Methods and Models in Automation and Robotics, Technical University of Szczecin, Poland, August 30-September 2
2003Plenary Lecture: Nonlinear Dynamics Phenomena and Applications, Workshop on Vibrations, Sound and Acoustics for Automotive Industries, Aguascalientes, Mexico, December 4-5
2003Plenary Lecture: with Z. N. Masoud and N. A. Nayfeh, A Delayed-Position Feedback Controller for Cranes, IUTAM Symposium on Chaotic Dynamics and Control of Systems and Processes in Mechanics, Universita di Roma La Sapienza, Roma, Italy, June 8-13
2002Plenary Lecture: Nonlinear Dynamics: Phenomena and Applications, The 7th National Congress on Mechanics, Hanoi, Vietnam, December 18-21
2002Plenary Lecture: Nonlinear Dynamics: Phenomena and Applications, International Conference on Mathematics Trends and Developments, Cairo, Egypt, December 28-31
2001with S. K. Mazumder and D. Borojevic, A Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of the Fast- and Slow-Scale Instabilities of a DC-DC Converter, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2001, pp. 201-216. WINNER OF THE IEEE POWER ELECTRONICS SOCIETY TRANSACTIONS PRIZE PAPER AWARD FOR 2001.
2001Invited Lecture: Predictive Tools for Nonlinear Structural Dynamical Systems, 2001 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, New York, NY, November 11-16
2001Plenary Lecture: Can the Mechanical Engineer Ignore Nonlinear Phenomena, 18th Biennial Conference on Mechanical Vibration and Noise, Pittsburgh, PA, September 9-12
2000Plenary Lecture: with Z. Masoud, Control of Crane-Cargo Pendulation, 3rd World Conference on Structural Control, Como, Italy, April 7-12
2000Plenary Lecture: Transfer of Energy from High-Frequency to Low-Frequency Modes, Conference on Mathematics and the 21st Century, Cairo, Egypt, January 15-20
2000Invited Lecture: On the Discretization of Spatially Continuous Systems with Quadratic and Cubic Nonlinearities, SECTAM XX, Pine Mt., GA, April 16-18
1999Honorary Doctorate, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
1999Plenary Lecture: Ship-Mounted Cranes, International Conference on Monitoring and Control of Marine and Harbour Structures, Genoa, Italy, June 1-4
1999Distinguished Lecture: The Engineer Grapples with Nonlinear Phenomena, 1991 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, Nashville, TN, November 14-19
1998College of Engineering Dean's Award for Excellence in Research
1997Frank J. Maher Award for Excellence in Engineering Education
1997ASME J. P. Den Hartog Award (presented in recognition of lifetime contributions to the teaching and practice of vibration engineering)
1997Invited Lecture: with S. S. Oueini, Experimental Implementation of Saturation Control, IUTAM Symposium on Interaction Between Dynamics and Control in Advanced Mechanical Systems, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, April 21-26
1997Distinguished Lecture: Can the Design Engineer Ignore Nonlinear Phenomena, Penn State, University Park, PA, April 17
1996Fellow - Society for Design and Process Science
1996Plenary Lecture: On the Discretization of Weakly Nonlinear Spatially Continuous Systems, Fourth Workshop on Differential Equations and Chaos, Johannesburg, South Africa, January 11-12
1996Plenary Lecture: Can Nonlinearities be Ignored?, Fourth Workshop on Differential Equations and Chaos, Johannesburg, South Africa, January 11-12
1996Plenary Lecture: Transfer of Energy from High-Frequency to Low-Frequency Modes, SES 33rd Annual Technical Meeting, Tempe, AZ, October 22-23
1995AIAA Pendray Aerospace Literature Award (for seminal contributions to perturbation methods, nonlinear dynamics, acoustics, and boundary-layer transition; praiseworthy for their quality relevance, timeliness, and lasting influence on the aerospace community)
1995-present Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Vibration and Control
1995Can the Design Engineer Ignore Nonlinear Phenomena, The First World Conference on Integrated Design & Process Technology, Austin, TX, December 7-9,
1995Society for Design and Process Science, Founding Board Member, Austin, TX, December 6-9
1994Plenary Lecture: Can the Practicing Engineer Ignore Nonlinear Phenomena, First Industry/University Symposium on Research for Future Supersonic and Hypersonic Vehicles, Greensboro, NC, December 4-6
1994Plenary Lecture: Can the Practicing Engineer Afford to Ignore Nonlinear Phenomena, Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Tokyo, Japan, March 30
1994Plenary Lecture: Can the Design Engineer Ignore Nonlinear Phenomena, Second Biennial European Joint Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis, London, England, July 4-7
1992-present Editor, Nonlinear Science Book Series, Wiley
1992Plenary Lecture: Modal Interactions in the Nonlinear Response of Dynamic and Structural Systems, Workshop on Bifurcation and Chaos in Mechanical Systems, L'Aquila, Italy, May 19-20
1991Fellow - American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
1991Fellow - American Society of Mechanical Engineering
1990-present Editor-in-Chief, Nonlinear Dynamics Journal
1988Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior Award, Germany
1988-1990 Contributing Editor - International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics
1988Invited Lecture: Numerical-Perturbation Methods in Mechanics, Symposium on Advances and Trends in Computational Structural Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics, Washington, DC, October 17-19
1987Invited Lecture: Nonlinear Stability of Boundary Layers, AIAA 25th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, January 12-15
1987Invited Lecture: On Triple-Deck Structure, The R. T. Davis Symposium on Computational Mechanics, Cincinnati, OH, June 17
1987Plenary Lecture: Can the Practicing Engineer Afford to be Ignorant of Nonlinear Phenomena?, Second Technical Workshop on Dynamics and Aeroelastic Stability Modeling of Rotorcraft Systems, Boca Raton, FL, November 18-20
1987Invited Lecture: Can the Practicing Engineer Afford to Be Ignorant of Nonlinear Phenomena?, Electrical Engineering Seminar, VPI&SU, Blacksburg, VA, May 22
1986Fellow - American Academy of Mechanics
1985Invited Lecture: Perturbation Methods in Nonlinear Dynamics, in Nonlinear Dynamics Aspects of Particle Accelerators, Lecture Notes in Physics, No. 247, Sardinia, Italy
1985Invited Lecture: Perturbation Methods in Nonlinear Dynamics, a series of three invited lectures, Joint US/CERN School on Particle Accelerators, Santa Margherita di Pula, Sardinia, Italy, January 31-February 5
1982Yarmouk University Research Award
1981State of Kuwait Prize in Basic Sciences (Physics)
1981Invited Lecture: The Method of Multiple Scales and Nonlinear Coupled Oscillators, Second Conference of the Union of Arab Physicists and Mathematicians, Amman, Jordan, May 4-7
1980-1983 Society of Engineering Science Certificate of Appreciation in Recognition of Outstanding Service to the Society, Member, Board of Directors
1979Invited Lecture: Three-Dimensional Stability of Growing Boundary Layers, IUTAM Symposium on Laminar-Turbulent Transition, Stuttgart, West Germany, September 16-22
1979Invited Lecture: Stability of Three-Dimensional Boundary Layers, 17th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, New Orleans, LA, January 15-17
1979Short course: Linear and Nonlinear Stability of Boundary Layers, International Centre for Mechanical Sciences, Udine, Italy, October 10-19
1978Invited Lecture: The Relation Between Temporal and Spatial Stability in Three-Dimensional Flows, AIAA 11th Fluid and Plasma Dynamics Conference, Seattle, WA, July 10-12
1976Election to the Academy of Teaching Excellence
1976Named University Distinguished Professor of Engineering
1976Invited Lecture: Numerical-Perturbation Methods in Nonlinear Mechanics, 2nd International Conference on Numerical Methods in Geomechanics, VPI& SU, Blacksburg, VA, June
1975Listed in Outstanding Educators of America
1975Fellow - American Physical Society
1962Third Annual Stanford School of Engineering Scholastic Prize