Dr. J. Parker Lamb Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering

May 20, 2010 | EPS/EPF

The Dr. J. Parker Lamb Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering was established by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System on May 20, 2010, to benefit the Cockrell School of Engineering. The endowment honors J. Parker Lamb Jr., PhD. Gift funds were provided by J. Michael Walker, Ph.D. for whom the department of Mechanical Engineering would be named in 2018.

J. Parker Lamb, Jr. was assistant professor of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin from 1962 to 1963, after which he transferred to the Mechanical Engineering Department where in 1967 he became an associate professor. Dr. Lamb became chair of the department in 1970.

During his first term as chair (1970-1976), Dr. Lamb succeeded in raising graduate enrollment from 100 to 150, and in doubling the size of the faculty from 20 to 40. He was recognized as an important catalyst for change, revitalizing the Mechanical Engineering Department curricula and directing inquiry into new areas of research, including advanced energy technology and electronics.

Dr. J. Parker Lamb

In 1976, Dr. Lamb stepped down to become Associate Dean of Engineering for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering. As associate dean, Dr. Lamb worked to solidify the standing of the Equal Opportunity in Engineering program for minority students, as well as other student organizations. He subsequently chaired the Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department and served another term as the mechanical engineering chair (1996-2001). Dr. Lamb was awarded with the title of Professor Emeritus in 2001.

Dr. Lamb’s research interests are in fluid mechanics and heat transfer.  He received his BS in mechanical engineering in 1954 from Auburn University and his Ph. D. in 1961 from the University of Illinois. He then spent two years as an air force officer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

During his academic career, his research contributions to the understanding of fluid flow and convective heat transfer in recirculating flow fields ranged  from low speed flow past surfaces with discrete roughness to hypersonic flows of tandem projectiles. While at the University, he was also associated, as consultant or temporary employee, with a number of aerospace organizations including Arnold Engineering Development Center, Ling-Temco-Vought Aerospace (LTV), NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and Sandia National Laboratories. He is a prominent railroad historian and author of a number of books about railroads. He also writes for Railroad History and for Trains magazine.

Dr. Lamb won the Engineering Foundation Faculty Award from the Cockrell School of Engineering in 1996. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He  held offices in a number of professional groups and received many awards for his professional accomplishments.

Dr. J. Parker Lamb had a transformative effect on the Cockrell School of Engineering, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, both of which are ranked in the top ten U.S. schools in their fields. The fellowship in his name will support graduate students who will in their turn nourish and grow UT’s extraordinary contributions to the advancement of engineering science. His legacy is assured, continued in the work of the students he has  supported and the generations to come.

Revised March 7, 2019


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