Joseph Katz, Ph.D
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Joseph Katz, Ph.D

Dr. Joseph Katz is Professor and Chairman of the Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics department at San Diego State University. He received the degrees of BSc, MSc and DSc, the latter in 1977 in Aerospace Engineering after which he spent two years at the NASA Ames research center full-scale wind tunnel facility. During his academic career he taught and developed numerous graduate and undergraduate courses in both the Aerospace and the Mechanical Engineering departments, including two courses dealing with vehicle dynamics. His wide research interest spans between typical aerospace disciplines where he was active in developing computational and experimental aerodynamic methods, and vehicle-related research with emphasis on engine cooling and vehicle dynamics. He is the author of more than 80 journal articles in computational and experimental aerodynamics. His previous book (coauthored with A. Plotkin) is Low Speed Aerodynamics: From Wing Theory to Panel Methods, (Cambridge University, 2001).

As a result of his active research in aerodynamics and his teaching experience in vehicle handling and dynamics, Dr. Katz consulted for various race car teams and has became involved with race car aerodynamics and design. Over the past 25 years he has worked on many types of road vehicles including open-wheel (F-1, CART) and enclosed-wheel (IMSA GTP, GTO) race cars, and has contributed to their shape, cooling, and wing development. In recent years he worked closely with designer Lee Dykstra on the Mazda GTO (winner of driver and constructors titles in 1991) and GTP projects. In both cases extensive numerical aerodynamic models were used to shape the vehicles prior to the construction of any mock-up, wind tunnel model, or the actual car itself.

The author's love for automobiles does not end at the office. At home he is polishing his mechanical skills in rebuilding classic cars, and his sizable collection of high-performance vehicles endangers the free parking area left in his whole neighborhood.