The UPC will confer an honorary doctoral degree on civil engineer and MIT professor Jaume Peraire on 3 June

Portrait of Jaume Peraire
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The award was proposed within the framework of the anniversaries of three units linked to the UPC and related to numerical methods and computational engineering, in which Peraire is an outstanding figure.

On 3 June, the University will award MIT professor and UPC graduate Jaume Peraire an honorary doctoral degree, sponsored by the UPC’s Barcelona School of Civil Engineering, Peraire’s ‘alma mater’.

May 23, 2022

Jaume Peraire, who is an H. N. Slater Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and who holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), will be conferred an honorary doctoral degree by the University. The ceremony will take place in the Auditorium of the UPC’s Vèrtex building on the Diagonal Nord Campus (Plaça Eusebi Güell, 6, Barcelona) on Friday 3 June at 11.30 a.m. The ceremony will be conducted by Antonio Huerta, a researcher at the LACAN and the director of the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA).

The award was proposed within the framework of the anniversaries of three units linked to the UPC and related to numerical methods and computational engineering, in which Peraire is an outstanding figure: the 20th anniversary of the Numerical Methods Laboratory (LACAN), the 30th anniversary of the Spanish Association for Numerical Methods in Engineering and the 35th anniversary of the International Association for Computational Mechanics—the last two are located at the UPC. Professor Peraire studied at the UPC’s Barcelona School of Civil Engineering (ETSECCPB), with which he still shows strong ties by taking on and tutoring professors and students at MIT.

The proposal to confer an honorary doctoral degree on Peraire, approved by the Governing Council on 8 October, was sponsored by the Barcelona School of Civil Engineering (ESEIAAT) and supported by the Terrassa School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering (ESEIAAT), the Castelldefels School of Telecommunications and Aerospace Engineering (EETAC) and the International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering.

Biography
Professor Jaume Peraire graduated in Civil Engineering from the UPC in 1983 and earned his doctoral degree from Swansea University (UK) four years later. He started his academic career at Swansea University and then moved to Imperial College London. In 1993 he became a professor at MIT, where he co-founded the Center for Computational Science and Engineering. He leads the renovation and modernisation of MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, of which he was in charge from 2011 to 2018.

Peraire has received awards from the US Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the International Association for Computational Mechanics (IACM). He has also received the Ildefons Cerdà Medal from the Catalonia Association of Civil Engineers, the T. J. R. Hughes Medal from the USACM, the Prize of the Spanish Association for Numerical Methods in Engineering (SEMNI) and others.

As the head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, he led the creation of a strategic plan that culminated in the modernisation of the Department’s main wind tunnel, the iconic Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel, and the creation of a new laboratory devoted to research on autonomous vehicles. The facilities have become benchmarks in the academic sphere and in the field of aeronautical research.

His scientific output covers several areas of computational engineering. His pioneering work in the use of unstructured and adaptive mesh methods for computational fluid dynamics simulations for full vehicle configurations has had a special impact on the scientific community. These methods have been used to deal with previously unapproachable problems and have been implemented in the mesh codes currently used by British Aerospace (FLITE) and in the code that NASA used at its Langley and Dryden centres (ELISA).

His scientific and technological contributions have helped to solve problems of practical interest in several fields of engineering, most notably the aerodynamic analyses of atmospheric re-entry to analyse the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. This has guaranteed the accuracy and certified the quality of numerical simulations. In addition, implementations of his algorithms have been licensed by MIT and are incorporated into several commercial finite element software packages.

Professor Peraire’s most recent research activities study innovative methods that generate high-fidelity solutions (high-order approximations) to very complex problems in fluid mechanics and wave propagation. He has also made founding contributions to the so-called hybridisable discontinuous Galerkin (HDG) methods, which are becoming a widespread and excellent alternative to more classical methods used in computational fluid dynamics (particularly for gas dynamics) and are being increasingly used for applications in solid mechanics, wave propagation and electromagnetism.

Professor Peraire has co-authored over 300 papers and is a member of the editorial board of several leading journals in computational engineering.