Lex Smits, Eugene Higgins Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Emeritus), joins the 2020 class of new members to the prestigious American Academy of Arts & Sciences, an institution that was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good. Prof. Smits' research spans the field of fluid mechanics, including fundamental turbulence, supersonic and hypersonic flows, bio-inspired flows, sports aerodynamics, and novel energy-harvesting concepts. He has written more than 240 articles and three books, and edited seven volumes. He was awarded seven patents and helped found three companies.
As a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Prof. Smits joins the distinguished company of some of the most famous and accomplished figures throughout American history, from Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Frost, Margaret Mead, and Martin Luther King, Jr., to Antonin Scalia and Michael Bloomberg. This year, he shares this new honor with Joan Baez, Richard Linklater, and former Attorney General Eric Holder, among others, including 11 other Princeton faculty representing diverse fields of study from the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.