On February 1, aeronautical engineer Juan Carlos Lasheras, professor of the departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego, died of cancer at the age of 69. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering of the United States and a corresponding academic of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain. A brilliant multidisciplinary scientist, he contributed to the solution of important problems in the fields of aerospace engineering and biomedical engineering.
Lasheras, a Valencian who spent his youth near the San Javier air base (Murcia), where his father was a meteorologist colonel, began his studies at the School of Aeronautical Engineers in Madrid, graduating among the best of his class. He spent two years in the multidisciplinary chair of Propulsion of Carlos Sánchez Tarifa, and obtained a Guggenheim fellowship to carry out doctoral studies at Princeton under the direction of Irv Glassman, a well-known scientist in the field of combustion.
It was at Princeton that Lasheras demonstrated his great ability to approach the solution of relevant complex problems with simple experiments. The impact of his work on combustion of multicomponent droplets and emulsions caught the attention of the Shell company, which hired him in 1981 to lead its combustion group at the Amsterdam science center.
In 1983, he returned to the United States as a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His research focused on fluid-mechanical problems of interest in aerospace engineering, such as the structure and stability of jets generated in turbojets, and on the dynamics and fragmentation of droplets and bubbles in multiphase jets. In 1991, he was appointed Professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Sciences in La Jolla, where he continued his previous fluid-dynamic activity, expanded to other areas, such as the absorption of carbon dioxide by the ocean and the dispersion of pollutants in San Diego Bay. .
Teacher, exceptional mentor and brilliant communicator, he had the gift of knowing how to explain in simple terms the essentials of very complex problems
A teacher, exceptional mentor and brilliant communicator, he had the gift of knowing how to explain in simple terms the essentials of very complex problems, which allowed him to facilitate communication between the doctors, biologists and engineers who made up the multidisciplinary teams he led.
Although he spent his entire professional life abroad, he maintained a close bond with Spain. Its numerous Spanish students and collaborators now hold academic positions at American and Spanish universities, including the chairs of Fluid Mechanics at the University of Granada and the School of Aeronautical Engineers of Madrid. He always gladly attended to the requirements made by Spanish institutions to provide advice and collaboration on academic or scientific issues. He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy, both for the impact of his scientific contributions and for the countless students and collaborators who benefited from his advice.
Friendly Liñán He is an aeronautical engineer and member of the Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences. Pedro García Barreno is a doctor and member of the Royal Spanish Academy.
Pedro Garcia Barreno He is a doctor and member of the Royal Spanish Academy.