Hans W. Liepmann

Hans Wolfgang Liepmann (July 3, 1914 – June 24, 2009) was an American engineer and emeritus Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology.[2]

Hans W. Liepmann
Born(1914-07-03)July 3, 1914
DiedJune 24, 2009(2009-06-24) (aged 94)
Alma materUniversität Zürich
Scientific career
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology
ThesisThe sound velocity in liquid oxygen as a function of the boiling temperature at frequencies of 7.5 and 1.5 × 10 6 Hz Hz (1938)
Doctoral advisorRichard Bär[1]
Doctoral studentsStanley Corrsin
Frank E. Marble
Satish Dhawan
Arthur E. Bryson
Anatol Roshko
Roddam Narasimha

He is known for his numerous contributions in fluid mechanics covering a wide range of problem areas, such as flow instability and turbulence, gas kinetics, viscous compressible fluids and liquid helium flows.[3]

Academic history

Hans Liepmann received a Dr.Ing.h.c. from the University of Aachen and a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in 1938.[2]

In 1939 Liepmann joined Theodore von Kármán at Caltech as a Research Fellow in Aeronautics. He became Assistant Professor of Aeronautics in 1945, Associate Professor in 1946 and Professor from 1949 to 1974. From 1974 to 1976 he was Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Physics, from 1976 to 1983 Charles Lee Powell Professor of Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics and 1984-85 von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics. From 1972 to 1985 Liepmann was Director of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory and Executive Officer for Aeronautics from 1976 to 1985.[2]

He retired in 1985, but remained the emeritus von Kármán Professor at Caltech.

Liepmann received several awards, a selection:


  • 1957: (with Anatol Roshko) Elements of Gas Dynamics, John Wiley & Sons, Dover Publications (2002)
  • 1947: (with Allen E. Puckett) Introduction to Aerodynamics of a Compressible Fluid, John Wiley & Sons


  1. Hans W. Liepmann at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. "Hans Liepmann" at the GALCIT at caltech.edu. Retrieved May 14, 2009: New link see here Archived 2009-08-03 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed Oct 27, 2009.
  3. 1980 Fluid Dynamics Prize Recipient
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