Stephen M Ruffin


Dr. Ruffin is a professor in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech, director of NASA's Georgia Space Grant Consortium, and head of the Aerothermodynamics Research and Technology Laboratory (ARTLAB). Dr. Ruffin is a specialist in high temperature gas dynamics, compressible flow aerodynamics, and airframe propulsion integration. He is leading development of a 3-D Cartesian Grid based Navier-Stokes solver (NASCART-GT) for design applications and development of Cartesian-grid approaches for chemically reacting flows. He is developing novel approaches which allow for Navier-Stokes simulations using a purely Cartesian grid solver. ARTLAB applies these techniques to applications as diverse as hypersonic planetary entry vehicles and flow physics, rotorcraft airframe interaction flows, transonic and supersonic missiles and unsteady store separation problems.

He is director of NASA's Georgia Space Grant Consortium (GSGC) and is a former two-term national chair of the Council of Space Grant Directors. He leads the operations of the GSGC which conducts student research and design team activities, internships, scholarships, fellowships, K-12 student hands-on activities and camps, K-12 teacher training programs and public outreach activities at museums, science centers and in the community. Through roughly 40 annual projects conducted by the GSGC, 30,000 Georgia residents and over 4,400 educators are trained annually. In his national chair role, he helped coordinate activities of space grant consortia from all states and helps set the direction for national STEM outreach efforts.

Dr. Ruffin is associate dean of Academic Affairs in Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) which is the global campus and lifetime education arm Georgia Tech. GTPE offers professional development courses and bootcamps, professional and graduate certificate programs, and online degree programs in tech, business, and industry-specific subject matter to meet the needs of working professionals and industry partners.



  • Aerothermodynamics Research and Technology Laboratory (ARTLAB)
  • Georgia Space Grant Consortium (GSGC)


  • Aerodynamics & Fluid Mechanics

AE Multidisciplinary Research Areas:

  • Sustainable Transportation and Energy Systems

B.S., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 1985; M.S., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1987; Ph.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 1993;

Distinctions & Awards

NASA Superior Performance Award, 1992; NASA National Aerospace Plane CFD Validation Team Award, 1992; NASA Historically Black Colleges & Universities Research Center Team Award, 1992; AIAA Best Thermophysics Paper Award, 1993; CETL/Amoco Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, 1997; Meritor Inc. Faculty Excellence Award, 2000; Hesburgh Teaching Fellow Award, 2010; Aerospace Engineering Most Valuable Professor, 2010; AIAA Associate Fellow, 2011; Dean George C. Griffin Georgia Tech Faculty of the Year Award, 2012;