IIT Armour College of Engineering Professor Emeritus Mark V. Morkovin peacefully passed away on Saturday, October 18, 2014. He began his teaching career at IIT in 1967, and quickly established a strong reputation and tradition of fluid dynamics research in Armour College of Engineering Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering Department.
He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for contributions to the understanding of instability, transition, and turbulence through outstanding research and distinguished written reviews of the field. Election into the NAE is the highest professional distinction that can be conferred on an engineer.
His legacy continues today through the IIT Fluid Dynamics Research Center (FDRC), and he is the namesake of the Mark V. Morkovin windtunnel in the Engineering 1 building on the IIT Main Campus.
Morkovin devoted his life to understanding the pertinence of fluid dynamics to the aerospace industry. Two projects to which he made significant contributions to are on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution, the first transonic and supersonic airplane, the X-1; and the first maneuverable re-entry vehicle.
He conceived the Morkovin Hypothesis, which was first discussed in the paper, Morkovin, Mark V. “Effects of compressibility on turbulent flows.” Mecanique de la Turbulence (1962): 367-380. The hypothesis states: “that for moderate Mach numbers compressibility effects did not influence the dynamic behavior of turbulence directly, and the principal effect of high speeds was felt through the change in fluid properties.”