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Anderson, Dale

Published onJul 30, 2021
Anderson, Dale

(January 17, 1938 - July 3, 2017)

Quick Facts

MS, Aerospace Engineering, 1959; PhD, Aerospace Engineering, 1964. Professor and Vice President for Research, University of Texas, Arlington, inducted in 2006. While a professor, Anderson did pioneering research in computational fluid dynamics that brought a NASA certified center to ISU campus.


A year after Russia put Sputnik in orbit, Dale Anderson joined the Department of Aeronautical Engineering faculty at ISU part time. In 1958 he taught while completing his masters as a graduate student. Early faculty members may recall Anderson as part of the male quartet that performed at the first department dinner in Oct. 17, 1962. The quartet included Anderson, Don Seath, Bion Pierson and Jim Iverson, and called themselves “The Banana Quartet — Songs with A-peel.”

He became assistant professor in 1964 after completing his doctorate, when he briefly left the university for Aerospace Corporation in San Bernadino, California. He returned in the fall of 1966 and was promoted to full professor in 1975. While at ISU, he did pioneering research in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), educated and brought forth some of the most prominent CFD researchers in the country, and co-authored the first comprehensive textbook in CFD with the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s John Tannehill and Richard Pletcher that educated a generation around the world.

In the late 1970s, NASA assisted ISU with a Computational Fluid Dynamics Center headed by Dale Anderson, one of 7 such centers built in the country. Anderson was assisted by John Tannehill, Richard Pletcher, Jerald Vogel, and Richard Hindman. The mission of the Center is to coordinate research and interdepartmental course offerings in the area of numerical simulation of fluid flow and related physical phenomenon. It was officially recognized as a NASA center and funded by NASA long before the university and regents recognized it.

It was awarded a center of excellence in 1980 from NASA. Since 1986, CFD Center researchers have received over $6 million in research funding from sources that include: the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA: Ames, Langley and Lewis), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Sandia National Labs, the Boeing Company, the General Electric Corporation, Calspan, General Motors – Allison, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Army Research Office (ARO), the Iowa Energy Center and the United Technologies Corporation.

In 1984, Anderson moved to The University of Texas at Arlington, where he was professor and held several administrative positions, including Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies. He received a number of awards for his outstanding teaching and research.

Selected Sources

This material is from the video On the Leading Edge, which is a videotape produced by Iowa State University, showing a brief history of the Aerospace Engineering Department.

Supplemented by One Person’s Story by Paul J. Hermann, 2001.

Dale A. Anderson Papers, RS 11/03/02, University Archives, Iowa State University

Computational Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transferr, with John C. Tannehill and Richard H. Pletcher, 2nd ed., Taylor & Francis, 1997.

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