By September 1, 1964, a distinguished faculty covering combustion and propulsion sciences, gas dynamics, fluid mechanics and related fields had been assembled which included Paul A. Libby and Daniel B. Olfe; this group was joined in January, 1965, by John W. Miles. By September, 1964, there were 15 graduate students enrolled. Graduate enrollment reached 19 in January, 1965.
During 1965, the first important steps were taken in complementing the existing faculty by the addition of an outstanding group of people in solid mechanics and structures, which included the great pioneer in applied mechanics, structures and applied mathematics, William Prager from Brown University. William Nachbar, N. C. Hunag, and Chester Van Atta completed the faculty roster in June, 1965.
By June, 1965, the department had become firmly established as one of the important graduate study centers in the country. In the aerospace community, the department was affectionately referred to as "the La Jolla sink"; over a period of a few months, more than 50 professorial candidates from all parts of the world had to be turned down because of the absence of suitable openings at the San Diego campus.
At that time, the department was gearing up for the expected arrival of 40 additional graduate students, had enrolled five post-doctoral fellows, formulated an undergraduate curriculum leading to the degree of applied science that complemented the unique program of lower division education which was being developed in Revelle college on the San Diego Campus, and had numerous research programs in fluid mechanics, (radiation) gas dynamics, reentry physics, plasma physics and magnetohydrodynamics, combustion and propulsion theory well under way. Sizable government research grants had been received to support both theoretical and experimental studies. The Ph.D. and M.S. degree curricula in engineering science had been designed with the hope of immunizing participants permanently against the type of technical obsolescence which was known to plague earlier graduates of engineering schools. source
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