Carleton professor wins prestigious R. Tom Sawyer Award

Foremost a tireless and dedicated teacher, Carleton University Professor Emeritus of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Herb Saravanamuttoo was recently selected to receive the R. Tom Sawyer Award from the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). This is the top award of the IGTI, and is presented to individuals who have made significant, life-long contributions to the gas turbine industry.

Previous winners of the award include the British inventor of the jet engine, Sir Frank Whittle. Saravanamuttoo is only the second Canadian to ever have been presented with the Award.

Before coming to Carleton in 1970, Saravanamuttoo had already contributed to the development of the Iroquois engine for the Avro Arrow, and the engine for the now retired Concorde. His pioneering work on simulating dynamic behaviour led to some of the earliest work on the digital control of engines. He is perhaps best known, however, for his co-authorship of Gas Turbine Theory, a text that is highly regarded and widely used in the industry around the world. He has also worked with the Royal Navy, and trained many students who have since gone on to very successful careers leading to senior positions at highly regarded companies worldwide.

Despite a long career decorated with many accomplishments, Saravanamuttoo says he was still surprised to receive the award. “I was very flattered to be nominated,” he says. “I was amazed, I had no expectation of winning.”

Saravanamuttoo continues to teach at Carleton, having officially retired in 1998 after working 28 years in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 10 of those years as Departmental Chair.

“I failed `Retirement 101’ dismally because I still teach,” he says laughing. “My primary interest is teaching,” he says. “I’m unusual that way.”

Saravanamuttoo will be presented with his Award in June at an international conference in Vienna, Austria.

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This entry was written by Suzanne Jordan and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

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