Budugur Lakshminarayana passed away in October in State College, Pennsylvania after a several-year battle with cancer. “Bud,” as he was known to his colleagues, received his doctorate from the University of Liverpool in 1963, having performed his thesis research under Sir John Horlock. He then joined the Aerospace Engineering Department at Penn State University, where his career spanned 37 years. During his career at Penn State, he published extensively in the area of turbomachinery fluid-thermal sciences and was the advisor for 21 Ph.D. and 25 M.S. graduate students. He was instrumental in developing the turbomachinery laboratory at Penn State, which comprised numerous experimental research facilities. He also developed a graduate and research program in computational fluid dynamics. He instructed many undergraduate and graduate courses in the Aerospace Engineering Department and authored a graduate-level textbook on turbomachinery.
Lakshminarayana was an Evan Pugh Professor of Aerospace Engineering, the highest academic rank bestowed on a Penn State faculty member. He was a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He was the recipient of numerous professional awards from the Society of Automotive Engineers, ASME, AIAA, and the National Science Foundation. He received the Fulbright Senior Professor Award for Research in Germany and the Distinguished Alumni Professor and Premier Research awards from Penn State. During his career, he traveled extensively and was a visiting advisor/professor in Germany, France, India, Japan, and the United States.
He had remained active in research, advising, and various philanthropic activities. At the time of his death, he was in the process of building an orphanage in Bangalore, India.
He is survived by his wife, Saroja Ramanujam; a daughter, Anita Silva of Virginia; a son, Arvind Narayana of Massachusetts; and two grandchildren.