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Tom Benson is an aerospace engineer in the Inlets and Nozzles Branch at the NASA Glenn Research Center. He earned Bachelor and Master's degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Ohio State University in 1971. He then spent four years in the Air Force at Wright Patterson AFB doing high speed inlet testing and installed-engine performance calculations for the F-16, B1-A, YF-17 and F5-E. He returned to graduate school at OSU in 1975 and passed the qualifiers for a PhD. While at OSU, he worked on the application of fluid dynamics solvers to the problem of blood flow through the circulatory system. He started working at NASA Glenn in 1978. During the 80's and 90's he built, verified and applied computer programs to model the flow of gases through high speed inlets. He worked on the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) project to study a vehicle that would fly from a runway into orbit. He also served as the NASA representative on a NATO-AGARD Working Group on high speed inlet computations. He worked for several years to develop computational models for microgravity liquids, including an experiment that flew on the Space Shuttle during STS-43 and STS-52. He then studied fundamental fluids problems, such as the jet-in-cross flow and flow past a cylinder, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). He is the author of more than 50 technical papers dealing with various aspects of CFD.
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