Joe F. Thompson

Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering
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A native of Grenada, Dr. Thompson received his BS degree in Physics and his MS in Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State, and his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Dr. Thompson pioneered the area of Numerical Grid Generation, essential to Computational Fluid Dynamics and other areas of computational field simulation, for which he received the 1992 AIAA Aerodynamics Award. He also wrote the first textbook in this area, as well as numerous technical papers, surveys, and book chapters on the subject. He has also edited several books on computational science and engineering.

Dr. Thompson was instrumental in the successful proposal for an NSF Engineering Research Center at Mississippi State and served as its first director, this service being noted by the 1992 Commanders Award for Public Service from the Dept of the Army. Later he put together the multi-university team that joined with Nichols Research and E-Systems to win the competition to support three of the four DoD HPC Major Shared Resource Centers.

Dr. Thompson is on the Editorial Board of Journal of Computational Physics, as well as several other journals and handbooks. He has served on the Technical Review Board of the Army Research Lab and on a number of review panels and national committees. He recently edited the section on computational science in the Handbook of Computer Science & Engineering published by CRC Press in 1997, and edited the Handbook of Grid Generation published by CRC Press in 1999.

His long service to Mississippi State has been recognized by Faculty Achievement Awards in instruction, research, and service, as well as by a Career Achievement Award from the College of Engineering and a HEADWAE Award from the Mississippi Legislature.

He is a member of AIAA, SIAM, the IEEE Computer Society, and the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, and continues to work to foster the advancement of Mississippi as a major player in High Performance Computing.

Specifically in High Performance Computing (HPC), Dr.Thompson's career has spanned the development of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) as a major applications area of HPC, and he pioneered the development of numerical grid generation as an enabling technology for CFD and all areas of computational field simulation. The NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Computational Field Simulation at MSU, of which he was the founding director, is the only one of the NSF ERCs focused directly on HPC. This ERC is now a national center of excellence in CFD and related applications areas of HPC. Dr. Thompson led the formation of the university team - composed of ERC/MSU, NCSA/Illinois, CRPC/Rice/Syracuse/Tennessee, TICAM/Texas,
OSC/OhioState, GeorgiaTech, Jackson State, Central State, Howard, Clark-Atlanta - that teamed with Nichols Research and E-Systems to win the support contracts for Programming Environment & Training (PET) at three of the four DoD HPC Major Shared Resource Centers (MSRC): CEWES/VicksburgMS, ASC/DaytonOH, ARL/AberdeenMD. Dr. Thompson now leads this PET team at CEWES/Vicksburg.