Geoffrey Spedding is a Professor in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. He originally received his doctorate from the Zoology Department at the University of Bristol, England, where his thesis won the national Thomas Henry Huxley prize for original contributions to zoology. He came to work at USC to investigate mechanical models of insect wings, and then branched out into the field of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics.
He now conducts research in GFD with application to submarine signature detection, and also in fundamental aerodynamic problems in small-scale flying machines. These studies include investigations of simple fixed wing shapes at USC, and a collaboration with a group of biologists at Lund University, Sweden, where birds and bats are trained to fly in a special-purpose wind tunnel.
In teaching, Geoff has been most closely associated with a lecture-lab course taught to all juniors in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Its name, Mechoptronics, was coined to express the importance of combined expertise in mechanical, optical and electrical engineering methods for the modern engineer. In 2001 he was elected an honorary member of the engineering society Sigma Gamma Tau, and in 2005 received the Viterbi School of Engineering/Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award.
Expressing great excitement at joining CET, he hopes to learn and contribute in areas involving both traditional and modern teaching tools in quantitative subjects of applied mathematics and science. He is also a strong proponent of the critical importance of clarity in communication, as his course notes phrase it: "for engineers and humans."