Harindra Joseph S. Fernando
Wayne and Diana Murdy Family Professor of Engineering
When tsunamis hit the Indian Ocean in 2004, Joseph Fernando was one of the first experts called to the scene to help determine why some villages were completely destroyed and others, a literal stone’s throw away, were spared. What he discovered was that the condition of the coral reefs located just offshore—some of which had been dynamited—played a significant role in determining the tsunami’s impact on the coastal lands they surrounded.
The breadth of Fernando’s work is truly astonishing. His current projects—which focus on environment, energy, and sustainability issues—include research on the effects of climate change as it pertains to urban “heat islands” (areas of mass density that retain high heat throughout the day and night), air flow in mountainous terrain, the dynamics and remote sensing of ships and submarine wakes, storage problems in National Petroleum Reserves, and flow through nuclear reactors.
Fernando came to Notre Dame in 2010 from Arizona State University, where he directed the Center for Environmental Fluid Dynamics. He has published more than 200 papers in international peer-reviewed journals.
In 2008, Notre Dame parents Wayne and Diane Murdy established this professorship with the goal of advancing environmental engineering to make clean water available to all. Wayne is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Newmont Mining Corporation and a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council.