B.S. ​Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, 1971​M.S. ​Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, 1971​ and Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 1980Ph.D. Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 1981Post-Doc ​Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1981-1983

Professor McDaniel received his BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia (1971), MS degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics (1977) and in Electrical Engineering (1980) and PhD degree (1981) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. From 1971 to 1976 he served as an active duty pilot in the USAF, flying a variety of aircraft, including the T-38 supersonic trainer and the HC-130 air/sea rescue aircraft. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford from 1981 to 1983, working with Professor Ron Hanson. In that position he initiated several new combustion diagnostic techniques, producing the first Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) of OH in a flame. He joined the faculty at the University of Virginia in 1983 as an Assistant Professor. In 1986 he was promoted to Associate Professor and to Professor in 1989. He has served as the Director of the Aerospace Research Laboratory from 1986 to 2012. Dr. McDaniel’s research areas include nonintrusive laser-based diagnostics for characterizing fluid flowfields, hypersonic propulsion, hypersonic aerodynamics and aircraft design. His PLIIF technique, using iodine as the fluorescing species, is unique for characterizing high-speed flows. He has published more than 80 journal articles and 150 conference papers. Dr. McDaniel was the recipient of the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) program Commendation Award in 1986, the University of Virginia Outstanding Teaching Award in Aerospace Engineering in 1987, the AIAA Ground Test Best Paper Award in 1988 (with his graduate student Bob Selig) and the 2014 AIAA High Speed Air Breathing Propulsion Best Paper Award (with his graduate student Jesse Quinlan). He was the Principal Investigator of the National Center for Hypersonic Combined Cycle Propulsion, a 5-year grant as a NASA/Air Force Center of Excellence in Hypersonics. He teaches the aircraft design capstone courses and his class designs have won 12 national awards in the past 13 years. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA.

Research Interests

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Hypersonics and Supersonics

In the News

Selected Publications

  • Simultaneous multiple-point velocity measurements using laser-induced iodine fluorescence. Optics Letters, Volume 8, Issue 1. 1983/1/1. James C McDaniel, B Hiller, Ronald K Hanson