Picture of Dr. Semih M. Olcmen


Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies

240 Hardaway Hall
 (205) 348-4003
 (205) 348-7240
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  • Ph.D., Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1990
  • M.S., Aerospace Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, 1985
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, 1982


Dr. Semih Olcmen received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Istanbul Technical University and his doctorate from Virginia Tech. He also holds a post-grad diploma from Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium.

Olcmen is a fluid mechanics expert specializing in laser-based measurement techniques. He has designed numerous laser-doppler velocimetry, or LDV, probes for different applications. He holds a patent for Spark-Plug LDV, LIF, and LII Probe for Engine Flow and Combustion Analysis. He worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force base for seven summers and designed an LDV probe to measure shock-wave/boundary-layer interaction among other research. He has additionally published papers in computational-fluid dynamics.

He has conducted research including the understanding of the nature of 3-D turbulent boundary layers, shock-wave/boundary-layer interaction, weapons-bay flow field, and flow over turrets. His interests include air-breathing propulsion, space propulsion, flow instrumentation, penetration mechanics, and computational fluid dynamics.

Olcmen has graduated 33 master’s and doctoral students and published more than 90 journal and conference publications.

Honors and Awards

  • Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, September 2007.
  • Air Force Summer Research Faculty in summer 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2018 at AFRL-RBAI (RQVA) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. Worked for AFRL at UA for two summer months in 2015.
  • Outstanding Ph.D. Mentoring Award, UA-AEM Department, 2018
  • Charles Henry Ratcliff Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, UA-AEM Department, 2007, 2010
  • America Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Outstanding Faculty Member, UA-AEM Department, 2005

Areas of Research

Latest Publications

  • Miller, D., Olcmen, S., King, CD, Sharif, MAR, Weiner, RH, 2018, “Computational and Experimental Study of the Flow in the Scaled Diffuser Models of the Air Force Subsonic Aerodynamic Research Laboratory Wind Tunnel”, Journal of Multidisciplinary Engineering Science and Technology (JMEST), ISSN: 2458-9403, Vol. 5 Issue 10, October – 2018.
  • Olcmen, S., Cheng, G., Branam, R., Jones, S. 2018, “Minimum Drag and Heating 0.3 Caliber Projectile Nose Geometry”, Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science-Part C, DOI: 10.1177/0954406218779094
  • Wahidi, R., Ölçmen, S, Hubner, J.P., “Different Approaches to Applying POD Analysis to 3D3C Data in a Large Measurement Volume ” International Journal of Fluid Mechanics Research, Volume 45, 2018 Issue 3. DOI: 10.1615/InterJFluidMechRes.2018020625
  • Wahidi, R., Hubner, J.P., Ölçmen, S.M., 2016, “On the streamwise and normal vortices forming on plates with spanwise periodic cambering”, Aerospace Science and Technology, Volume 58, November 2016, Pages 453–466
  • Strafaccia , J.A., Olcmen, S.M., Hoke, J.L., and Paxson, D.E., 2016, “Intake Flow Analysis of a Pulsed Detonation Engine”, Eng. Gas Turbines Power 139(4), 041201 (Oct 18, 2016) (9 pages)