Born: India
Primarily active in: United States of America

From Leadership Profile: Vertiflite Fall 2009

Dr. Inderjit Chopra is a Distinguished University Professor and Alfred Gessow Professor in Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center at the University of Maryland. Also, he was the Minta-Martin Research Professor from 1996 to 2000.

Dr. Chopra completed B. Sc. Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India, in 1965.  He passed M.E. with Distinction in Aeronautical Engineering, with a thesis on: “A Study of Some Problems in Panel Flutter“, from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 1968.  Dr. Chopra completed Sc. D. in Aeronautics & Astronautics, with a thesis on the topic of: “Nonlinear Dynamic Response of Wind Turbine Rotors“, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977. Then he joined the NASA Ames/ Stanford University Joint Institute of Aeronautics & Acoustics, where he worked for four and half years on the development of aeroelastic analyses and testing of advanced helicopter rotor systems.

In 1981, he joined the University Maryland as an Associate Professor and got promoted to Full Professor in 1986. Dr. Chopra has been working on various fundamental problems related to aeromechanics of helicopters including aeromechanical stability, active vibration control, modeling of composite blades, rotor head health monitoring, aeroelastic optimization, high advance ratio rotor, coupled rotor-body-engine dynamics, smart structures, swashplateless systems, micro air vehicles, and comprehensive aeromechanics analyses of bearingless, tilt-rotor, composite coupled, servo-flap, coaxial, compound, teetering and circulation control rotors.  His direct graduate advising resulted in over 50 Ph.D. and about 100 M.S. degrees, and his students are now playing important roles in rotorcraft industry, academia, and federal labs. He acted as the Department Chairman from 1988-1990 and 2009-2010.

Dr. Chopra’s professional interests include multidisciplinary research in rotorcraft aeromechanics with focus on structural dynamics, vibratory loads, aeroelasticity, smart structures, and micro air vehicles, with a balance between analysis and experimental testing.

Dr. Chopra has been the principal investigator of six major research programs: Army/Navy/NASA’s “Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE)” (2011-21), Army’s CTA-MAST on “Center for Microsystem Mechanics” (2008-18), Army’s MURI on “Micro Hovering Air Vehicles: Revolutionary Concepts and Navigational Advancements” (2004-09), Army’s MURI on “Innovative Smart Technologies for Actively Controlled Jet-Smooth Rotorcraft” (1996-2001), Army’s “Rotary-Wing Center of Excellence” (1992-2006), Army’s URI on “Smart-Structures Technology: Innovations and Applications to Rotorcraft Systems” (1992-97).

An author of over 200 archival journal papers and about 400 conference proceedings papers, Dr. Chopra has been an associate editor of the AIAA Journal of Aircraft (1987-cont.), Journal of the American Helicopter Society (1987-91), Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures (1997-2012), International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles (2014-cont.), VERTICA (1987-91).  Also, he has been a member of the editorial advisory board of five journals: International Journal of Aerospace Engineering (2007-09), Journal of Aircraft (2002-cont.), SADHANA (1991-95), Smart Materials and Structures (1994-01), VERTICA (1987-91).

Dr. Chopra has received many prestigious awards: 

  • 2018 AHS Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship
  • 2016 ASME Spirit of St. Louis Medal
  • 2016 AHS Forum Dynamics Best Paper: “Performance and Loads of a Model Coaxial Rotor,” Schmaus and Chopra
  • 2015 AHS Forum Vertical Flight Best Paper: “Development of a Quad-Rotor Biplane MAV with Enhanced Roll Control Authority,” Hrishikeshavan and Chopra
  • 2013 Wang Shicum Award 2nd Asian Rotorcraft Forum
  • 2012 AHS Igor Sikorsky International Trophy
  • 2011 American Helicopter Museum & Education Center’s Achievement Award
  • 2010 NASA Group Achievement Award
  • 2009 AHS Howard Hughes Award
  • 2009 AHS Alexander A. Klemin Award
  • 2008 Centenary Distinguished Alumni Award by Indian Institute of Science
  • First Place as Faculty Advisor in the American Helicopter Society International Student Design Competition: Graduate Award (1998-2006, 2008, 2010-2013, 2015)
  • 2008 AHS Honorary Fellow Award
  • 2007 AHS Forum Dynamics Best Paper Award: “Aeroelastic Analysis of Insect-Based Hover-Capable Flapping Wings” Singh and Chopra
  • 2007 NASA Group Achievement Awards; Two awards on Active Smart Rotor and UH-60A Loads Prediction
  • 2005 AHS Forum Best Paper Award: “Prediction of UH-60A Dynamic Stall Loads in High Altitude Level Flight Using CFD/CSD Coupling” Datta and Chopra
  • 2004 Fellow of NIA: National Institute of Aerospace at NASA-Langley
  • 2004 SPIE Smart Structures & Materials Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2003 AHS Forum Dynamics Best Paper Award: Validation of Structural Loads Using UH-60A Flight Test Data,” Datta and Chopra
  • 2003 Fellow of ASME
  • 2002 AHS Forum Dynamics Best Paper Award: Validation and Understanding of UH-60A Vibration Loads,” Datta and Chopra
  • 2002 A. J. Clark School of Engineering Faculty Outstanding Research Award
  • 2001 ASME Adaptive Structures and Material Systems Prize
  • 2002 AHS Grover E. Bell Award
  • 2002 AIAA Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Award
  • 1998 Fellow Aeronautical Society of India
  • 1996 AIAA/ASME Best Paper Award, “Smart Rotor with Induced Strain Piezo Actuation.” AIAA SDM
  • 1996 AHS Technical Fellow
  • 1995 UM’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Service to the Schools
  • 1992 UM’s Distinguished Research Professorship
  • 1991 elected AIAA Fellow

Dr. Inderjit Chopra is Member of many prime organizations: NASA (NRC) Research and Technology Roundtable Board (2011-2015), NASA (NRC) Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (2007-2014) Army Science Board (1997-2002), Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India (ASI), Fellow of the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), Technical Fellow of American Helicopter Society (AHS), and an Honorary Fellow of American Helicopter Society (AHS)