Throughout his career, his colleagues decorated him with recognition. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) named him a Freeman Scholar in 1995-96, and the ASME Fluids Engineering Division honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. At UC, he was the first faculty member to receive all three major UC Faculty awards: the George Rieveschl Award for Distinguished Scientific Research, the George B. Barbour Award for Superior Student-Faculty Relations, and the Mrs. A.B. “Dolly” Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was a member of the Graduate Fellows, and of the Academy of Fellows of Teaching and Learning.
Karman held visiting positions at many institutions and organizations, including Institute of Space and Aeronautical Sciences, Institute of Computational Fluid Dynamics, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; University of Southern California; Institute of Computer Applications in Science and Engineering, NASA Langley Research Center; Polytechnic Institute of New York; Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratories and Brown University. He served as Co-Editor of the International Computational Fluid Dynamics Journal, and Associate Technical Editor of the ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering and the AIAA Journal.
At UC, Karman was Co-Director of the Computational Fluid Dynamics Research Laboratory (CFDRL), and Director of the Institute of Computational Mechanics. He had also served on the Fluid Mechanics Technical Committee of ASME, since 1978, AIAA since 1986, and the ASME Society-wide Committee on Honors, 2010-2016; and as Chair of the Honors and Awards Committee of the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME, 1997-2000. He chaired numerous national and international symposia and meetings. He was a Life Fellow of ASME, a Fellow of AIAA, and a member of Sigma Xi, Sigma Gamma Tau, and Tau Beta Pi.
Dr. Paul Orkwis, Interim Dean of UC CEAS, remarked on Karman: “No one represented UC better than Dr. Kirti Ghia. He was an outstanding pillar of our community— his persistence and drive in the pursuit of excellence is what I will remember most about him. I’ll also always remember his phenomenal photographic memory and how he could effortlessly recall conversations verbatim from decades ago. Karman was one of the most remarkable individuals I have known and he’s left a lasting impression of caliber and commitment that is unparalleled. He will be greatly missed amongst the many he helped.”
A former graduate student of Karman recalls, “Rarely did a week go by when he was not working at least six days a week, with a smile on his face, deriving maximum usefulness out of each day. His work ethic made for an exceptional role model to any student who has the fortune and pleasure of interacting with him.”
Karman once said, “There hasn't been a day when I haven't learned from my students and colleagues. You feel good. Every day, you are gaining. That's a very exciting day...when you've learned something.”
And there is much that Dr. Karman Ghia taught those around him.
Those who loved him and learned from him - his family and his students, and who powered his success, now seek to honor his legacy.
In keeping with the family’s wishes, alumni and friends are invited to honor Dr. Ghia for his dedication to the students of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati by making a gift at https://foundation.uc.edu/ghia. For questions regarding giving, please contact Mike Hogan, Senior Director of Development, CEAS at 513-556-1901.