Self-Assessment – Luis San Andrés    

Mast-Childs TRIBOLOGY Professor, Texas A&M University

ASME Fellow, STLE Fellow

December 2005


Research Accomplishments

Luis San Andrés has advanced significant progress in the analysis and experimental parameter identification of squeeze film dampers for air-breathing engines and damper seals for industrial compressors. Major progress has resulted from the analysis and experimental verification of the forced performance of squeeze film dampers due to the effects of feeding grooves, fluid inertia and most importantly, air ingestion and entrapment at high speed operation. Two NSF awards allowed Dr. San Andrés and his students to experimentally quantify the effect of air ingestion on the dynamic force performance of industrial dampers and to develop empirically based models for prediction of damper behavior.


Luis San Andrés has made enduring contributions to the technology development of hybrid fluid film bearings for applications in primary power space turbopumps.  His research includes the analysis and experimental validation of hybrid radial and thrust bearings and two-phase fluid seals for cryogenic applications, and high speed gas (grooved) face seals and bearings. About 22 industries use his HYDRO family of codes for prediction of dynamic forced performance of fluid film bearing and dampers in conjunction with rotordynamic design tools.


In 2000, Dr. Luis San Andrés initiated research to advance the technology of gas bearings for oil-free turbomachinery.  Micro-turbomachinery demands gas bearings to ensure compactness, lightweight and extreme temperature operation. Gas bearings with large stiffness and damping, and preferably of low cost, will enable successful commercial applications.  Students of the Tribology Group are conducting analysis and verifying the rotordynamic performance of grooved gas bearings, foil bearings and tilting pad bearings for rotors in micro gas turbine engines and high-speed spindles. Recently, the ASME International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) awarded Dr. San Andrés, and former M.S. student, Deborah Wilde, the 2003 Best Rotordynamics Paper for their contributions to gas bearing analysis and experimental validation. In 2004, Student Dario Rubio and L. San Andrés received the IGTI 2004 Best Paper award for their work on the identification of stiffness in foil bearings.

Dr. Luis San Andrés has advanced physical models and fast computational programs aiming to improve the design and rotordynamic performance of passenger vehicle turbochargers. Honeywell International has funded the computational and experimental research program since 1999. Major achievements include the construction of a high speed 240 krpm test rig with notable advances in vibration measurement using fiber optics sensors and computational programs giving to the sponsor substantial savings in product development and prototype testing.


Teaching Accomplishments

Dr. San Andrés is a dedicated teacher who has contributed to the departmental mission by educating undergraduate and graduate students. His teaching goal is to prepare students to become responsible engineers, self-motivated and independent individuals able to solve actual problems and to provide leadership in the technical world. In class he stresses the need for the keen observation of nature and its behavior, searching for the root cause of measured or observed effects. Once the student "visualizes" (establishes) the problem by virtue of applying fundamental physical laws, he/she devises the mathematical model governing the dynamics of the system or its components.


Dr. San Andrés has always been ahead in instructional technology taking advantage of the World Wide Web. He was the first MEEN faculty to ever develop an URL site (1992, Rotordynamics Laboratory). His web page designs and contents have served as models by other faculty at TAMU and elsewhere. Through the years, Luis has attended many training seminars and workshop given by the TAMU Center of Teaching Excellence. Dr. San Andrés is also one of the few COE faculty to develop and maintain a comprehensive Teaching Portfolio.


Dr. San Andrés maintains current a number of URL sites displaying class content and computer programs for both graduate and undergraduate courses. Luis also has fabricated a number of experimental demonstrations for his undergraduate and graduate classes. Graduate students and course instructors from several institutions use the lecture material and computational programs for the Vibrations and Lubrication classes. Some of the users (academic and industry) are in Finland, France, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, Russia, etc. In the US, users come from industry and academia: NASA subcontractors, MIT-Gas Turbine Laboratory, University of Louisiana, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, Georgia Tech, etc.


In 1998, Dr. San Andrés was distinguished with a departmental Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award. Refer to Dr. Luis San Andrés Teaching Portfolio for a detailed description of his teaching methods, teaching assessment and feedback, and philosophy for both undergraduate and graduate education. Since 1992, each year Luis has hosted minority undergraduate students conducting Research for Undergraduate Experiences (REUs) at the Rotordynamics Laboratory.


Accomplishments in Service   

Dr. Luis San Andrés is a notable role model for the Hispanic community through his demonstrated many accomplishments. He has graduated 2 Ph.D. and 9 M.S. Hispanic students and three M.S. female students. Currently he is the elected Vice President of the TAMU Professional Hispanic Network and a founding member of the Mexican American US Latino Faculty Association. Dr. San Andrés has established research and student exchange programs with Universities in Mexico, Perú, Venezuela, Bolivia, Dominican Republic and Ecuador and services pro-bono to petrochemical companies in these Latin American countries. Dr. San Andrés advocates diversity and collaborates with TAMU and NSF in the recruitment and retention of under-represented minority faculty in engineering.


Luis San Andrés has served diligently ASME and STLE since his graduate student days. He has volunteered time to review manuscripts and expertise in various technical committees, to organize and to chair technical sessions, and eventually organizing and chairing whole conferences. After 12 years of service, Luis is presently the Chairman of the Structures and Dynamics Committee for the International Gas Turbine Institute. Dr. San Andrés escalated through the ropes in the ASME Tribology Division culminating with him being the Conference Chairman of the I World Tribology Congress (UK, 1997). Presently, Luis is an Associate Technical Editor for the ASME Journal of Tribology and STLE Tribology Transactions.  In addition, Luis serves in the Executive Committee of the ASME Tribology Division and is a member (Vice-Chair 05) of the Research in Tribology Committee and the recent past Chairman of the Honors and Awards Committee. Dr. San Andrés was also recognized by STLE for his outstanding service as a Board Director for the Society (2001-2003). 


Luis San Andrés is privileged to have trained outstanding graduate students who have contributed greatly to the advancement of fluid film bearing fundamentals. Former students, Dr. Sergio Diaz and Ms. Deborah Wilde were awarded the 2003 and 2004 Young Investigator Awards in Tribology, respectively. Incidentally, Ms. Nicole Zirkelback was awarded a TAMU Best Graduate Student Award in 1998. In 2003, Dr. Zirkelback, currently at Lockheed-Martin Aeronautics, was named Most Promising Engineer in the Advanced Degree category of the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards.  The graduate work of the former students at TAMU merited the ASME International and HENAAC recognitions.


Luis San Andrés has also contributed to the diffusion of Latin music in the local music scene. He and other TAMU faculty have formed two bands, VIRU (1992-1998) and Roca Azul (2000-date), playing regularly in B/CS and TAMU cultural events. Roca Azul toured several Latin American countries in the summers of 2002, 2003 and 2004. 


Luis San Andrés summarizes the number of publications and research funds received (all competitive).


Peer reviewed Journal Publications


90+ co-authored with students

Students graduated

16 (4 Ph.D., 12 M.S.)

 11 UG Senior Theses

11 GS minority: 8 Hispanic, 3 female

Research Funding


3 patents, 4 software copyrights

External (Federal)

$ 1,381,637

NSF (3 projects), NASA, Texas ATP

External (Industry)

$ 1,915,393

Rocketdyne, GE, Honeywell,

Turbomachinery Research Consortium

$ 1,018,580

(*) grad student support only

Support for equipment, UG research grants, gifts

$   321,240

Average per year


$ 4’315,610

$ 238,604 (15 years)



Teaching portfolio, Rotordynamics Laboratory, Courses content:

Professional Hispanic Network:

Roca Azul