Prof Laurent Dala

Prof Laurent Dala is a research and development manager at the CSIR Aeronautic Systems research group.

Research experience and interests:

Prof Dala has more than 25 years of experience in aeronautical/aerospace engineering in Research Centres (ONERA-France, CEAT-France, TsAGI-Russia, ARA-England), in industry (Airbus, CargoLifter-Germany, Ratier-Figeac-France…) and Universities (ESTP-France, IPSA-France, ICAM-France, FALT-Russia, UWE-England, Bristol-England, Manchester-England). He specialises in aerodynamics, flight mechanics/flight dynamics, aeroelasticity, aeroacoustics and multi design optimisation.

Topics include:

•           Flow Control

•           High-Lift Systems

•           Stability and Control

•           Unmanned Air Systems

•           Missiles and Ballistics

•           Shock reduction

•           Space re-entry and Launch Phase

•           New configurations (Ekranoplane, Flying Wings, High Aspect-ratio…)


Career background:

Head of Aeronautical Engineering: School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand

Aerospace Programme Leader: University of the West England (UWE) –England

Chairman of the Advisory Group: FP6 European Project on New Aircraft Concepts Research (NACRE)

Technical Advisor of the CEO: Aircraft Research Association Limited (ARA – Bedford, United Kingdom)

Aerothermal Leader and Manager: Alstom/Rolls-Royce Team

Chief Aerodynamicist

Section Manager of the Flight Science Division

Deputy Head of Division

Design Approved Engineer for Aerodynamics, Thermics and Anti-Icing Systems. CargoLifter (International Airship Company), Berlin, Germany

Head of Applied Aerodynamics: Institut AéroTechnique (IAT/CNAM), France.

Principal Aerodynamicist – Research Scientist: ONERA (Office National des Etudes et Recherches Aerospatiales – France)

Senior Aerodynamicist and Test Engineer: CEAT (Aeronautic Testing centre), Aerodynamics Department, Toulouse, France

Visiting Professor in Compressible Flows at the Institut Catholique des Arts et Metiers (ICAM–Lille-France)

Visiting Professor in Compressible Flows at the Ecole Speciale des Travaux Publics, du Batiment et de l’Industrie (ESTP – France)

Visiting Professor in Aerodynamics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (FALT-Jukhovsky-Russia)

Visiting Professor in Aerodynamics and Thermics at the Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Appliquees (IPSA – France)

Visiting Professor in Design at the University of Bristol, Aerospace Department

Detailed qualifications:


Ingénieur en Mécanique-Electricité (CEng in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering)

Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics, du Bâtiment et de l’Industrie (ESTP-PARIS)


Ingénieur en Aéronautique (CEng in Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering)

Ecole Supérieure des Techniques Aérospatiales (ESTA – FRANCE)


Eur-Ing (European Chartered Engineer)

Fédération Européenne d’Associations Nationales d’Ingénieurs (FEANI).



University of Manchester (UK) – Aerospace Department

Thesis: Hypersonic Viscous Flows Including Non-Equilibrium real Gas Effects


Chartered Aerospace Engineer (CEng)

Engineer Council (UK).


Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

University of the West of England (UK)

 Professional memberships:

FRAeS: Fellow of the Royall Aeronautical Society

Member of the RAeS Aerodynamics Specialist Group

MAIAA: Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Member – Who’s who in Science and Engineering (USA)

Awards and achievements:

Industrial CSIR Chair in Aeronautical Engineering – University of Pretoria

President of the Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA)


Unit: DPSS

Contact details: