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The Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University welcomed two additional faculty members this fall, Dr. Swagnik Guhathakurta and John Connolly.

Dr. Swagnik Guhathakurta, Assistant Professor

Headshot of Dr. Swagnik Guhathakurta.
Dr. Swagnik Guhathakurta | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Guhathakurta earned a doctorate and master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida, a Master of Science degree in physics from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Fergusson College. His research interests include compressible multiphase reactive flows, radiation heat transfer, detonations and combustion of solid fuels.

“The aerospace engineering department at Texas A&M has some of the most brilliant researchers in my field whom I wish to collaborate with, as well as world-class experimental facilities,” Guhathakurta said. “Besides research, I am determined to dedicate a career-long effort to teaching.”

In addition to engineering, Guhathakurta is also passionate about wildlife conservation and does wildlife photography and astrophotography in his free time. He also enjoys singing, playing guitar, watching movies and traveling.

John Connolly, Professor of Practice

Headshot of John Connolly.
John Connolly | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Connolly earned degrees in engineering from Penn State and the University of Colorado and is a registered Professional Engineer. He joins the department after a 36-year career with NASA, where he directed human lunar and Mars mission design and development activities and was director and faculty member of the International Space University. His research interests include lunar geotechnical properties, human lunar landers and human space mission design.

Connolly balances weekdays full of technical engineering challenges with relaxing weekends farming the wine grapes he grows with his wife. He also spends his free time building furniture and high-powered model rocketry, playing ice hockey and music, hanging out with his dogs and watching college football.

“I’m looking forward to joining the Texas A&M Department of Aerospace Engineering as a professor of practice,” Connolly said. “And I am proud to join the Texas A&M faculty and look forward to BTHO the rest of the SEC!”