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James A. Fay

Professor Emeritus
Senior Lecturer

Room 3-258A
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307
Phone: 617-253-2236  
Fax: 617-258-8559  


B.S., Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, 1944
M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1947
Ph.D. Cornell University, 1951


Honors and Awards:

Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1963; Fellow, American Physical Society, 1964; Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1968; Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, 1978; Overseas Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge University, 1980; Fulbright Lecturer, India, 1990; Member, National Academy of Engineering, 1998.


Research Interests:

Atmospheric Dispersion of Air Pollutants; Gravity Flow of Density StratifiedLiquids and Vapors; Liquefied Natural Gas Safety


Society Memberships:

American Academy of Arts and Sciences; American Physical Society; American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Sigma Xi; Air and Waste Management Association


Biographical Summary

James A. Fay is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current field of interest is environmental engineering, and his recent research activities have concentrated on air and water pollution problems, including the dispersion of air pollutants in the atmosphere, acid rain, the safety hazards of liquefied gases, renewable energy (including small scale tidal power) and the spread of oil and other hazardous liquids on the ocean. In previous years he carried out research on combustion and detonation, hypersonic heat transfer, magnetohydrodynamics and plasmadynamics.

Professor Fay served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Port Authority (1972-1977) and as Chairman of the Air Pollution Control Commission of the City of Boston (1969-1972). He has served on twelve boards, committees and panels of the National Research Council, including two terms on the Environmental Studies Board. He is currently a director emeritus of the Union of Concerned Scientists and was formerly a director of the Conservation Law Foundation.

A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Professor Fay is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and four technical societies. In 1980 he was an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and in 1990 he was a Fulbright Lecturer in India.

Professor Fay received his B.S. degree from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in 1944, the M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1947 and the Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in 1951. He was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Mechanics at Cornell University from 1951 to 1955. Since 1955 he has been a member of the faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at M.I.T.


Textbooks in Print
  1. James A. Fay and Dan S. Golomb, Energy and the Environment, Oxford University Press, New York, 2002. This is a volume in the MIT-Pappalardo Book Series. (May be ordered from the Oxford University Press.) (Download a pdf Errata file for this volume.)
  2. James A. Fay, Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1994. (May be ordered from The MIT Press.) (Download a pdf Errata file for this volume.)
  3. James A. Fay, Mecanica de Fluidos, Compania Editorial Continental, S.A. de C.V., Azcapotzalco, 1996. (This is the Spanish Language edition of Introduction to Fluid Mechanics. Publisher's address: Renacimiento 180, Colonia San Juan Tihuaca, Delegacion Azcapotzalco, Codigo Postal 02400, Mexico, D.F.)
  4. James A. Fay, Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1994. (Korean language translation, 1999, Bomoon Dang Publishing Co., Seoul.)
  5. James A. Fay and Nishikant Sonwalkar, A Fluid Mechanics Hypercourse, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1996. (May be ordered from The MIT Press.) This CD-ROM is designed to accompany James Fay's Introduction to Fluid Mechanics. An enhanced hypermedia version ofthe textbook, it offers a number of ways to explore the fluid mechanics domain. These include a complete hypertext version of the original book,physical-experiment video clips, excerpts from external references, audioannotations, colored graphics, review questions, and progressive hints forsolving problems. Throughout, the authors provide expert guidance innavigating the typed links so that students do not get lost in the learning process.
  6. James A. Fay, Molecular Thermodynamics, Addison Wesley, Reading, 1964. (May be ordered directly from the author at the address above.)

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MITMassachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Mechanical Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 3-173, Cambridge MA 02139