Jani Macari Pallis

Dr Jani Macari Pallis is the founder and CEO of Cislunar Aerospace, Inc, an engineering and research firm located in Napa, California and Connecticut and an associate professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Bridgeport (UB), Bridgeport, CT. She is the principal investigator of "The K-8 Aeronautics Internet Textbook" and "Aerodynamics in Sports", two educational cooperative agreements between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Cislunar Aerospace, Inc. She currently leads the "Wright Again" project (a virtual recreation of the Wright brother’s work) between Cislunar Aerospace, The Franklin Institute Science Museum and educators around the United States. Dr. Pallis is the editor of McGraw-Hill’s "Big Book of Air and Space Flight Activities"; and two books on biomedical applications in sports with her colleagues, Dr. George Hung (Rutgers University) and Dr. Jill McNitt-Gray (University of Southern California).

Although Pallis has coordinated leading-edge technology projects at the national level, she is especially known for her ability to develop and teach difficult science materials and math concepts in an easy to understand manner.

Pallis has worked and conducted research in a variety of marine sports as well as tennis. As the lead aerodynamist from Cislunar Aerospace to the Hawaiian America’s Cup XXX (1999-2000) challenger, she and her team conducted Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations on new sail and mast designs. She works with Gaastra Sails' world class professional wind surfing athletes and designers ("The Team") and consults in sailing and kite boarding.

As the principal investigator for NASA’s "Aerodynamics in Sports" project, Pallis has led a team of researchers in tennis science. The team has: captured high speed video footage of top professional tennis players; conducted wind tunnel testing; created computational fluid dynamic simulations; analyzed trajectory, ball/court interaction, spin and tennis player biomechanics studies; and developed a popular and comprehensive web site on tennis science and technology.

As a science educator, her award winning NASA web site The K-8 Aeronautics Internet Textbook receives over 1 million hits per month and demonstrates her ability to create engaging, relevant, science content.

She received her BS and MS degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1975 and 1977 respectively, focusing on biomedical operations research and computer science. From 1977 to 1989 she served as senior staff member in the Management Information Systems Division of United Airlines at the aircraft maintenance operations center in San Francisco. She received her MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991, specialising in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for microgravity applications and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering where her research centred on hypersonics and parallel computing.

She is a member of the International Sport Engineering Association, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She has served on the board of directors of the California Association for Aerospace Education. She has received special achievement awards from NASA, United Airlines, the Young Astronaut Council and the California Association for Aerospace Education.