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Geoffrey Spedding

Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering


  • 1978, Bachelor's Degree, Zoology, University of Bristol
  • Doctoral Degree, Zoology, University of Bristol


Geoffrey Spedding received his Ph.D. in 1981 from the University of Bristol, England. He began work as a Research Associate in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southern California in the same year, where he worked on models of insect wings and subsequently on models of atmospheres and oceans. He became a full Professor in 2005, and Chair of the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department in January 2010. In July 2017 he returned to 'normal' faculty life.

Research Summary

Spedding's current research has three themes: (i) Geophysical Fluids: particularly the evolution of turbulence in oceans and atmospheres, and its relation to the persistence of wakes of islands and submarines; (ii) Advanced imagining and data analysis including accurate particle imagining velocimetry (PIV) techniques and novel 2D wavelet transforms and interpolation routines for scattered data; (iii) Aerodynamics of small flying devices, especially those where birds and bats coexist in engineering design space. Experiments in wind tunnels include those on simple fixed wings at USC and on flying birds and bats (at Lund University, Sweden). He has published >60 full journal articles and has given >80 invited talks over the last 10 years. His work has been covered in the New York Times, the LA Times, CNN and BBC News. In 2010 he was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2013 he was awarded the Chaire Joliot at ESPCI, Paris.


  • 2021 Royal Physiographic Society of Lun, Sweden Fellow
  • 2010 American Physical Society Fellow
  • 2006 Teaching Award
  • 2005 Teaching Award
  • 2001 USC Residential & Greek Life Faculty Fellow Participation Award
  • 2001 Sigma Gamma Tau Honorary member
  • 1982 Original Contribution to Zoology from the Royal Society of London Thomas Henry Huxley Award
  • Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • OHE 500L
  • Olin Hall of Engineering
  • 3650 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 1454
Contact Information
  • (213) 740-4132
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