David Zingg joined the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) as an Assistant Professor in 1988, after completing his BASc (Engineering Science), MASc (Aerospace), and PhD (Aerospace) at U of T. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1993 and to Full Professor in 1998. He served as the Chair of the Aerospace Option of Engineering Science from 2000 to 2002, as Associate Director of UTIAS from 2001 to 2006, and two terms as Director of UTIAS from 2006 to 2016. As Director, Professor Zingg oversaw a period of unprecedented growth. Nine new faculty were hired, bringing UTIAS’s total tenured or tenure-stream complement to sixteen, and graduate student enrolment more than doubled. Professor Zingg is also the founding Director of the Centre for Research in Sustainable Aviation.
Throughout his career at UTIAS, Professor Zingg’s research has concentrated on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with emphasis on solving for the flow over aerodynamic geometries, such as airfoils, wings, and aircraft, which has become an invaluable methodology for aerodynamic design in the aircraft industry. He has had a longstanding collaborative relationship with the famous CFD Branch at the NASA Ames Research Center, dating back to 1988. In addition to several noteworthy joint papers, this collaboration has led to two well-known textbooks in CFD — published by Springer in 2001 and 2014 — which are part of graduate course curricula all over the world. To date, Professor Zingg has had 67 journal papers published or accepted, as well as 206 conference papers. He has supervised 71 undergraduate theses, 52 MASc students, and 29 PhD students.
Professor Zingg was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Computational Aerodynamics and Environmentally-Friendly Aircraft Design in 2001, which he held for two terms until 2015. He received major international recognition in 2002 when he was invited to give a keynote address at the leading international conference series in CFD (ICCFD). In 2004 he became the first professor at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering (FASE) to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2009 Professor Zingg became the J. Armand Bombardier Chair in Aerospace Flight. That same year, he received the University of Toronto Faculty Award, recognizing sustained excellence in teaching, thesis supervision, research, and service.
In 2010 Professor Zingg became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. In 2011 he received the Ontario Professional Engineers Research and Development Medal, and in 2012 he received the McCurdy Award from the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) “for outstanding achievement in the science and creative aspects of engineering relating to aeronautics and space research”. In 2015 he garnered CASI’s other major national award, the W. Rupert Turnbull Lectureship, for his work in sustainable aviation. In 2016 he received the J.J.Berry Smith Doctoral Supervision Award in recognition of his excellence in the multiple roles associated with doctoral student supervision, the first professor from FASE to receive this award.
Professor Zingg enjoys an excellent reputation in the international CFD community, both for his research and for the quality of his graduate students, who hold senior positions in academia, industry, and government in Canada and abroad. He is also well known for the industrial relevance of his research; he has collaborated with numerous companies both large (Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Airbus) and small (Found Aircraft, Solar Ship). His longstanding collaboration with Bombardier has led to a nomination for the NSERC Synergy Award.