Rimas Vaičaitis (United States of America) is Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, specialist of aviation and space engineering recognised world-wide, former long-standing director of the Guggenheim Institute of Flight Structures of Columbia University, foreign member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences.
The main areas of Professor’s scientific interests are structural dynamics, accidental vibrations, liquid and solid body mechanics, wind engineering, structural acoustics, fatigue of materials. Professor Vaičaitis prepared more than 200 scientific works on these topics; quite a few of them were recognised as high level scientific engineering works and evaluated by various awards.
The main works of Vaičaitis are related to the area of aeronautics-space; others are research of the vibrations in skyscrapers, suspension bridges and other buildings impacted by wind, ocean waves, and earthquakes.
In 1976–1977, professor Vaičaitis worked at the Langley Research Centre of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); in 1974–1977 he consulted NASA administration and cooperated with the USA military air forces and navy.
The title of Honorary Doctor was awarded for the following merits to the University:
- Professor participated in the meetings of the University’s Council during its reformation, he shared valuable experience of the American higher education system, business affairs; he was the member of KTU Senate.
- Vaičaitis allocated financial support to the University’s students and Doctoral students, initiated the establishment of nominal scholarships and administration of these scholarships.
- Professor established an annual premium of 10 thousands Russian roubles (160 EUR) to the best post-graduate conducting research in mechanics.
- Scientist allocated scholarships of 1,200 Lt (350 EUR) to the students of mechanics.
- Vaičaitis gave lectures to the students of the former Faculties of Mechanics and Mechatronics, and Civil Engineering and Architecture free of charge; thanks to him, the latter faculty received a large shipment of scientific literature.