Joseph M. Prahl


Joseph M. Prahl
Joseph Prahl.jpg
BornMarch 30, 1943
DiedApril 19, 2018
Other namesJoseph Markel Prahl
Academic background
Alma materHarvard, B.A. 1963
Harvard, M.S., Ph.D. 1968
Academic work
Disciplinemechanical engineer
InstitutionsCase Western Reserve University
Main interestsfluid dynamics, thermodynamics
Space career
NASA Payload Specialist (backup)
Mission insignia

Joseph M. Prahl (March 30, 1943 – April 19, 2018) was an American mechanical engineer and professor who trained as a backup Payload Specialist for the Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-50 in 1992.

Born in Beverly, Massachusetts, Prahl attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts,[1] completed a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Harvard College in Cambridge in 1963, and then an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Harvard University in 1968.

He joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve University (then known as Case Institute of Technology) in 1968, becoming a full professor in 1985 and serving as department chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering from 1992[2] to 2007. After stepping down as department chair, in August 2007 Prahl was appointed as the faculty director for undergraduate recruiting and student life in the School of Engineering.[3] [4]

In 2010, Prahl was selected as a "Key Influencer" in Northeast Ohio and flew in an F/A-18 Hornet with the Blue Angels.[5]


  1. ^ "Miss Rena Wadt And J. M. Prahl Marry in Jersey". The New York Times. 1963-07-12. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  2. ^ McCormick, Barnes W.; Newberry, Conrad F.; Jumper, Eric (2004). Aerospace Engineering Education During the First Century of Flight. Reston, Virginia: AIAA. p. 304. ISBN 1-56347-710-6.
  3. ^ Bragg, Marsha (2007-08-01). "Engineering school appoints faculty director for undergraduate recruiting and student life". The News Center. Cleveland, Ohio: Case Western Reserve University. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  4. ^ "Going Places: Sept. 3, 2007". Crain's Cleveland Business. Cleveland, Ohio. 2007-09-03. Retrieved 2018-04-20.
  5. ^ Scott, Michael (2010-09-04). "Educators, reporter fight gravity, nausea as they fly with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet fighter team". Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved 2018-04-20.