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Francis Loth

A headshot of Dr. Francis Loth




  • BS, aerospace engineering, 1984, WVU
  • MS, aerospace engineering, 1986, University of Cincinnati
  • M.S. & PhD 1990, 1993, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Loth is the F. Theodore Harrington Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Akron. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Conquer Chiari Research Center (CCRC), which is the first basic science (non-clinical) research center directed towards the study of Chiari malformation. In the four years since its opening, the CCRC has amassed a diverse and talented group of students and researchers. Multiple projects are underway to apply the latest engineering, biological, and psychological techniques and analyses to improve diagnosis and treatment options for those suffering from Chiari malformation and related disorders.

Francis grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia and graduated from Morgantown High School in 1980. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from West Virginia University in May of 1984. He spent the next two years completing an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. The following year he spent in Brussels, Belgium at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics where he completed a Diploma Course. At this point, he shifted his research interests from aerodynamics to biofluids. Francis obtained M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1990 and 1993 doing experimental research in the area of blood fluid dynamics and its relationship to vascular graft failure. After his doctoral work, he did his postdoctoral training at The University of Aix-Marseille in France and at The Johns Hopkins University.

Francis began his career as a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996. He continued his research in the area of biofluids and specifically examined the importance of fluid dynamics in arteriovenous graft failure and Chiari I malformation. In 2008, he moved to The University of Akron. Francis is an ASME Fellow and served as Vice Chair and Chair for the fluids committee of the ASME Bioengineering Division. During his career, he has obtained two awards for excellence in teaching, two awards for excellence in research, published 48 journal articles and organized six international workshops. His research has been cited over 2500 times according to Google Scholar (h-index of 27).