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Lehigh University logo

Donald O. Rockwell

Department: Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics

Position: Paul B. Reinhold Professor

Address: Packard Lab 452
19 Memorial Dr. West
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 758-4107

Areas of Research

  • Fluid/Structure Interaction
  • Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Transport Phenomena
  • Engineering Mechanics


Donald Rockwell's research interests are focused on the physics of vortex-dominated flows and their interaction with structures, using a range of experimental techniques, and on the development and implementation of new techniques of quantitative imaging of flow patterns, including image processing and evaluation. His research contributions have been in the areas of unsteady wakes, vortex interactions with bodies, laser illumination and image acquisition techniques, and methods for image evaluation. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, NASA's Lewis and Langley Research Centers, Lockheed-Martin, Pratt and Whitney, Arrow International, and Combustion Research and Flow Technologies.

Rockwell has given numerous plenary lectures and served on a host of scientific committees. He has also served as editor-in-chief of Experiments in Fluids, associate editor of Journal of Fluids and Structures, and as a member of editorial board of Progress in Aerospace Sciences. He has contributed more than 180 articles to scientific journals including Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Physics of Fluids, Journal of Fluids and Structures, Experiments in Fluids, ASME Transactions, AIAA Journal, Journal of Sound and Vibration, and AIAA Journal of Aircraft. He has served as technical consultant to a number of companies and government labs, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.


  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Bucknell University