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Lehigh University logo

Charles R. Smith

Professor Emeritus
Mechanical Engineering

1209 Oxbridge Drive Lutz, FL 33549



• Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics


• Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Transport Phenomena
• Turbulent Flow
• Unsteady Flow Behavior



• BS, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1966
• MS, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1967
• Ph.D, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1971

Professional Experience:

• Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1971-76
• Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering , Purdue University, 1976-78
• Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University , 1978-83
• Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University, 1983-2011
• Consulting VP of Engineering, VORTAB Corporation, 1987-96
• Associate Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University, 1994-96
• Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University, 1996-2002
• University Ombudsperson, Lehigh University, 2008-2011
• Member, Board of Directors, Penn Engineering & Manufacturing, 1997-2005

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Smith is an Emeritus Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and is internationally recognized for his research in fluid mechanics, particularly the areas of turbulent flow, unsteady flow effects, flow visualization techniques, and flow mixing and conditioning.

At Lehigh, Dr. Smith developed an internationally recognized facility for the study of the structure of turbulent boundary layers. Dr. Smith has also done extensive work on flow conditioning and mixing, which led to the development of the first passive flow conditioning and mixing device based on concepts of coherent turbulent flow structure. Dr. Smith was principal or co-principal investigator on grants and contracts totaling approximately $6,000,000, and has published over 100 articles in scientific journals.

In addition to his research activities at Lehigh, Dr. Smith is past Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, served on several editorial review boards, and has consulted for over twenty five different industrial companies, providing consultation, design, and trouble shooting in areas such as unsteady flow, mixing, flow metering, industrial heat transfer, pump effectiveness, cyclone separators, and energy systems. In addition, Dr. Smith has provided expert testimony and forensic engineering expertise for thermal accident cases involving fires. In 1987, Dr. Smith co-founded the VORTAB Corporation, a small start-up company that manufactured and marketed low-loss flow conditioners and fluid mixing devices for pipe flows. His patent for an inline mixer is currently marketed by Chemineer-Kenics (http://www.kenics.com/hev.php). From 1997 to 2005 he was a member of the Board of Directors of Penn Engineering & Manufacturing Company in Danboro, PA, a manufacturer of specialty fasteners


Dr. Smith has published an electronic, public domain e-textbook on incompressible fluid mechanics for entry-level engineering graduate students (click here, to request a copy), and has co-authored an electronic book “Introduction to C++, Excel, MATLAB, and Engineering Computations” with Harvey Stenger, President of SUNY Binghamton, and published by Prentice-Hall. He presently teaches online courses for Lehigh on graduate fluid mechanics, and introduction to engineering computations.