About me

I’m a professor of mechanical engineering at Lafayette College, and served as department head from 2012-2017. I joined Lafayette in 2005.  After college and grad school at the University of California, Berkeley, I spent my first few years of faculty life at Harvey Mudd College.

I love fluid mechanics, and have ever since I first mixed corn starch and water together in the kitchen sink. At Cal, I completed my Ph.D. thesis on computational simulations of blood flow in severely stenotic arteries with Stan Berger. David Saloner at UCSF helped me understand how modeling like mine was relevant to the diagnosis and treatment decisions being made by radiologists and surgeons.  I still focus on the fluid dynamics of blood in diseased vessels, now with both computational and experimental methods, though my landscape has broadened to include aneurismal vessels, venous valve disorder, and the mechanics of artery walls.

I’m also always game to investigate an interesting question in fluid mechanics, especially if I can persuade some undergraduates to sleuth around and marvel with me.

Other topics I take seriously are music; baseball; skateboarding; and the reading and writing of fiction. I write an essay series called “An Engineer Reads a Novel” for Public Books, often focusing on the need for Technological Citizenship. I am an advocate for inclusivity and interdisciplinarity; at Lafayette, I help coordinate Inclusive STEM Education & Studies.

The Second Edition of my textbook integrating solid and fluid mechanics with significant historical context, co-written with Clive Dym and Lori Bassman, was published in 2015. An essay, or perhaps a manifesto, appeared in Inside Higher Ed in 2014: Chocolate and Peanut Butter.