Kenneth G. Powell

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus


3052 François-Xavier Bagnoud Aerospace Building
1320 Beal Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2140


Additional Title(s)

  • Graduate Program Chair, Scientific Computing

Professor Powell is a member and past director of the W. M. Keck Foundation Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and a co-founder and co-director of the Center for Space Environment Modeling and the the Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics. At the undergraduate level, he teaches freshman computing, compressible flow, aerodynamics and aircraft design; at the graduate level, he teaches aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics. His research interests include: algorithm development for fluid dynamics, aerodynamics and plasmadynamics; and the application of computational methods to problems in aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, fluid dynamics and space environment/space weather. His articles appear in Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Journal of Computational Physics, and Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, among others. He is also a co-author of Multi-Media Fluid Mechanics. He has received a number of awards for his research, including a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, and a number of awards for his teaching, including the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship. He is married to Susanne Maria Krummel; they have three children: Jasmine, Ryan and Nicole.


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • ScD Aerospace Engineering ’87
    • SM Aerospace Engineering ’84
    • SB Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics ’82


  • AERO 325 – Aerodynamics
  • AERO 225 – Fluid Dynamics
  • AERO 481 – Aircraft Design
  • AERO 524 – Aerodynamics II

Research Interests

Computational Fluid Dynamics, Compressible Flow, Aerodynamics, Numerical Methods for Plasmas, Computational Space Physics

Research areas:

Professional Service

  • Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • Sigma Xi
  • Tau Beta Pi


  • Tau Beta Pi Teaching Award (1988, 1999, 2005)
  • College of Engineering Team Research Excellence Award (1999, 2014)
  • College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (1992)
  • College of Engineering 1938 E Award
  • Sigma Gamma Tau Teaching Award (1989, 1995)
  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator (1988)
  • NASA Special Achievement Award (1989)
  • College of Engineering MLK Spirit Award (2020)