Dr. Donald Webster joined the Georgia Tech faculty in September 1997 after completing a postdoctoral research appointment at Stanford University and holding a non-tenure track faculty position at the University of Minnesota. His research expertise lies in environmental fluid mechanics with an emphasis on the influence of fluid mechanics and turbulence on biological systems. His primary research objectives have been pursued in three basic ways: 1) studying the fluid mechanics related to biomechanics and sensory biology; 2) developing advanced experimental techniques and facilities necessary to conduct the research; 3) translating research results into bio-inspired design.
Webster’s educational activities include serving as the co-PI on an NSF-supported Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program that trains graduate students in the physics, chemistry, and ecology of chemical and hydrodynamic signaling in aquatic communities. He also has been a faculty mentor for an NSF-supported Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program addressing the interdisciplinary area of aquatic chemical ecology. In 2013, Webster implemented a “flipped classroom” pedagogy in his junior-level Fluid Mechanics and sophomore-level Dynamics courses. In these courses, students watch short online lectures prior to attending classes and participate in active problem solving during class sessions. The guiding principle behind this educational model is to use online technology to enhance the in-class (and overall) learning environment.