Dahm Werner

Founding Director, Security & Defense Systems Initiative (SDSI)
ASU Foundation Professor
Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Email: Werner.Dahm@asu.edu
Phone: (480)727-8598
Office: ERC 293 (Map)


Werner J.A. Dahm has since 2010 been the ASU Foundation Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Arizona State University, where he leads the Laboratory for Turbulence and Combustion, and is the Founding Director and Chief Scientist of the Security and Defense Systems Initiative at ASU. He is also Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, where he was on the engineering faculty for 25 years and founded the Laboratory for Turbulence and Combustion.

Previously he was the Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force in Headquarters Air Force, serving in the Pentagon as the direct science and technology advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff.  As the Air Force’s Chief Scientist he led development of “Technology Horizons”, a major Headquarters-level document that identifies key science and technology focus areas for the U.S. Air Force during 2010-2030.  The Air Force awarded him its Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service, the highest honor it bestows on a civilian employee.

He has served on the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) continuously since 2005, including as Chair of the Board from 2014-2017, and on numerous task forces of the Defense Science Board and as a past member of the Defense Science Study Group at the Institute for Defense Analyses. He has also served on advisory boards for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and NASA, and in numerous defense-related reviews and advisory roles.

Dr. Dahm is a Fellow of the American Physical Society in the Division of Fluid Dynamics, a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, recipient of the William F. Ballhaus Aeronautics Prize from Caltech, the 1938E Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Michigan, the George J. Huebner Research Excellence Award from the University of Michigan, and the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

He is an author of over 200 refereed technical articles, conference papers, and technical publications, a holder of six U.S. and international patents, and has given over 260 technical presentations, including over 190 invited, plenary, and keynote lectures worldwide, on topics dealing with mechanical and aerospace engineering and defense science.  He has also founded and served on the boards of two technology-oriented entrepreneurial companies, on technical advisory and organizational committees for numerous technical conferences, and as a consultant for industry.

He received his Ph.D. degree in Aeronautics from Caltech in 1985, and previously worked as a Research Engineer at the USAF Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC.  He also has an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.


Ph.D., Aeronautics California Institute of Technology (1985)
M.S., Mechanical Engineering University of Tennessee Space Institute (1981)
B.S.E., Mechanical Engineering University of Alabama in Huntsville (1978)

Research Interests

Defense science and technology assessments/planning, fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, turbulent flow, combustion science, advanced propulsion systems.

Graduate Faculties

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Honors and Awards

  • ASU Foundation Professor, Arizona State University, 2010.
  • Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., 2008-1010.
  • U.S. Air Force Exceptional Service Award, 2010.
  • Fellow – American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, 2005.
  • Fellow – American Physical Society, 1998.
  • U.S. Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award, 2008.
  • George J. Huebner Research Excellence Award, The University of Michigan, 2005.
  • Combined Research & Teaching Award, Department of Aerospace Engineering, The
  • University of Michigan, 1999.
  • 1938E Distinguished Achievement Award – The University of Michigan, 1991.
  • Alumni of Achievement Award – University of Alabama in Huntsville, 2009.
  • Aerospace Department Teaching Award – The University of Michigan, 1992.
  • William F. Ballhaus Aeronautics Prize – California Institute of Technology, 1985.
  • Donald Wills Douglas Prize Fellowship – California Institute of Technology, 1981-82 and 1982-83.
  • Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship – California
  • Institute of Technology, 1983.