2024 Investiture Information

Daniel R. Lynch

MacLean Professor of Engineering, Emeritus

Adjunct Scientist (retired), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)

This image appeared in "Guardian of Natural Resources" in the Winter 2009 issue of Dartmouth Engineer magazine. (Photo by John Sherman.)


Dan Lynch is MacLean Professor of Engineering, Emeritus at Dartmouth; and through 2016, Adjunct Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Dr. Lynch earned a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1972. He subsequently worked as a power engineer with Stone & Webster Engineering Corp., and as quality assurance engineer with C.R. Bard Inc. in the manufacture of medical devices. In 1975 he returned to Princeton University to pursue study in water resources. While at Princeton he worked with the US Geological Survey as a research hydrologist and as research assistant at the World Bank's Office of Science and Technology. Upon completion of his PhD in estuarine circulation in 1978, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth.

At Dartmouth, Lynch pursues research at the intersection of advanced computation and large-scale environmental simulation. A major focus has been on continental shelf circulation and ecosystem dynamics, with a major application in the Gulf of Maine. Through the 1990's he served on the Executive Committee of the US GLOBEC Northwest Atlantic Program, organized jointly under NOAA and NSF. He has published extensively on finite element methods in coastal oceanography and is co-editor of the recent AGU volume Quantitative Skill Assessment for Coastal Ocean Models, and a related volume Skill Assessment for Coupled Physical-Biological Models of Marine Systems. He co-founded the Gordon Research Conference in Coastal Ocean Modeling in 1999. Sabbatical and other visiting arrangements in this period include the Institute de Mechanique de Grenoble, the Institute of Ocean Sciences (Sydney, BC), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the University of Bergen. In 1998 he was appointed Adjunct Scientist in WHOI's Dept. of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering. The text Particles in the Coastal Ocean was completed with Cambridge University Press in 2014.

Lynch is a 1984 NSF Presidential Young Investigator, and the recipient of the 1990 B.H. Ketchum Award for interdisciplinary estuarine studies from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He served as Executive Director of the Regional Association for Research on the Gulf of Maine from 1993 to 1996; is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers; and a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Society for Engineering Education. He developed the Numerical Methods Laboratory at Dartmouth's Thayer School, around the theme of interdisciplinary computational engineering; and authored the graduate text Numerical Solution of Partial Differential Equations for Environmental Scientists and Engineers (Springer 2004). Lynch served as Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Dean of Engineering at Dartmouth from 1985-1989, and was appointed MacLean Professor in 1993.

Recent investigations focus on sustainability, natural resources, and professional education. Included are visiting or sabbatical appointments at The University of Notre Dame (Melchor Visiting Chair, Civil Engineering) Fall 2001; The Catholic University of America, School of Philosophy, 2003-04; and The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton Universty (STEP program), 2007-08. He organized and edited the volume Professions and the Common Good (ACCU - Current Issues in Catholic Higher Education, 2006) His work in professional education culminated recently in the 2008 Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century (ASCE). His text Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Scientists and Engineers (Cambridge University Press, 2009) is based on current teaching at Dartmouth. Current projects include the Declaration of Stewardship Responsibilities.

Research Interests

Coastal ocean simulation; numerical analysis; sustainability; natural resources; professional responsibility


  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, MIT 1972
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, MIT 1972
  • MS, Civil Engineering, Princeton University 1976
  • PhD, Civil Engineering, Princeton University 1978


  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • BH Ketchum Award for Interdisciplinary Estuarine Studies, WHOI
  • Senior Visiting Scientist, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University (2007)
  • Visiting Scholar, School of Philosophy, Catholic University of America (2003)
  • Melchor Visiting Chair, School of Engineering, Univ. of Notre Dame (2001)

Selected Publications

  • "Human Right to Water: An interdisciplinary focus and contributions on the central role of public policies in water and sanitation management," Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City, February 23-24, 2017.
  • "Claims on the Foundation: Engineering and its Liberal Base," D. Lynch, J. Russell, J. Mason, J. Evans, J. Professional Issues in Engineering and Practice, 2009.
  • "Model simulations of the Bay of Fundy gyre: Hindcasts for 2005-2007 reveal interannual variability in retentiveness." Alfredo L. Aretxabaleta, Dennis J. McGillicuddy Jr, Keston W. Smith, James P. Manning, Daniel R. Lynch. J. Geophys Resch 114, C09005 2009.
  • "Skill Assessment for Coupled Biological/Physical Models of Marine Systems," Daniel R. Lynch, Dennis J. McGillicuddy, Francisco E. Werner, eds. J. Marine Systems, 76(1-2) (Special Issue) 1-2. 2009.
  • "Beyond the Cognitive: The Affective Domain, Values, and the Achievement of the Vision,"
    D. Lynch, J. Russell, J. Evans, K. Sutterer, J. Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 2007.
  • "Experiential Learning in Engineering Practice," D. Lynch, J. Russell, J. Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 2007.
  • "Toward a Social Theory of Professions," D.R. Lynch, Current Issues in Catholic Higher Education, 25(1), Winter 2006.
  • "Professions and the Common Good." Special Issue, Current Issues in Catholic Higher Education, 25(1), Winter 2006. Editors: D. Lynch and M. James
  • "Technology and Catholic Social Thought." In, The Call to Justice: The Legacy of Gaudium et Spes, 40 Years Later, M. Naughton et al, eds. Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice, Vatican City, March 16-18, 2005.
  • "Mechanisms regulating the large-scale seasonal fluctuations in Alexamdrium fundyense in the Gulf of Maine: Results from a physical-biological model," D.J. McGillicuddy, D.M. Anderson, D.R. Lynch, D.W. Townsend, Deep-Sea Research II (52):2968-2714, 2005.
  • "Modeling blooms of Alexandrium fundyense in the Gulf of Maine," D.J. McGillicuddy, D.M. Anderson, C.A. Stock, D.R. Lynch, D.W. Townsend UNESCO Monographs on Oceanographic Methodology (HABWATCH), Marcel Babin and Colin Roesler, eds. 2005.
  • "Modeling Turbulent Dispersion on the North Flank of Georges Bank using Lagrangian Particle Methods," J. Proehl, D.Lynch, D. McGillicuddy, J. Ledwell, Continental Shelf Research 25, 2005.

In the News

Dartmouth Life
Right, Wrong, and the Dartmouth Education
Mar 07, 2011