Fred Haan

Fred Haan


  *PhD in Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 2000

 *MS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 1999

  *BSE, Calvin College, 1992

Professional Experience

  • University of Notre Dame, Visiting Assistant Professor (2000-2001)
  • Iowa State University, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering (2001-2008)
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering (2008-2016)
  • Beihang University (Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics), China, Visiting Scholar (2014-2015)
  • Calvin University, Professor of Engineering (2016-present)


I grew up in Lansing, Illinois and studied mechanical engineering at Calvin. I believe I was made to combine engineering and teaching. I love aerodynamics, wind, rockets, aircraft, buildings, and machines. I also love measuring all of the above and figuring out the best ways to teach all of the above. In addition, I love theology, philosophy, history and literature and how studying these topics can prevent you from being a naïve engineer that underestimates the complexity of problems and thinks all the world’s problems could be solved if we just applied the right technology. Throughout my career, I have taught at various places, but I always wanted to get back to Calvin some day. Calvin University is the perfect place to combine engineering and teaching in this way. My colleagues and I are all pursuing the goal of glorifying God and training Christ’s agents of renewal for our broken world.

When I’m not working, I’m probably reading a book, watching a Chicago Cubs game, hiking through the woods, practicing my Chinese, or wondering how long I have to wait for another episode of a Star Wars show to drop. When I’m driving, I’m probably driving my 1993 Toyota Previa. It has 244,000 miles on it, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to drive it into the New Jerusalem.

Courses Taught at Calvin

ENGR-101 Introduction to Engineering Design

ENGR-204 Circuit Analysis and Electronics

ENGR-305 Mechanics of Materials

ENGR-314 Vibration Analysis

ENGR-324 Materials and Processes in Manufacturing

ENGR-334 Dynamics of Machinery

ENGR-W83 Sustainable Energy Systems

Over my career, I have taught courses in measurement and instrumentation, vibration analysis, propulsion systems, aerodynamics, fluid mechanics, manufacturing, structural analysis, engineering design, stochastic processes, and aeroelasticity.


Recent Activities

  • I continue to study how tornadoes interact with structures and vehicles. Here are a few recent publications:
    • L. Haan, Jr., P.P. Sarkar, G.A. Kopp, D. Stedman, “Critical wind speeds for tornado-induced vehicle motion.” Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, v. 168 (2017)
    • L. Haan, Jr., “An Examination of Static Pressure and Duration Effects on Tornado-Induced Peak Pressures on a Low-Rise Building.” Frontiers in Built Environment, April (2017)
    • B. Roueche, D. O. Prevatt, and F. L. Haan, Jr., entitled “Tornado-Induced and Straight-Line Wind Loads on a Low-Rise Building with Consideration of Internal Pressure.” Frontiers in Built Environment, Feb (2020)
  • I work as a wind engineering specialist on the DesignSafe cyberinfrastructure portion of NSF’s Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI).
  • I served on the committee that revised ASCE 49 Wind Tunnel Testing for Buildings and other Structures (publication expected in 2021).
  • I have served on the ASCE Wind Speed Estimation in Tornadoes committee since 2015. We are writing a standard to update the EF rating scale for tornadoes. I serve as Chair of the Forensics Subcommittee and am developing a damage indicator for vehicles.


Research and scholarship

My mechanical engineering background has allowed me to do a wide range of interdisciplinary work. My primary professional and research work is in wind engineering, the study of wind interactions with ground-based structures. Wind engineering combines aerodynamics, structural dynamics, atmospheric science, and statistics to solve wind-induced problems with buildings and other structures. My specialty is experimental aerodynamics, and I’ve conducted projects on a range of topics related to tornado-induced wind loading on buildings and vehicles, extreme wind simulation, flow-induced vibration, and long-span bridge aerodynamics.

Professional associations

ASCE – American Society of Civil Engineers

AAWE – American Association for Wind Engineering

In the news

A minivan opens door to community

Professor Fred Haan uses stories to build relationships with his engineering students. When his beloved minivan—the star of many of those stories—broke down, his students stepped up.

Read more


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