Since graduating from Ohio Northern University, Donald Campbell, BSME ’59, Hon. D. ’98, has led an accomplished career within the aerospace industry. It was a career that began at just the right time.
After Northern, Campbell earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio State University before beginning a government career as a test engineer for gas turbine engines and engine components in the Air Force Aero Propulsion Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Campbell then worked as a researcher, project engineer and a project manager for advanced air-breathing propulsion systems. In 1990, he was named director of the Aero Propulsion and Power Laboratory at Wright-Patterson, where he was responsible for the Air Force’s propulsion and power research and development activities in the areas of gas turbine engines, ramjet engines, aerospace power systems, and fuels and lubricants.
In 1992, Campbell became director of science and technology within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he monitored and directed the Air Force’s science and technology programs and other selected research, development, technology and engineering programs.
Campbell’s service to NASA began in January 1994 as director of the NASA Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland, Ohio. Over the next 10 years, Campbell guided the Center through activities related to NASA Glenn’s core research and development efforts in aeronautical propulsion, space propulsion, space power, space communications and microgravity sciences in combustion and fluid physics.
Campbell was appointed a special assistant to the NASA deputy administrator in October 2003 and retired from NASA in April 2004. Campbell currently serves as an aeronautical/aerospace consultant with a number of industrial and government organizations.
Campbell continues to give back to ONU and the College of Engineering through his service on ONU’s Board of Trustees and the college’s Advisory Board. His breadth of experience provides outstanding insights into ways in which the institution can continue to grow in order to best serve its current students as well as future NASA engineers.