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About Darrell Velegol


Darrell Velegol, Professor

Department of Chemical Engineering

Penn State University

University Park PA  16802



Phone: 814-865-8739

Curriculum Vita



biographical info


Darrell Velegol attended West Virginia University for his BS in Chemical Engineering, and he earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 1997 working with Professors John L. Anderson and Stephen Garoff.  In 1998 Velegol won the Victor K. LaMer Award of the American Chemical Society for the best PhD in the field of Colloid & Surface Science.  He continued with a post-doc in the Center for Light Microscope Imaging and Biotechnology at Carnegie Mellon, working under Professor Fred Lanni of the Biology Department.  In June 1999 Velegol joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Penn State, where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005.  Velegol won an NSF CAREER Award in 2000, and has continued to be funded by NSF, DOE, EPA, PRF, the Air Force, and other agencies for his work with colloidal forces, colloidal assembly, electrokinetic flows, and colloidal motors.  His research investigates the fabrication of colloidal assemblies and devices, with a specialty in understanding interparticle forces and transport processes.  His research group uses a wide range of experimental and modeling approaches.  In 2009 Velegol was promoted to Full Professor at Penn State.  For his work in experimental and theoretical problems in the dynamics of complex colloidal particles, Velegol was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011, and appointed as a Distinguished Professor at Penn State in 2012.  He is a member of ACS, AIChE, AAAS, and ASEE. 


More recently, he has engaged in studying the “physics of community”, pursuing questions in learning, creativity, motivation, trust and deceit, courage, and decision making, using results from physics, chemistry, biology, and chemical engineering.  In 2011 he published a book, Wild Scholars, available through, and he seeks to impact education from grade school to college.  In 2013, he published a book CENTER, which details six practices needed to go from your passions and purposes, to making a change in the world.  In Fall 2013, he taught a MOOC called “Creativity, Innovation, and Change”, which enrolled over 120,000 students from over 190 nations.