Department of Physics & Engineering - Faculty Details

Dr. Don Rabern

Dr. Don Rabern
Visiting Professor of Physics & Engineering


  • Engineering mechanics 
  • Impact dynamics 


  • Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona, 1988
  • M.S., Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona, 1983
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Utah, 1979


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Dr. Don Rabern is available to comment on topics related to areas of interest or expertise. If you need further assistance, contact Public Affairs at 970-247-6073 or by email.

Don Rabern is a professor in the Department of Physics & Engineering at Fort Lewis College. He joined the faculty in 2012. He is currently responsible for program improvement and accreditation activities for the department, and he teaches a range of courses that include CAD, Mechanics of Materials, Design, and FEM. He acts as the college interface for the under-construction Geosciences, Physics & Engineering Hall.

Prior to joining the faculty at Fort Lewis College, Rabern worked in rocket motor design for Thiokol Corporation, as a group leader for the engineering analysis group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as the department head of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Montana State University, and as the dean of Engineering for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He also served as an adjunct professor for the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos. 

Rabern is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Arizona, Montana, and New Mexico. He earned the Outstanding Teacher Award at Montana State University and the Service Excellence Award at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University five times. 

Selected Publications and Presentations 

“Interior Ballistic and Hydrodynamic Modeling for Prediction of Powder Gun Momentum and Confinement System Pressure Loads,” co-presented with K. Lam and P. Rigg, JOWOG 32 HDI Conference on Confinement and Containment Vessels, Los Alamos, NM, 2013.