Celebrating Achievement: Justin Cooke

Justin Cooke (left) and George Park (right)

Justin Cooke, who recently completed his dissertation defense this month, reflects on his unique journey through his PhD program at Penn, describing it as unlike anything he had anticipated. From navigating the challenges of presenting his qualifying exam remotely during a pandemic to experiencing a 4.8 magnitude earthquake during his defense, Cooke’s path was marked by unpredictability. Yet amidst these significant events, he found fulfillment in the day-to-day activities of research, coursework, camaraderie with friends and lab mates, and copious amounts of caffeine.

Recalling standout moments from his doctoral career, Cooke fondly remembers his inaugural conference presentation at APS DFD in 2021. Standing before a room of field experts for the first time, he initially grappled with nerves but ultimately found it gratifying to witness the audience’s keen interest in his research.

Cooke emphasizes the vital role played by friends, mentors, and supporters in sustaining him through the challenges of his PhD journey. He underscores that while many perceive the PhD experience as primarily a test of intellectual and research prowess, it equally tests one’s resilience and perseverance.

Entitled “Computational Study on Rough Wall-Bounded Flows and their Effects at Low and Very-High Reynolds Numbers,” Cooke’s defense was advised by George Park, Assistant Professor in MEAM. The abstract of his defense can be accessed HERE.