Brief profile

Theo Theofanous

Professor of Chemical and Mechanical Engineering

Director, Center for Risk Studies and Safety


phone: (805)-893-4900

fax: (805)-893-4927


B.S.: ChE, National Technical University of Athens, Greece (1965)

Ph.D. : ChE, University of Minnesota (1969)


Honors and Awards

1. Fellow, American Nuclear Society, (1988)

2. E.O. Lawrence Medal, US DOE (1997)

3. Member, National Academy of Engineering (1998)

4. Foreign Member, Russian Academy of Science, Ufa Branch (1998)

5. Honorary Doctorate, Lappeenrantaa University, Finland (1999)

6. Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Minnesota (2004)


Research Interests

Under the major headings of "Risk Assessment and Management in Complex Technological and Environmental Systems" and "Multiphase Transport Phenomena”, our interests and work range from basic aspects, such as methodological issues in treating uncertainty in risk assessment, and basic multiphase flow physics, such as interfacial instabilities, to integrative and synthetic efforts towards understanding and optimizing real system behavior, assessing risks, and improving safety. Current key words: interfacial instabilities in high speed flows, aero-breakup, explosive dissemination of liquids, homeland security, defense against chem-bio weapons, burnout physics, nuclear reactor safety.


Selected Publications

TG Theofanous, VV Mitkin, CL Ng, CH Chang, X Deng, S Sushchikh, The Physics of Aerobreakup Part II: Viscous Liquids, Physics of Fluids 2012 (in press)

T.G. Theofanous, "Aerobreakup of Newtonian and Viscoelastic Liquids", Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 43, 661-690, 2011

D Kivotides,  SL Wilkin, TG Theofanous, "Stochastic entangled chain dynamics of dense polymer solutions", Journal of Chemical Physics, 133: 144902, 2010

D Lhuillier, TG Theofanous, "Multiphase Flows: Compressible Multi-Hydrodynamics Part I: Effective Field Formulation of Multiphase Flows", MS Liou, TG Theofanous, "Part II: Computation with Effective-Field Models of Multiphase Flows", Handbook of Nuclear Engineering, Dan Gabriel Cacuci (ed.), Chapter 16 pp. 1813-1912, Springer Science, 2010

CH Chang, X Deng, TG Theofanous, “Numerical Prediction of Interfacial Instabilities: The Sharp Interface Method for Compressible Flows”, The 20th AIAA Computational Fluid Dynamics Conference, June 27-30, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii.

D Kivotides, SL Wilkin, TG Theofanous, "Entangled chain dynamics of polymer knots in extensional flow", Physical Review E 80, pp. 041808 -1 to -16, 2009

TG Theofanous, GJ Li, “On the Physics of Aerobreakup” , Physics of Fluids , 20 ,1, 2008

TG Theofanous, GJ Li, TN Dinh, CH Chang, “Aerobreakup in disturbed subsonic and supersonic flow fields, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 593 , pp.131-170, 2008

RR Nourgaliev, MS Liou, TG Theofanous, “Numerical prediction of Interfacial Instabilities. Part I:Sharp Interface Method (SIM)” , Journal of Computational Physics,227, pp.3940-3970, 2008

RR Nourgaliev, TG Theofanous, High-Fidelity Interface Tracking in Compressible Flows: Unlimited Anchored Adaptive Level Set, Journal of Computational Physics,224 (2), pp.836-866, 2007.

TG Theofanous, "A Physicochemical Mechanism for the Ignition of the Seveso Accident," Nature 291 (5817) 640-642 (1981).

TG Theofanous, "Risk Assessment and Management," Ch. 19 in Vol. 1 of "Comprehensive Structural Integrity" a Handbook. Eds. I. Milne, R.O. Ritchie, B. Karihaloo, Elsevier (2003).


Chemical Engineering ChE 138/212

Chemical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering ChE/ME 136/218