Faculty Directory
Julio M. Ottino

Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering

Distinguished Robert R. McCormick Institute Professor



2145 Sheridan Road
Tech L262
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-5220Email Julio Ottino


Ottino Research Group


Chemical and Biological Engineering


Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Graduate Program

Research Interests

Complex systems, dynamics of granular matter, mixing and segregation

Current topics of interest include investigations of a broad class of problems where there is a competition between order and disorder, such as in mixing and segregation of granular matter or fluid mixing and, more generally, problems in the realm of complex systems involving tools such as agent-based models and network theory.

The interest in basic understanding of mixing lies in the ubiquity of mixing processes in technology and nature; examples are found in chemical, mechanical, and aeronautical engineering, but also in geophysics, physiology, oceanography, polymer engineering, and environmental sciences.

The work in granular dynamics involves a blend of theory, computations, and experimental work that reaches into applications. While important to a wide range of industries, our understanding of solid mixing and segregation is primitive. Some key questions we are currently addressing are: What features of mixing can be predicted computationally? What causes demixing and how it interplays with mixing? How can mixing be optimized?

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Significant Recognition

  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2003
  • Ernest W. Thiele Award (AIChE, Chicago section), 2002
  • William H. Walker Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2001
  • John S. Guggenheim Fellowship, 2001
  • Paul J. Flory Lecturer, Stanford University, 2001
  • Danckwerts Memorial Lecture, London, England, 1999
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering, 1997
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1996
  • Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer, 1996-1999
  • Alpha Chi Sigma Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1994
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, Division of Fluid Dynamics, 1993
  • Finalist Scientific Prize, Art for Science, LV-MH, Paris, France, 1989
  • Presidential Young Investigator Award (NSF), 1984

Selected Publications

  • Alexander M. Fry, Paul Umbanhowar, Julio M Ottino, Richard M Lueptow, “Diffusion, mixing, and segregation in confined granular flows”, AICHE Journal, (2019)
  • Zhekai Deng, Paul Umbanhowar, Julio M Ottino, Richard M Lueptow, “Modeling segregation of polydisperse granular materials in developing and transient free-surface flows”, AICHE Journal, (2019)
  • Paul Umbanhowar, Richard M Lueptow, Julio M Ottino, “Modeling segregation in granular flows”, Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, (2019)
  • Thomas F. Lynn, Lachlan D. Smith, Julio M Ottino, Paul Umbanhowar, Richard M Lueptow, “Cutting and shuffling a hemisphere”, Physical Review E, (2019)
  • Mengqi Yu, Paul Umbanhowar, Julio M Ottino, Richard M Lueptow, “Pattern formation in a fully three-dimensional segregating granular flow”, Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, (2019)
  • Lachlan D. Smith, Paul Umbanhowar, Richard M Lueptow, Julio M Ottino, “The geometry of cutting and shuffling”, Physics Reports, (2019)
  • Zafir Zaman, Mengqi Yu, Paul P. Park, Julio M Ottino, Richard M Lueptow, Paul Umbanhowar, “Persistent structures in a three-dimensional dynamical system with flowing and non-flowing regions”, Nature Communications, (2018)
  • Lachlan D. Smith, Guy Metcalfe, Julio M Ottino, “Chaos and the Flow Capture Problem”, Physical Review Applied, (2018)