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Contact Information

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Phone: (805) 689-1311

Office Location: Risk Studies Center

The Center, 93 Castilian Drive

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Dr. Theo Theofanous,
857 Sea Ranch Drive,
Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Physical Location:
Center for Risk Studies & Safety,
93 Castilian Drive,
Goleta, CA 93117

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Education & Honors

BS: ChE, National Technical University of Athens, Greece (1965)

PhD: ChE, University of Minnesota (1969)

Honors: Fellow, American Nuclear Society, (1988)
E.O. Lawrence Medal, US DOE (1997)
Member, National Academy of Engineering (1998)
Foreign Member, Russian Academy of Science, Ufa Branch (1998)
Honorary Doctorate, Lappeenrantaa University, Finland (1999)
Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Minnesota (2004)


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.

  • compressible multi-hydrodynamics
  • interfacial instabilities
  • nuclear power reactor safety


T.G. Theofanous, V.V. Mitkin, C.L. Ng, "The physics of aerobreakup III: viscoelastic liquids" . Physics of Fluids. 25, 032101 (2013)

A.V. Lukyanov, M.M. Sushchikh, M.J. Baines, and T.G. Theofanous . "Superfast, nonlinear diffusion: Capillary transport in particulate porous media". Physical Review Letters. 109, 214501 (2012)

C.H. Chang , X. Deng, TG Theofanous. "Direct numerical simulation of interfacial instabilities: a conservative, consistent, all-speed sharp-interface method". Journal Computational Physics. 242, 946-990 (2013)

D. Lhuillier, C.H. Chang and T.G. Theofanous. "On the quest for a hyperbolic effective-field model of disperse flows". J. Fluid Mech. (2013), vol. 731, pp. 184-194

T.G. Theofanous, V.V. Mitkin, C.L. Ng, C.H. Chang, X. Deng, S. Sushchikh, The Physics of Aerobreakup Part II: Viscous Liquids, Physics of Fluids, Vol. 24, Issue 2, 022104, (2012)

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

D. Kivotides, S.L. Wilkin, T.G. Theofanous, "Stochastic Entangled Chain Dynamics of Dense Polymer Solutions", Journal of Chemical Physics, 133: 144902, 2010

D. Lhuillier, T.G. Theofanous, "Multiphase Flows: Compressible Multi-Hydrodynamics Part I: Effective Field Formulation of Multiphase Flows", M.S. Liou, T.G. 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

D. Kivotides, S.L. Wilkin, T.G. Theofanous, "Entangled Chain Dynamics of Polymer Knots in Extensional Flow", Physical Review E 80, pp. 041808 -1 to -16, 2009

T.G. Theofanous, G.J. Li, "On the Physics of Aerobreakup", Physics of Fluids, 20, 1, 2008

T.G. Theofanous, G.J. Li, TN Dinh, CH Chang, "Aerobreakup in Disturbed Subsonic and Supersonic Flow Fields", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 593, pp. 131-170, 2008

R.R. Nourgaliev, M.S. Liou, T.G. Theofanous, "Numerical Prediction of Interfacial Instabilities. Part I:Sharp Interface Method (SIM)", Journal of Computational Physics, 227, pp. 3940-3970, 2008

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

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

T.G. 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)