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 L260
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

  • Ottino, Julio M.; Lueptow, Richard M.; Umbanhowar, Paul B.; Fan, Yi; Schlick, Conor P., “Modeling segregation of bidisperse granular materials using physical control parameters in the quasi-2D bounded heap”, AIChE Journal, (2015)
  • Ottino, Julio M.; Lueptow, Richard M.; Umbanhowar, Paul B.; Fan, Yi; Schlick, Conor P., “Granular segregation in circular tumblers: Theoretical model and scaling laws”, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, (2015)
  • Schlick, Conor P.; Umbanhowar, Paul B; Ottino, Julio M.; Lueptow, Richard M., “Competitive autocatalytic reactions in chaotic flows with diffusion: Prediction using finite-time Lyapunov exponents”, Chaos, (2014)
  • Fan, Yi; Schlick, Conor P.; Umbanhowar, Paul B.; Ottino, Julio M.; Lueptow, Richard M., “Modelling size segregation of granular materials: the roles of segregation, advection and diffusion”, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, (2014)
  • Christov, Ivan C; Lueptow, Richard M.; Ottino, Julio M.; Sturman, Rob, “A Study in Three-Dimensional Chaotic Dynamics: Granular Flow and Transport in a Bi-Axial Spherical Tumbler”, SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, (2014)
  • Umbanhowar, Paul B.; Ottino, Julio M.; Lueptow, Richard M., “Modeling granular materials: A test bed for framing and analysis”, AIChE Journal, (2013)
  • Schlick, Conor P.; Christov, Ivan C.; Umbanhowar, Paul B.; Ottino, Julio M.; Lueptow, Richard M., “A mapping method for distributive mixing with diffusion: Interplay between chaos and diffusion in time-periodic sine flow”, Physics of Fluids, (2013)
  • Christov, Ivan C.; Ottino, Julio M.; Lueptow, Richard M.; Krotter, Marissa K., “Cutting and shuffling a line segment: Mixing by interval exchange transformations”, International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, (2012)