University of California, Santa Barbara

Faculty Profile

Gary Leal

Katharine and Warren Schlinger Professor

Chemical Engineering

Gary Leal


Department of Chemical Engineering
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080

tel: (805) 893-8510
fax: (805)893-5458

Personal web site

Research Description

Our research is currently focused on the fluid dynamics and rheology of complex fluids; and the role of flow and material additives in determining microstuctural configuration and material properties; especially multiphase polymeric materials; nanoparticle and copolymer effects; liquid crystalline polymers, and the role of branching in polymer rheology

Research Groups


I taught from 1970-1989 in the chemical engineering department at Caltech. I have been at UCSB since 1989. I have courtesy appointments in both Materials and ME.


  • Distinguished Scholar Lecturer, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Arizona State Univ., 2006
  • Pirkey Lectureship in Chemical Engineering, Univ. of Texas, 2006
  • David M. Mason Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 2004
  • Fluid Dynamics Prize, American Physical Society, 2004
  • NCE Cullimore Memorial Lecturer, NJIT 2001, 2002, 2002
  • Bingham Medal, The Society of Rheology,, 2001
  • Highly Cited Researchers, Original Member, 100 Most Highly Cited Researchers in Engineering, ISI Thompson Scientific, 2001
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, 2000
  • George K. Batchelor Lecturer in Fluid Mechanics, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, U.K., 2000
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for MSL-1 Project Team to L.G. Leal, 2000
  • Rutgers Collaboratus X Lecturer, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University, 2000
  • Julian C. Smith Lecturer, School of Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, 1996
  • Rothschild Visiting Professor, Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematics, University of Cambridge, U.K., 1996
  • Robert Pigford Lecturer, University of Delaware, 1994
  • William H. Walker Award for Excellence in Contributions to Chemical Engineering Literature, AIChE, 1994
  • Reilly Memorial Lectureship in Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 1992
  • Stanley Katz Memorial Lectureship, City College of the City University of New York, 1991
  • Stanley Corrsin Lectureship in Fluid Mechanics, The Johns Hopkins University, 1990
  • National Academy of Engineering, 1987
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 1984
  • Allan Colburn Memorial Lectureship, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, 1978
  • Allan P. Colburn Award, AIChE, 1978
  • John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, 1976
  • • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Grant, 1975

Selected Publications

  • An experimental investigation of the effects of copolymer surfactants on flow-induced coalescence of drops, Physics of Fluids, 19, 2007, In Press, Y. Yoon, A Hsu and L.G. Leal
  • Linear Stability of a Draining Film Squeezed Between Two Approaching Droplets, J. Colloid and Interface Science, 2007, In Prress, F. Baldessari, G.M. Homsy and L.G. Leal
  • “Ericksen number and Deborah number cascade predictions of a model for liquid crystalline polymers for simple shear flow, Physics of Fluids, 19, 2007, In press, D. H. Klein, C. J. Garcia-Cervera, H. D. Ceniceros, and L. G. Leal
  • Linear rheology of architecturally complex macromolecules: Comb polymers with linear backbones, Macromolecules, 38, 2005, 7852-7862, M. Kapnistos, D. Vlassopoulos, J. Roovers, and L. G. Leal,
  • Viscosity ratio effects on the coalescence of two equal-sized drops in a two-dimensional linear flow, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 525, 2005, 355-379, Y. Yoon, M. Borrell and L.G. Leal
  • Flow Induced Coalescence of Drops in a Viscous Fluid (Fluid Dynamics Prize Lecture), Physics of Fluids, 16, 2004, 1833-1851, L.G. Leal
  • Extensional rheometry of entangled solutions, Macromolecules, 35, 2002, 10130-10148, P. K. Bhattacharjee, J. Oberhauser, G. H. Mckinley, L. G. Leal and T. Sridhar
  • A Theory for Flowing Nematic Polymers with Orientational Distortion, Journal of Rheology, 44, 2000, 5, J. J. Feng, G. Sgalari and L. G. Leal
  • Computational Studies of Nonlinear Elastic Dumbbell Models of Boger Fluids in a Cross-Slot Flow, J. non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics, 88, 1999, 149-172, Johan Remmelgas, Pushpendra Singh and L. G. Leal
  • Surfactant and Viscoelastic Effects on Drop Deformation in 2-D Extensional Flow, AIChE Journal, 45, 1999, 929-937, Derek C. Tretheway and L. G Leal

contact mechanical engineering