Gary Leal

lgl20 [at] engineering [dot] ucsb [dot] edu
(805) 893-8510
Department of Chemical Engineering
Engineering II Bldg., Office 3xxx
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080


Professor Leal’s research is broadly in the areas of fluid mechanics and materials, the latter focused specifically on complex fluids. These problem areas present many multiscale challenges as length scales ranging from the macroscopic continuum level down to the molecular scale must often be achieved in a single computation. There are two types of problem. In one, a single level of physical description applies everywhere in the fluid domain, but there are orders of magnitude differences between the required level of numerical resolution in different parts of the domain. In the second, the range of scale is so great that one must use a molecular level description in some part of the domain, ranging to continuum descriptions elsewhere. In the first class of problems, we are interested in methods for development of dynamic and localized levels of numerical discretization in different parts of the flow domain. For the second class of problems, we are developing novel, new methods to couple MD and continuum calculations, via intermediate mesoscale particle-based simulations with fluctuations (SDPD), for both single component and multicomponent fluid systems. The existing methods, which attempt to directly couple MD and continuum calculations, are generally ineffective.

Professor Leal obtained his PhD in chemical engineering from Satnford University, and has also spent a postdoc and several other periods in the Dept. of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University in the UK. He was a faculty member for 19 years at Caltech before joining UCSB in 1989. He has held the Chevron Chair at Caltech and the Schlinger Chair at UCSB. He is a member of the NAE and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was awarded the Fluid Dynamics Prize from the APS, the Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology and the Colburn and Walker Awards from the AIChE.