Kenneth T. Christensen

  • Carol and Ed Kaplan Dean of Armour College of Engineering
  • Professor, Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering
  • Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering

Kenneth T. Christensen joined Illinois Institute of Technology in November 2020 as the Carol and Ed Kaplan Dean of Armour College of Engineering. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering. Christensen came to Illinois Tech from the University of Notre Dame, where he was the Viola D. Hank Professor and chair of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences. He served as the assistant dean for faculty development and a provost fellow while at Notre Dame. Christensen has also been active in college- and university-level initiatives focused on cultivating industry partnerships to enhance educational and research opportunities and spur regional economic development. Prior to Notre Dame, Christensen spent more than 15 years as a doctoral student and then as a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Caltech, and a doctorate in theoretical and applied mechanics from U of I. Christensen has authored 200 archival journal articles, book chapters, and peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and his current research focuses on turbulence interactions with complex topography encountered in a range of engineering systems, flow interactions and coupling with complex bedforms that form and evolve in both aeolean and subaqueous natural environments, and multi-phase flow within heterogeneous porous structures with application to carbon dioxide sequestration in the geosphere. Christensen served as Associate Director of the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) Satellite Center (2011-2014) while on the University of Illinois faculty, and also served as a WPI Principal Investigator in I2CNER until 2020. He is a Fellow of ASME (2012), APS (2103) and AAAS (2017), and an Associate Fellow of AIAA (2010).

Education

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001

M.S., California Institute of Technology, 1996

B.S., University of New Mexico, 1995

Research Interests

Experimental fluid mechanics—with an emphasis on flows central to a range of energy, environmental, and geophysical applications

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Fellow, American Physical Society
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Member, American Geophysical Union
  • Member, American Society for Engineering Education

Awards

  • Ralph Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities (2003)
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award (2006)
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2007)
  • François Frenkiel Award for Fluid Mechanics from American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics (2011)
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research from Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2012)
  • NAE EU–US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (EU–US FOE) Invited Participant (2013)
  • Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award from Pi Tau Sigma and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2016)

Publications

2010 - Present (A complete list of publications is available through Google Scholar)

Li, Y., G. Blois, F. Kazemifar and K. T. Christensen, “Pore-Scale Dynamics of Liquid CO2-Water Displacement in 2D Porous Micromodels Under Strong Drainage and Weak Imbibition Conditions: High-Speed Micro-PIV Measurements,” Frontiers in Water, DOI: 10.3389/frwa.2021.710370, 2021.

Bristow, N. R., G. Blois, J. Best and K. T. Christensen, “Unsteady Dynamics of Turbulent Flow in the Wakes of Barchan Dunes Modulated by Overlying Boundary Layer Structure,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics 920, A51 (39 pp), 2021.

Li, Y., G. Blois, F. Kazemifar and K. T. Christensen, “A Particle-Based Image Segmentation Method for Phase Separation and Interface Detection in PIV Images of Immiscible Multiphase Flow,” Measurement Science and Technology 32, 095208 (15pp), 2021.

Gundersen, D., G. Blois, and K. T. Christensen, “PIV Measurements of Intracrater Flow Dynamics Utilizing a Mound-bearing Impact Crater Model in a Refractive Index Matched Environment,” Fluids (Special Issue on Boundary Layer Processes in Geophysical/Environmental Flows) 6(6), 216 (34 pp), 2021.

Kazemifar, F., G. Blois, M. Aybar, P. Perez-Calleja, R. Nerenberg, S. Sinha, R. J. Hardy, J. L. Best, G. H. Sambrook Smith and K. T. Christensen, “The Effect of Biofilms on Turbulent Flow Over Permeable Beds,” Water Resources Research 57, e2019WR026032 (20 pp), 2021.

Bristow, N. R., G. Blois, J. Best and K. T. Christensen, “Secondary Flows and Vortex Structure Associated with Isolated and Interacting Barchan Dunes,” Journal of Geophysical Research–Earth Surface 125, e2019JF005257 (30 pp), 2020 (Cover article).

Kim, T., G. Blois, J. Best and K. T. Christensen, “Experimental Evidence of Amplitude Modulation in Permeable-Wall Turbulence,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics 887, A3 (37 pp), 2020.

Ilin, E., Y. Li, E. V. Colla, K. T. Christensen, M. Sahimi, M. Marchevsky, S. M. Frailey and A. Bezryadin, “Nanoscale Detection of Metastable States in Porous and Granular Media,” Journal of Applied Physics 127, 024901 (11 pp), 2020.

Wu, S., K. T. Christensen, and C. Pantano, “A DNS Study of Wall Shear Stress in Turbulent Channel Flow with Hemispherical Roughness,“ Journal of Fluid Mechanics 885, A-16 (31 pp), 2020.

Blois, G., N. R. Bristow, T. Kim, J. L. Best and K. T. Christensen, “A Novel Flume Environment Enables PIV Measurements of Turbulent Flow Around and Within Complex Topographies,” Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 146(5), 04020033 (18 pp), 2020.

Kim, T., G. Blois, J. Best and K. T. Christensen, “PIV measurements of turbulent flow overlying large, cubic- and hexagonally-packed hemisphere arrays,” Journal of Hydraulics Research 28(2), 363-383, 2020.

Ranade, P., S. Duvvari, B. McKeon, S. Gordeyev, K. T. Christensen and E. Jumper, “Turbulence Amplitude Amplification in an Externally Forced, Subsonic Turbulent Boundary Layer,” American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal 57(9), 3838-3850, 2019.

Li, Y., G. Blois, F. Kazemifar and K. T. Christensen, “High Speed Quantification of Pore-Scale Multiphase Flow of Water and Supercritical CO2 in 2D Heterogeneous Porous Micromodels: Flow Regimes and Interface Dynamics,” Water Resources Research 55, 3758-3779, 2019.

Bristow, N. R., G. Blois, J. Best and K. T. Christensen, “Spatial Scales of Turbulent Flow Structure Associated with Interacting Barchan Dunes,” Journal of Geophysical Research–Earth Surface 124, 1175-1200, 2019.

Pathikonda, G. and K. T. Christensen, “Investigation of Inner–Outer Interactions in a Turbulent Boundary Layer using High-Speed Particle Image Velocimetry,” Physical Review Fluids 4, 034607 (25 pp), 2019.

Barros, J. M. and K. T. Christensen, “Characteristics of Large-Scale and Superstructure Motions in a Turbulent Boundary Layer Overlying Complex Roughness,” Journal of Turbulence, 20 (2), 147-173, 2019.

Wu, S., K. T. Christensen and C. Pantano, “Modeling Smooth- and Transitionally Rough-Wall Turbulent Channel Flow by Leveraging Inner-Outer Interactions and Principal Component Analysis,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 863, 407-453, 2019.

Kim, K. C. and K. T. Christensen, “Foreword for Special Section on the 12th International Symposium on Particle Image Velocimetry,” Measurement Science and Technology, 30, 02102 (2pp), 2019.

Bristow, N., G. Blois, J. Best and K. T. Christensen, “Turbulent Flow Structure Associated with a Collision Between Laterally Offset, Fixed-Bed Barchan Dunes,” Journal of Geophysical Research–Earth Surface, 123, 2157-2188, 2018 (Cover article).

Kim, T., G. Blois, J. Best and K. T. Christensen, “Experimental Study of Turbulent Flow over and Within Cubically Packed Walls of Spheres: Effects of Topography, Porosity and Wall Thickness,” International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 73, 16-29, 2018.

Roche, K. R., G. Blois, J. Best, K. T. Christensen, A. F. Aubeneau and A. I. Packman, “Turbulence Links Momentum and Solute Exchange in Course-Grained Streambeds,” Water Resources Research, 54, 3225-3242, 2018.

Chen, Y., Y. Li, A. Valocchi and K. T. Christensen, “Lattice Boltzmann Simulations of Liquid CO2 Displacing Water in a 2D Heterogeneous Micromodel at Reservoir Conditions,” Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 212, 14-27, 2018.

Kim, T. and K. T. Christensen, “Flow Interactions Between Streamwise-Aligned Tandem Cylinders in Turbulent Channel Flow,” American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal, 56, 1421-1433, 2018.

Kitamura, K., O. Nishizawa, K. T. Christensen, T. Ito and R. J. Finley, “Seismic and Strain Detection of the Heterogeneous Spatial Distribution of CO2 in High-Permeable Sandstone,” International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 72, 65-73, 2018.

Fakhari, A., Y. Li, D. Bolster and K. T. Christensen, “Numerical Modeling of Multiphase Flows in Porous Media: A Phase-Field Lattice Boltzmann Method for Simulation of CO2 Sequestration at the Pore Scale,” Advances in Water Resources, 114, 119-134, 2018.

Kitamura, K., H. Honda, S. Takaki, M. Nishihara, K. T. Christensen and Y. Mitani, “Experimental Study of Two-Phase Fluid Flow in the Porous Sandstone by P-Wave Velocity and Electrical Impedance Measurement,” Energy Procedia, 114, 4948-4953, 2017.

Wang, C., Z. Tang, N. Bristow, G. Blois, K. T. Christensen and W. Anderson, “Numerical and Experimental Study of Flow over stages of an offset merger dune interaction,” Computers and Fluids, 158, 72-83, 2017.

Li, Y., G. Blois, F. Kazemifar and K. T. Christensen, “Supercritical CO2 Migration Dynamics in a Water-Saturated, Heterogeneous Porous Micromodel,” Water Resources Research, 53, 6178-6196, 2017 (received “Editor Highlight” distinction).

Johnson, K., B. Thurow, T. Kim, G. Blois, J. L. Best, and K. T. Christensen, “Volumetric Velocity Measurements in the Wake of a Hemispherical Roughness Element,” American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal, DOI: 10.2514/1.J055454, 2017.

Pathikonda, G. and K. T. Christensen, “Inner-Outer Interactions in a Turbulent Boundary Layer Overlying Complex Roughness,” Physical Review Fluids 2, 044603 (21pp), 2017.

Kevin, J. P. Monty, H. L. Bai, G. Pathikonda, B. Nugroho, J. M. Barros, K. T. Christensen and N. Hutchins, “Cross-Stream Stereoscopic PIV Measurements of a Modified Turbulent Boundary Layer Over Directional Surface Pattern,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics 813, 412-435, 2017.

Christensen, K. T. and F. Scarano, “Foreword for Special Section on the 11th International Symposium on Particle Image Velocimetry,” Measurement Science and Technology 28, 010103 (2pp), 2017.

Christensen, K. T., “Editorial: Incoming Editor-in-Chief,” Measurement Science and Technology 28, 010102 (2pp), 2017.

Tsuji, T., F. Jiang and K. T. Christensen, “Influence of Reservoir Conditions on Multiphase Fluid Displacement Patterns in Natural Sandstone,” Advances in Water Resources 95, 3-15, 2016.

Kazemifar, F., G. Blois, D. C. Kyritsis and K. T. Christensen, “Quantifying the Flow Dynamics of Supercritical CO2–Water Displacement in a 2D Porous Micro-Model using Fluorescent Microscopy and Microscopic PIV,” Advances in Water Resources 95, 352-368, 2016.

Foss, J., M. Hedden, J. M. Barros and K. T. Christensen, “Advanced Topological Evaluation Procedures for PIV Vector Fields,” Measurement Science and Technology 27, 094007 (9pp), 2016.

Mujal-Colliles, A., K. T. Christensen, A. Bateman and M. G. Garcia, “Coherent Structures in Oscillatory Flows Within the Laminar-to-Turbulent Transition Regime for Smooth and Rough Walls,” Journal of Hydraulic Research 54, 502-515, 2016.

Saksena, R., K. T. Christensen and A. J. Pearlstein, “Surrogate Immiscible Liquid Solution Pairs with Refractive Indexes Matchable Over a Wide Range of Density and Viscosity Ratios,” Physics of Fluids 27, Art. No. 087103 (21pp), 2015.

Christensen, K. T. and F. Scarano, “Foreword for Special Feature on Uncertainty Quantification in PIV,” Measurement Science and Technology 26, 070201 (2pp), 2015.

Kazemifar, F., G. Blois, D. C. Kyritsis and K. T. Christensen, “A Methodology for Velocity Field Measurement in Multiphase High-Pressure Flow of CO2 and Water in Micromodels,” Water Resources Research 51, 3017-3029, 2015.

Blois, G., J. M. Barros and K. T. Christensen, “A Microscopic Particle Image Velocimetry Method for Studying the Dynamics of Immiscible Liquid-Liquid Interactions in a Porous Micromodel,” Microfluidics and Nanofluidics 18, 1391-1406, 2015.

Anderson, W., J. M. Barros and K. T. Christensen, “Numerical and Experimental Study of Mechanisms Responsible for Turbulent Secondary Flows in Boundary Layer Flows over Spanwise Heterogeneous Roughness,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics 748, 316-347, 2015.

Pathikonda, G. and K. T. Christensen, “Structure of Turbulent Channel Flow Perturbed by a Wall-Mounted Cylindrical Element,” AIAA Journal 53, 1277-1286, 2015.

Kitamura, K., F. Jiang, A. J. Valocchi, S. Chiyonobu, T. Tsuji and K. T. Christensen, “The Study of Heterogeneous Two-Phase Flow around Small-Scale Heterogeneity in Porous Sandstone by Measured Elastic Wave Velocities and LBM Simulation,” Journal of Geophysical Research–Solid Earth 119, 7564-7577, 2014.

Dankowicz, H., K. T. Christensen and Y. Huang, “Collaborative Issue Between Applied Mechanics Reviews, Midwest Mechanics Seminar Series and Society of Engineering Science,” Applied Mechanics Reviews 66, Art. No. 050201 (2pp), 2014.

Mejia-Alvarez, R., Y. Wu and K. T. Christensen, “Observations of Meandering Superstructures in the Roughness Sublayer of a Turbulent Boundary Layer,” International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 48, 43-51, 2014.

Barros, J. M. and K. T. Christensen, “Observations of Turbulent Secondary Flows in a Rough-Wall Boundary Layer,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics (Rapids) 748, Art No. R1 (13pp), 2014.

Mujal-Colliles, A., J. M. Mier, K. T. Christensen, A. Bateman and M. G. Garcia, "PIV Experiments in Rough-Wall, Laminar to Turbulent, Oscillatory Boundary Layers," Experiments in Fluids 55 (1), Art. No. 1633 (19pp), 2014.

Willingham, D., W. Anderson, K.T. Christensen and J. M. Barros, “Turbulent Boundary Layer Flow Over Transverse Aerodynamic Roughness Transitions: Induced Mixing and Flow Characterization,” Physics of Fluids 26 (2), Art. No. 021402 (16pp), 2014.

Mejia-Alvarez, R. and K. T. Christensen, "Robust Suppression of Background Reflections in PIV Images," Measurement Science and Technology, 24, Art. No. 027003 (6pp), 2013.

Johnson, B. E., G. Elliott and K. T. Christensen, "Structural Characteristics of a Heated Jet in Cross-Flow Emanating from a Raised, Circular Stack," Experiments in Fluids, 54 (6), Art. No. 1543 (17pp), 2013.

Mejia-Alvarez, R. and K. T. Christensen, “Wall-Parallel Stereo PIV Measurements in the Roughness Sublayer of Turbulent Flow Overlying Highly-Irregular Roughness,” Physics of Fluids, 25 (11), Art No. 115109 (24pp), 2013.

Omidyeganeh, M., U. Piomelli, K. T. Christensen and J. L. Best, "Large-Eddy Simulation of Interacting Barchan Dunes in a Steady, Unidirectional Flow," Journal of Geophysical Research–Earth Surface 118 (4), 2089-2104, 2013.

Aragon, A. M., R. Saksena, B. D. Kozola, P. H. Geubelle, K. T. Christensen and S. R. White, "Multi-Physics Optimization of Three-Dimensional Microvascular Polymeric Components," Journal of Computational Physics, 233, 132-147, 2013.

Hansen, C. J., R. Saksena, D. B. Kolesky, J. J. Vericella, S. Kranz, G. Muldowney, K. T. Christensen, and J. A. Lewis, "High Throughput Printing via Microvascular Multinozzle Arrays," Advanced Materials, 25, 96-102, 2013 (Cover article).

Mejia-Alvarez, R. and K. T. Christensen, "Polymer-Induced Turbulence Modifications in an Impinging Jet," Experiments in Fluids, 52, 1237-1260, 2012.

Palmer, J. A., R. Mejia-Alvarez, J. L. Best, and K. T. Christensen, "Particle-Image Velocimetry Measurements of Flow Over Interacting Barchan Dunes," Experiments in Fluids, 52, 809-829, 2012.

Guala, M., C. D. Tomkins, K. T. Christensen, and R. J. Adrian, "Vortex Organization in a Turbulent Boundary Layer Overlying Sparse Roughness Elements," Journal of Hydraulic Research, 50, 465-481, 2012.

Natrajan, V. K. and K. T. Christensen, "Non-Intrusive Measurements of Transitional and Turbulent Convective Heat Transfer in a Rectangular Microchannel," Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 21, Art. No. 085001 (18 pp), 2011.

Licari, A. M. and K. T. Christensen, "Modeling Cumulative Damage to Flow Surfaces and Assessing its Impact on Wall Turbulence," American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal, 49:1, 2305-2320, 2011.

Mejia-Alvarez, R. and K. T. Christensen, “Low-Order Representations of Irregular Surface Roughness and Their Impact on a Turbulent Boundary Layer,” Physics of Fluids, 22:1, Art No. 015106 (20pp), 2010 (Recognized with 2011 Frenkiel Award from APS-DFD).

Wu, Y. and K. T. Christensen, “Spatial Structure of a Turbulent Boundary Layer with Irregular Surface Roughness,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 655, 380-418, 2010.

Natrajan, V. K. and K. T. Christensen, “The Impact of Surface Roughness on Flow Through a Rectangular Microchannel from the Laminar to the Turbulent Regimes,” Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 9:1, 95-121, 2010.

Natrajan, V. K. and K. T. Christensen, “Non-Intrusive Measurements of Convective Heat Transfer in Smooth- and Rough-Wall Microchannels: Laminar Flow,” Experiments in Fluids, 49, 1021-1037, 2010.

Kozola, B., L. A. Shipton, V. K. Natrajan, K. T. Christensen, and S. R. White, "Characterization of Active Cooling and Flow Distribution in Microvascular Polymers," Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 21, 1147-1156, 2010.

Kasper, M. J., V. K. Natrajan, N. Privorotskya, K. T. Christensen, and W. P. King, "Natural Advection from a Microcantilever Heat Source," Applied Physics Letters, 96:6, Art. No. 063113 (3 pp), 2010.

Ferrara, E., M. Muramatsu, K. T. Christensen, and I. A. Cestari, "Particle-Image Velocimetry Study of a Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device," ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 132:7, Art. No. 071004 (6pp), 2010 (Cover article).

Editorial Boards

  • Editor-in-Chief, Measurement Science and Technology
  • Editorial Board Member, Experiments in Fluids
  • Editorial Board Member, IOP SciNotes
  • Editorial Board Member, Measurement Science and Technology (2011–2016)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Visualization (2014–2017)