Levich Institute Overview
Jeffrey Morris is the current director of the Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics. The Levich Institute is an interdisciplinary research center for the study of fundamental problems of flow and transport in complex fluids, fluid-like media, and interfaces, including polymer melts and solutions, liquid crystals, granular materials, suspensions, colloids, and amphiphiles. Located at the City College of New York (CCNY), one of the senior colleges of the City University of New York, the Institute’s five full-time faculty members are currently associated with the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Physics. All Levich Institute faculty, Ph.D. students, and research fellows are housed together in laboratories and offices in Steinman Hall.
Morton Denn, Director
2000 – 2015
Morton Denn is the Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Engineering Emeritus and was Director of the Institute, 2000-2015. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Professor Denn has brought a wealth of academic experience spanning 35 years at the Chemical Engineering Departments of the Universities of Delaware (1965-81) and California at Berkeley (1981-99). Professor Denn’s research interests have been broadly concerned with rheology, non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, and interfacial physics as they relate to polymer processing, including the morphology of polymer/polymer and polymer/nonpolymer interfaces in blends; liquid crystalline polymers; and extrusion instabilities and apparent wall slip at high stresses. From 1995 to 2005, he also served as Editor of the Journal of Rheology.
Andreas Acrivos, Director
1988 – 2000
In January of 1988, Andreas Acrivos succeeded Professor Levich as Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Engineering and Director, and since that time the Institute has significantly broadened the scope of its research activities and established an international reputation as a first-class research center in fluid mechanics. Some of the major areas of research which have been conducted during this time by Professor Acrivos and the faculty in the Levich Institute include: theoretical and computational turbulence; water waves; dynamical systems; molecular dynamics simulations; linear and non-linear stability; the rheology of suspensions; the effects of surface-active agents on mass transfer; the calculation of effective properties of two-phase materials and granular flows. Professor Acrivos has brought prestige and international recognition to the Levich Institute, reflected through honors he has received. For example, he was most recently awarded the 2001 Medal of Science in Engineering and in 1991, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1999, the Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics was established by the American Physical Society and is awarded annually to exceptional young scientists who perform original doctoral thesis work of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of fluid dynamics. Professor Acrivos also served as Editor of the internationally reknowned journal, The Physics of Fluids, for fifteen years (1982-1997). In September, 2000, Professor Acrivos stepped down as Director, but he continues to maintain an active role in the research activities of the Levich Institute.
Benjamin Levich, Director
1979 – 1987
After a six-year struggle and with help from the international scientific community, as well as a visit to the Soviet Union by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Professor Levich and his wife were finally allowed to emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel in 1978. Upon his arrival in Israel, Professor Levich received offers of employment from several universities in the United Kingdom, the U.S. as well as many other countries. However, in March, 1979, he finally accepted the invitation to become the Albert Einstein Professor of Science at City College, where he established the Institute of Applied Chemical Physics and became its first director. Professor Levich was internationally acknowledged as a reknowned physicist, who authored an influential text, Physicochemical Hydrodynamics, which was published by Prentice-Hall in 1962 (translated from the Russian version first published in the Soviet Union in 1952). Physico-chemical hydrodynamics, which is a term Professor Levich coined himself, refers to phenomena governed by the interaction of fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, and chemical reactions. The broad aim of the Institute was to investigate key problems in this area from a fundamental and multifaceted perspective. The official charter for the Institute was approved by the City University of New York Board of Trustees on August 6, 1979. It was after Professor Levich’s untimely death in January, 1987, that the Institute was renamed, in his honor, as the Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics.