William Schowalter

Class of 1950 Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus
Professor of Chemical Engineering, Emeritus
Office Phone
A220A Engineering Quad

B.S., University of Wisconsin, 1951

M.S., University of Illinois, 1953

Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1957

D.Sc. (H.C.), Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, 1996


Honors and Awards

  • AIChE Named Lectureship, 2020
  • Honorary Degree, Princeton University, 2020
  • National Academy of Sciences, 1998
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1991
  • Officier, Ordre des Palmes Academiques, 1994
  • Bingham Medal, Society of Rheology, 1988
  • Guggenheim Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1987
  • William H. Walker Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1982
  • National Academy of Engineering, 1982

Research Interests

Complex fluids. Our research interests lie in the field of fluid mechanics, especially as applied to the processing of polymer melts, polymer solutions, and colloidal dispersions. Among our research accomplishments are the development of boundary-layer theory for non-Newtonian fluids, measurements of wall slip in polymer melts, and elucidation of the dynamics of coagulation of colloids in flowing suspensions. More recently, engineers and scientists interested in the dynamic behavior of fluids composed of large molecules, deformable particles, or colloidal matter have found that the laws of conventional continuum fluid mechanics do not apply. Advances in computation and in our ability to measure forces and motions over small length scales have begun to reveal the laws of physics that do apply to complex materials. Our recent modeling efforts have demonstrated that systems in which particulates are initially randomly dispersed can evolve, under shear, into ordered materials, with important engineering consequences for strength, heat transfer, and electrical conductivity.

International engineering education. Work in this area stems from close ties with several educational institutions in France and in Asia. Particularly in Asia, the close liaison between universities and industry has provided the opportunity to participate in the development of strategies to stimulate technological development.

Selected Publications
  1. K. Sarkar and W. R. Schowalter, "Computation of a Free Jet with Embedded Drops", J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech., 102, 263 (2002).
  2. D. Dratler, W. R. Schowalter, and R. L. Hoffman, "Dynamic Simulation of Shear Thickening in Concentrated Colloidal Suspensions", J. Fluid Mech., 353, 1 (1997).
  3. R. T. Goodwin and W. R. Schowalter, "Arbitrarily Oriented Capillary-Viscous Planar Jets in the Presence of Gravity", Phys. Fluids, 7, 954 (1995).
  4. W.B. Russel, D.A. Saville, and W.R. Schowalter, Colloidal Dispersions (Cambridge University Press, 1989; paperback edition, 1992), 525 pp.
  5. W.R. Schowalter, Mechanics of Non-Newtonian Fluids (Pergamon Press, 1978), 300 pp.