Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Log in
Sections
Home > Profiles > Kenneth Christensen

Kenneth Christensen

Kenneth T. Christensen

Professor and Collegiate Chair in Fluid Mechanics

Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Professor and Collegiate Chair in Fluid Mechanics
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences

Professor and Assistant Dean of Faculty Development
College of Engineering

Email: christensen.33@nd.edu

Phone: 574-631-2510

Office: 374 Fitzpatrick Hall

Education

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

M.S., California Institute of Technology, 1996

B.S., University of New Mexico, 1995

Biography

Kenneth T. Christensen is a Professor and the College of Engineering Chair in Fluid Mechanics at the University of Notre Dame, with a joint appointment in the Departments of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering and Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences.  He also presently serves as Assistant Dean of Faculty Development in the College of Engineering at Notre Dame.  Prior to August 2014 he was a Professor, Kritzer Faculty Scholar and Associate Head for Undergraduate and Mechanics Programs in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with Affiliate appointments in Aerospace Engineering and Geology.  He received his B. S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 1995, an M. S. in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech in 1996 and a Ph. D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois in 2001.  He began as an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico in 2002 and joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 2004, where he was promoted to Associate Professor (2007) and Full Professor (2012).  He directs a research group that pursues experimental studies of turbulence, geophysical flows and microfluidics and also served as the Associate Director of the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) Satellite Center at Illinois (2011-2014) and for which he still serves as a WPI Principal Investigator.  He is a Fellow of both APS and ASME, an Associate Fellow of AIAA, an Associate Editor for the Journal of Visualization and serves on the Editorial Boards of Experiments in Fluids and Measurement Science and Technology. In January 2017, he will begin a 5-year term as Editor-in-Chief of Measurement Science and Technology.  He is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the AFOSR Young Investigator Award (2006), the NSF CAREER Award (2007), the Francois Frenkiel Award for Fluid Mechanics from APS-DFD (2011), the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Engineering at Illinois (2012) and, most recently, the Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award from Pi Tau Sigma and ASME (2016).

Summary of Activities/Interests

Dr. Christensen’s research expertise is in experimental fluid mechanics, with an emphasis on flows central to a range of energy, environmental and geophysical applications.  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.  Central to all of these research efforts is the development and utilization of advanced measurement methods to reveal the underlying physics of these flows for improved modeling and prediction, with the latter accomplished through close collaboration with modelers and computationalists.


Recent Publications 

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.

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.

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, DOI: 10.1016/j.compfluid.2016.11.005, 2016.

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).

Natrajan, V. K. and K. T. Christensen, “Structural Characteristics of Transition to Turbulence in Microscale Capillaries,” Physics of Fluids, 21:3, Art No. 034104 (19pp), 2009.

Johnson, B. E. and K. T. Christensen, “Turbulent Flow over Low-Order Models of Highly-Irregular Surface Roughness,” American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal, 47:5, 1288-1299, 2009.

Natrajan, V. K. and K. T. Christensen, “Two-Color Laser-Induced Fluorescent Thermometry for Microfluidic Systems,” Measurement Science and Technology, 20:1, Art. No. 015401 (11 pp), 2009.

Smyth, S. A., K. T. Christensen, and D. C. Kyritsis, “Intermediate Reynolds/Peclet Flat Plate Boundary Layer Flows over Catalytic Surfaces for “Micro”-Combustion Applications,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 32, 3035-3042, 2009.

Bijjula, K., K. T. Christensen, and D. C. Kyritsis, “Experimental Investigation of Gaseous Reacting Flows Around Catalytically Coated Micro-Wires,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 32, 3043-3050, 2009.

Roberts, M., A. Mohraz, K. T. Christensen, and J. A. Lewis, "Direct Flow Visualization and Modeling of Colloidal Gels in Microfluidic Channels," Langmuir, 23:17, 8726-8731, 2007.

Wu, Y. and K. T. Christensen, "Outer-Layer Similarity in the Presence of a Practical Rough-Wall Topography," Physics of Fluids, 19:8, Art No. 085108 (15pp), 2007.

Natrajan, V. K. and K. T. Christensen, “Microscopic Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements of Transition to Turbulence in Microscale Capillaries,” Experiments in Fluids, 43:1, 1-16, 2007.

Natrajan, V. K., E. Yamaguchi, and K. T. Christensen, “Statistical and Structural Similarities between Micro- and Macro-Scale Wall Turbulence,” Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 3:1, 89-100, 2007.

Natrajan, V. K., Y. Wu, and K. T. Christensen, “Spatial Signatures of Retrograde Spanwise Vortices in Wall Turbulence,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 574, 155-167, 2007.

News

Christensen Named Editor-in-chief of Measurement Science and Technology

July 20, 2016

Kenneth T. Christensen, the Collegiate Professor of Fluid Mechanics and assistant dean of faculty development in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the editor-in-chief for Measurement Science and Technology.

Christensen to Receive Larson Memorial Award

May 31, 2016

Kenneth T. Christensen, the Collegiate Professor of Fluid Mechanics and assistant dean of faculty development in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected to receive the 2016 Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award.

College Names Two New Assistant Deans

September 21, 2015

Peter Kilpatrick, the McCloskey Dean of Engineering, has announced the appointment of Kenneth T. Christensen, the College of Engineering Collegiate Professor of Fluid Mechanics, and Ronald Metoyer, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, as assistant deans of the College of Engineering.

Engineering Faculty Receive DURIP Grants Totaling More than $1.8 Million

July 14, 2015

Four faculty from the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame have received Defense University Research Instrument Program (DURIP) grants from the Department of Defense (DOD) for 2015, totaling more than $1.8 million.

Advisee(s)

Filed under: