L. Gary Leal

L. Gary Leal

Professor Emeritus
Research Professor


(805) 893-8510
3329 Engineering II
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080

ChemE Research Areas: 


2017  Bruce Finlayson Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington
2015  GI Taylor Medal from the Society of Engineering Science
2015  Elected Fellow of the Society of Rheology
2011  Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2011  Midwest Mechanics Speaker (10 universities)
2009  28th Annual Blue-Green Speaker, Depts. of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan and Michigan State
2009  Elected Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers
2008  W.N. Lacey Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
2006  Distinguished Scholar Lecturer, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Arizona State Univ.
2006  Pirkey Lectureship in Chemical Engineering, Univ. of Texas
2004  David M. Mason Lecturer, Dept. Chem. Eng., Stanford University
2002  Fluid Dynamics Prize, American Physical Society
2001  NCE Cullimore Memorial Lecturer, NJIT
2001  Highly Cited Researchers, Original Member, 100 Most Highly Cited Researchers in Engineering, ISI Thompson Scientific
2001  Bingham Medal, The Society of Rheology, American Institute of Physics
2000  Distinguished Alumni Award, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington
2000  George K. Batchelor Lecturer in Fluid Mechanics, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, U.K.
2000  Rutgers Collaboratus X Lecturer, Dept. of Chem. and Biochemical Eng., Rutgers University
1999  NASA Group Achievement Award for MSL-1 Project Team
1996  Julian C. Smith Lecturer, School of Chemical Engineering Cornell University
1996  Rothschild Visiting Professor, Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematics, University of Cambridge, U. K.
1995  Distinguished Lecturer, Dept. of Chemical Engineering University of Toronto
1994  Robert Pigford Lecturer, University of Delaware
1993  William H. Walker Award for Excellence in Contributions to Chemical Engineering Literature, AIChE
1993  Texas Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, University of Texas-Austin
1992  Reilly Memorial Lectureship in Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame
1991  Stanley Katz Memorial Lectureship in Chemical Engineering, Dept. of Chem. Eng., City College of the City University of New York
1990  Stanley Corrsin Lectureship in Fluid Mechanics, Dept. of Chem. Eng., The Johns Hopkins University
1987  Elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering
1986-1989  Chevron Distinguished Professor of Chem. Engineering, Caltech
1984  Fellow of the American Physical Society
1978  Allan Colburn Award - National AIChE
1978  Allan Colburn Memorial Lectureship, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware
1978  Technical Achievement Award, AIChE - Southern California Section
1976  John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow
1975  Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Grant
Member of Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Sigma Upsilon.

Research Description: 

My research is currently focused on the dynamics of complex fluids, such as polymeric liquids, emulsions, foams, polymer blends, and liquid crystalline polymers (LCPs). Much of this is related to the coupling between the influence of flow on the microstructure of these materials, and hence on the macroscopic material properties. Within this broad framework, we are working on: coalescence phenomena; the dynamics of thin liquid films and the control of the stability of such films due to additives such as copolymer surfactants, and nano- or micro-particles; the flow behavior of LCPs, including the formation of disclinations; and the dynamics of entangled polymers. Our tools encompass a spectrum of experimental methods (including several that are unique to our laboratory), as well as theoretical methods based primarily on large-scale computational studies.


BS: Chemical Engineering, University of Washington (1965)
MS: Chemical Engineering, Stanford University (1968)
PhD: Chemical Engineering, Stanford University (1969)