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Morton Denn

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Morton Denn

Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Engineering
Director, Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics

Steinman Hall T-1M-18
Phone Number: 
(212) 650-7444
(212) 650-6835
Personal Website: 
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City College of New York, the City University of New York: 

Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Engineering, January, 2001 – present Director, The Benjamin Levich Institute for Physico-Chemical Hydrodynamics, July 2000 - present Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, 1999 - present Professor of Physics, 2001 - present 

University of California at Berkeley: Professor of Chemical Engineering, 1981- 99 Chairman, Department of Chemical Engineering, 1991-94

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Program Leader, Polymers and Composites, Center for Advanced Materials, 1983- 99 Head of Materials Chemistry, Materials Sciences Division, 1995 - 98

University of Delaware:

Assistant Professor to Professor of Chemical Engineering, 1965-77

Allan P. Colburn Professor, 1977-81 Visiting Positions:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Chem. Eng., Visiting Lecturer, 1978-85

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Harry Pierce Professor, Sept., 1979 - Jan., 1980

California Institute of Technology, Chevron Energy Professor, February-July, 1980

University of Melbourne, Australia, Visiting Professor, January-June, 1985

Hebrew University, Israel, Forchheimer Visiting Professor, Sept., 1998 - Jan., 1999


BSE. (Chemical Engineering), Princeton University, 1961, 

Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 1964 Chemical Engineering 

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Delaware, 1964-65, Chemical Engineering

Courses Taught

Rheology; polymer science; polymer processing; non-Newtonian fluid mechanics.

Research Interests

My research is broadly concerned with the use of rheology, non-Newtonian fluid mechanics, and polymer physics to solve problems of interest in polymer processing. We use whatever tools are most appropriate for the problem at hand, often in collaboration with colleagues who have specific expertise: continuum theory and simulation, molecular simulation, rheological measurement, and various spectroscopies. In recent years we have focused on two problems.

One is the mechanics of liquid crystalline materials, especially as the dispersed phase in a blend; the interesting issues here have to do with the effect of nematic order on droplet deformation and the structure and mechanics of the interface between a liquid crystalline polymer and a flexible polymer. 

The other is the cause of surface distortions during the extrusion of polymer melts, where the issues have to do with the mechanics of entangled polymer chains near a nonpolymeric surface during flow at high shear stresses. A common feature of both classes of problems, as well as others in which I am interested, is the need to understand the mechanics of polymer chains near an interface, and the effect of chain conformation on the neighboring stress field.


Emergence of structure in a model of liquid crystalline polymers with elastic coupling (with R. Kupferman and M. N. Kawaguchi), J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech., 91, 255 – 271 (2000) 

Blends of linear and branched polyethylenes (with H. S. Lee), Polymer Engineering and Science, 40, 1132 – 1142 (2000)

Surface mobility and slip of polybutadiene melts in shear flow (with G. M. Wise, A. T. Bell, J. W. Mays, K. Hong, and H. Iatrou), J. Rheology, 44, 549 – 567 (2000)

The deformation and retraction of thermotropic LCP droplets in a flexible matrix (with H. S. Lee), J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech., 93, 315 – 323 (2000)

Extrusion instabilities and wall slip, Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 33, J. L. Lumley et al., eds., Ann. Rev. Inc., 2001, pp. 265 - 287

Influence of bulk nematic orientation on the interface between a liquid crystalline polymer and a flexible polymer (with X. Li), Physical Review Letters, 86, 656-659 (2001)

Flow enhancement in the continuous extrusion of linear low-density polyethylene (with J. Pérez-González), Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 40, 4309-4316 (2001)

Dynamical phenomena in liquid crystalline materials (with A. D. Rey), Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 34, J. L. Lumley et al., eds., Ann. Rev. Inc., 2002, pp. 233 - 266

Convergence of a regularization method for creeping flow of a Bingham material about a rigid sphere (with B. T. Liu and S. J. Muller), J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech., 102, 179-191 (2002)

Interface between a liquid crystalline polymer and a flexible polymer (with X. Li), Macromolecules, 35, 6446-6454 (2002)

Rupture of entangled polymeric liquids in elongational flow (with Y. M Joshi), J. Rheology, 47, 291-298 (2003)

Interactions between two rigid spheres translating collinearly in creeping flow in a Bingham material (with B. T. Liu and S. J. Muller), J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech., 113, 49 – 67 (2003)

Interfacial tension of liquid crystalline droplets (with P. K. Rai and C. Maldarelli), Langmuir, 19, 7370-7373 (2003)

Planar Contraction Flow with a Slip Boundary Condition (with Y. M. Joshi), J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech., 114, 185 –195 (2003)

Processing, Modeling, in Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Engineering, 3nd Ed., vol. 11, J. I. Kroschwitz, ed., Wiley, 2004, pp. 263-287

Surface effects on the phase separation of binary polymer blends (with X. Li), Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 43, 354-363 (2004) Rupture of entangled polymeric liquids in elongational flow with dissipation (with Y. M. Joshi), J. Rheology, 48, 591-598 (2004)

Monte Carlo simulation of steady extensional flows (with X. Li), J. Rheology, 48, 805-821 (2004)

Failure and recovery of entangled polymer melts in elongational flow (with Y. M. Joshi), Rheology Review 2004, D. M. Binding and K. Walters, Eds., British Soc. Rheology, 2004, pp. 1 – 17

Fifty years of non-Newtonian fluid dynamics, AIChE Journal, 50, 2335-2345 (2004)

Rheology of a dispersion of low-molar-mass liquid crystal droplets in polydimethylsiloxane (with Y. W. Inn), J. Rheology, 49, 875-886 (2005)

Gel formation and collapse in a dispersion of a low molar mass liquid crystal in a polymer matrix (with Y. W. Inn), J. Rheology, 49, 887-895 (2005)

Effect of edge fracture on constant torque rheometry of entangled polymer solutions (with Y. W. Inn and K. F. Wissbrun), Macromolecules, in press; online publication Oct 4, 2005, DOI: 10.1021/ma0510901.

Additional Information

Guggenheim Fellow, 1971-72 

Professional Progress Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1977 

Fulbright Lecturer, 1979-80 

William H. Walker Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1984 

Bingham Medal, Society of Rheology, 1986 

National Academy of Engineering, elected 1986 

Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, American Soc. for Engineering Education, 1993 

Warren K. Lewis Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1998 Institute Lecturer, American 

Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1999 

D. Sc. (honorary), University of Minnesota, 2001 

American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected 2001 

Distinguished Service Award, Society of Rheology, 2005

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