Jennifer Sinclair Curtis, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, Former Dean of Engineering, UC Davis

Professor Curtis’ research interests are in fundamental model development for predicting particulate flow phenomena.  Fluid flow simulations have been used effectively by industry for many years, but now many energy, pharmaceutical, aerospace, chemical, agricultural and other industries employ multi-phase flow simulations to aid in process design and optimization. Professor Curtis’ particulate flow models have been extensively adopted by both commercial and open source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software packages.  She was the first to partner with ANSYS Fluent to greatly expand the multi-phase simulation capability of that code which is used by 96 of the 100 biggest industrial companies in the world and over 40,000 customers.  Her group’s particulate flow models are also included in the CFD Research Corporation software package and the open-source CFD codes OpenFOAM and MFIX.


  • AIChE Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement by a Woman Chemical Engineer, 2023
  • Member of the National Academy of Engineering, 2023
  • Fellow of APS (2020), AIChE (2009), ASEE (2010) and AAAS (2012)
  • Mercator Research Fellowship, German Research Foundation, 2023
  • Humboldt Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2021
  • ASEE Benjamin Garver Lamme Award, 2020
  • First Place CSHEMA National Award (Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association), Campus Leaders Who Care, 2020
  • AIChE Particle Technology Lifetime Achievement Award, 2019
  • ASEE Thomas and Donna Edgar CACHE Award for Excellence in Computing in Chemical Engineering Education, 2018
  • William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award, McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program (African American and Hispanic Doctoral Fellowship Program), 2015
  • AIChE Van Antwerpen Award, 2015
  • AIChE Thomas Baron Award for Research in Fluid-Particle Systems, 2014
  • Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, Australia, 2010-2011
  • ASEE Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, 2008
  • AIChE Fluidization Lectureship Research Award, 2007
  • Eminent Overseas Lectureship Award, Institution of Engineers in Australia, 2004
  • ASEE Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering Education, 2003
  • SWE Outstanding Paper Award, 1994
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1991
  • E.I. duPont Graduate Fellowship, 1983 – 1987
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1983-1987


  • Chair, Engineering Section, AAAS, 2021
  • Vice-Chair, Foundation Board of Trustees for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2021 – Present
  • National Academies’ Board of Chemical Sciences and Technology, Co-Chair, 2019 – Present
  • National Academies’ Chemical Sciences Roundtable, Co-Chair, 2013-2018
  • Board of Directors, Council for Chemical Research, 2010 – 2015
  • National Academy of Engineering’s German-American Frontiers of Engineering Research Symposium, Program Participant, 2008
  • Board of Directors, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2008 – 2011
  • Featured Chemical Engineering Educator, Spring 2008 Issue of Chemical Engineering Education
  • Board of Directors, American Chemical Society, Petroleum Research Fund, 2002 – 2008
  • Associate Editor, AIChE Journal, 2007 – 2015
  • National Academy of Engineering’s Engineering Education Committee, 2003-2006
  • National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering Research Symposium, Program Participant, 2003


  • Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award, Purdue University, 2019
  • Outstanding Chemical Engineer Award, Purdue University, 2013
  • University Faculty Scholar Award, Purdue University, 2003
  • University Teaching for Tomorrow Award, Purdue University, 1999 – 2000
  • Department Mentoring Award, School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 1999
  • Chemical Engineering Department Teaching Award, University of Arizona, 1996
  • Ladd Award for Excellence in Research, Carnegie Mellon University, 1993
  • University Teaching Award, Lafayette College, 1989





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