Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Thomas E. Schwartzentruber
Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Contact information
Office: 222 Akerman Hall
Phone: 612-625-6027

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Professor Schwartzentruber utilizes particle simulation methods to model non-equilibrium and chemically reacting gas flows. Non-equilibrium flow occurs when the mean-free-path between molecular collisions in a gas is no longer negligible compared to length-scales of interest. Applications include high-altitude hypersonic aerothermodynamics, rocket-plume flows, gas-surface interactions, and at the other end of the scale, micro-electromechanical devices. Professor Schwartzentruber's research focuses on continued algorithm development of the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) particle method. Research also focuses on molecular dynamics (MD) simulation in order to further develop gas-phase and gas-surface models used in DSMC. Finally, special focus is given to the development of multi-scale methods that combine both particle and continuum approaches to accurately and efficiently simulate non-equilibrium flows.


B.A.Sc., Engineering Science, University of Toronto, Canada, 2001
M.A.Sc., Aerospace Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada, 2003
Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan, 2007


2018 - present: Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
2015 - 2018: Russell J. Penrose Faculty Fellow, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
2014 - 2018: Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
2008 - 2013: Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
- Visiting Assistant Professor (Fall 2011), The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, Belgium
2007: Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Michigan
2003 - 2007: Research Assistant, University of Michigan
2001 - 2003: Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, University of Toronto, Canada
1998 - 1999: Bombardier Aerospace, Toronto, Canada

Five Recent Publications

  • Macdonald, R.L., Grover, M.S., Schwartzentruber, T.E., & Panesi, M. , 2018, Construction of a coarse-grain quasi-classical trajectory method. II. Comparison against the direct molecular simulation method , The Journal of Chemical Physics , (Journal Article) More Details
  • Stern, E.C., Poovathingal, S., Nompelis, I., Schwartzentruber, T.E., & Candler, G.V., 2018, Nonequilibrium flow through porous thermal protection materials, Part I: Numerical Methods, Journal of Computational Physics, (Journal Article) More Details
  • Singh, N. & Schwartzentruber, T.E., 2018, Non-Equilibrium Internal Energy Distributions During Dissociation , National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 115, No. 1, pp. 47-52, (Journal Article) More Details
  • Singh, N. & Schwartzentruber, T. E., 2017, Aerothermodynamic correlations for high-speed flow, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 821, p. 421-439, (Journal Article) More Details
  • Schwartzentruber, T.E., Grover, M., and Valentini, P., 2017, Direct Molecular Simulation of Nonequilibrium Dilute Gases, AIAA Journal, (Journal Article) More Details

See more publications


  • Iain D. Boyd and Thomas E. Schwartzentruber, Nonequilibrium Gas Dynamics and Molecular Simulation, Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • Jochen Marschall, Matthew MacLean, Paul E. Norman, and Thomas E. Schwartzentruber, Surface Chemistry in Non-Equilibrium Flows, In Hypersonic Nonequilibrium Flows: Fundamentals and Recent Advances, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2015.

More information can be found here.


Honors and Fellowships

AIAA Associate Fellow, 2019
Russel J. Penrose Faculty Fellowship, 2015
AIAA Thermophysics Best Student Paper Award, 2015
George Taylor Career Development Award, 2014
AFOSR Young Investigators Research Program, 2010
AIAA Orville & Wilbur Wright Graduate Award, 2007
Distinguished Achievement in Aerospace Engineering (Michigan), 2006
Elvie L. Smith Award (CASI, Pratt & Whitney), 2001
Best Student Paper Award (CASI), 2001

Current Courses

AEM 4796 -- Professional Experience

Subjects and Courses Taught

AEM 4203 -- Aerospace Propulsion
AEM 4253 -- Computational Fluid Mechanics
AEM 4295 -- Problems in Fluid Mechanics
AEM 4796 -- Professional Experience
AEM 5251 -- Computational Fluid Mechanics
AEM 5253 -- Computational Fluid Mechanics
AEM 8202 -- Fluid Mechanics II
AEM 8232 -- Physical Gas Dynamics and Molecular Simulation
AEM 8295 -- Selected Topics in Fluid Mechanics

Last Modified: 2019-04-03 at 08:53:19 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation