Lance R. Collins

Lance Collins

J. Silbert Dean of Engineering
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Carpenter Hall, Room 242


Professor Lance R. Collins is the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering at Cornell University. Prior to that he served as the S. C. Thomas Sze Director of the Sibley School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from 2005-2010, and he was Director of Graduate Studies for Aerospace Engineering 2003-2005. Collins joined Cornell in 2002, following 11 years as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor of Chemical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. From 1999 until his departure, he also held a joint appointment in the Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering Department at Penn State, and in 1998 he was a visiting scientist at the Laboratoire de Combustion et Systémes Réactifs (a National Center for Scientific Research laboratory in Orleans, France) and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 2011, Dean Collins was part of the Cornell leadership team that successfully bid to partner with New York City to build a new campus on Roosevelt Island focused on innovation and commercialization in the tech sector.

Mosaic Medal of Distinction Luncheon

The Mosaic Medal of Distinction recognizes alumni, faculty, and administrators for their commendable impact or leadership in creating opportunities and access for diverse communities within the academy, industry, public service, and the professions. This is the first year the medal is being awarded.

Research Interests

Professor Collins' research interests are on the application of direct numerical simulation to a broad range of turbulent processes. Areas of current interest include: (i) turbulent coagulation of aerosol particles; (ii) experimental and numerical evaluation of Lagrangian statistics in turbulent flows; (iii) mixing and chemical reaction in turbulent flames; (iv) turbulent breakup of microstructures (e.g., drops, polymers and red blood cells); (v) drag reduction due to polymer additives. A unifying theme is the importance of fine-­--scale (micro-­--turbulence) transport to these phenomena. A second focus is on developing a new class of turbulence models that are capable of describing micro-­--turbulence processes. Recent contributions have been made toward extending fundamental spectral theories of turbulence to applications (i) and (ii). Current emphasis is on validating the models and incorporating them into computational fluid dynamics codes.

Selected Publications

  • Devenish, B. J., P. Bartello, J.-L. Brenguier, Lance Collins, W. W. Grabowski, R.H. A. IJzermans, S. P. Malinowski, M. W. Reeks, J. C. Vassilicos, L. P. Wang, Z. Warhaft. 2012."Droplet growth in warm turbulent clouds."Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society138(667): 1401-1429.
  • Bragg, A D., P J. Ireland, L R Collins. 2016."Forward and backward in time dispersion of fluid and inertial particles in isotropic turbulence."Physics of Fluids28(013305).
  • Bragg, A D., P J. Ireland, L R Collins. 2015."On the relationship between the non-local clustering mechanism and preferential concentration." .
  • Ray, B., L R Collins. 2014."A subgrid model for clustering of high-inertia particles in large-eddy simulations of turbulence."Journal of Turbulence15(6): 366-385.
  • Bragg, A D., L R Collins. 2014."New insights from comparing statistical theories for inertial particles in turbulence: II. Relative velocities."New journal of physics  16.

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Selected Awards and Honors

  • Winner of the Inaugural Mosaic Medal of Distinction at Cornell University for amazing work in increasing diversity among the Engineering students that is well above the national average and providing an inclusive environment for our students.
  • Member-at-Large  (Division of Engineering & Physical Sciences  (Committee of the National Academies) 2011
  • Past-Chair  (United States National Committee on Theoretical & Applied Mechanics (Committee of National Academies) 2012
  • Chair  (United States National Committee on Theoretical & Applied Mechanics (Committee of National Academies) 2010
  • Executive Committee  (elected) (American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics) 2008
  • Fellow  (American Physical Society) 2007


  • B.S.E. (Chemical Engineering), Princeton University, 1981
  • M.S. (Chemical Engineering), University of Pennsylvania, 1983
  • Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering), University of Pennsylvania, 1987