Thomas P. Witelski

Thomas P. Witelski
  • Professor in the Department of Mathematics
  • Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (Secondary)
External address: 295 Physics Bldg, Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708-0320
Internal office address: Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708-0320
Phone: (919) 660-2841

Research Areas and Keywords


perturbation methods

Computational Mathematics

numerical partial differential equations

PDE & Dynamical Systems

fluid dynamics, nonlinear partial differential equations, dynamical systems, perturbation methods

Physical Modeling

fluid dynamics

My primary area of expertise is the solution of nonlinear ordinary and partial differential equations for models of physical systems. Using asymptotics along with a mixture of other applied mathematical techniques in analysis and scientific computing I study a broad range of applications in engineering and applied science. Focuses of my work include problems in viscous fluid flow, dynamical systems, and industrial applications. Approaches for mathematical modelling to formulate reduced systems of mathematical equations corresponding to the physical problems is another significant component of my work.

Education & Training
  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology 1995

  • B.S.E., The Cooper Union 1991

Münch, A., et al. “Lubrication models with small to large slip lengths.” Journal of Engineering Mathematics, vol. 53, no. 3–4, Dec. 2005, pp. 359–83. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s10665-005-9020-3. Full Text

Haskett, R. P., et al. “Localized Marangoni forcing in driven thin films.” Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, vol. 209, no. 1-4 SPEC. ISS., Sept. 2005, pp. 117–34. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.physd.2005.06.019. Full Text

Glasner, K. B., and T. P. Witelski. “Collision versus collapse of droplets in coarsening of dewetting thin films.” Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, vol. 209, no. 1-4 SPEC. ISS., Sept. 2005, pp. 80–104. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.physd.2005.06.010. Full Text

Fetzer, R., et al. “New slip regimes and the shape of dewetting thin liquid films.Physical Review Letters, vol. 95, no. 12, Sept. 2005, p. 127801. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.95.127801. Full Text

Witelski, T. P. “Motion of wetting fronts moving into partially pre-wet soil.” Advances in Water Resources, vol. 28, no. 10 SPEC. ISS., Jan. 2005, pp. 1133–41. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2004.06.006. Full Text

Sur, Jeanman, et al. “Steady-profile fingering flows in Marangoni driven thin films.Physical Review Letters, vol. 93, no. 24, Dec. 2004, p. 247803. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.93.247803. Full Text

Borucki, L. J., et al. “A theory of pad conditioning for chemical-mechanical polishing.” Journal of Engineering Mathematics, vol. 50, no. 1, Dec. 2004, pp. 1–24. Scopus, doi:10.1023/B:ENGI.0000042116.09084.00. Full Text

Smolka, L. B., et al. “Exact solution for the extensional flow of a viscoelastic filament.” European Journal of Applied Mathematics, vol. 15, no. 6, Dec. 2004, pp. 679–712. Scopus, doi:10.1017/S0956792504005789. Full Text

Witelski, T. P., et al. “Blowup and dissipation in a critical-case unstable thin film equation.” European Journal of Applied Mathematics, vol. 15, no. 2, Apr. 2004, pp. 223–56. Scopus, doi:10.1017/S0956792504005418. Full Text

Witelski, T. P. “Nonlinear Differential Equations, Mechanics and Bifurcation.” Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems  Series B, vol. 3, no. 4, Nov. 2003.