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Viterbi Faculty Directory

Yannis C Yortsos

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Zohrab A. Kaprielian Dean’s Chair in Engineering and Chester F. Dolley Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering


  • 1979, Doctoral Degree, Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
  • 1974, Master's Degree, Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
  • 1973, Bachelor's Degree, Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens


Yannis C. Yortsos was appointed Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in 2005. He is the Chester F. Dolley Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and holds the Zohrab A. Kaprielian Dean’s Chair in Engineering. Yortsos is well known for his work on fluid flow, transport and reaction processes in porous and fractured media with applications to the recovery of subsurface fluids and soil remediation. He has been actively involved in the peer review of the Yucca Mountain Project for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

Under Dean Yortsos' leadership, the Viterbi School has risen to 10th worldwide for engineering, computer science and technology (2010 Shanghai Jiao Tong rankings). This distinction follows a substantial increase in size, quality and diversity of the school’s faculty and its undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. student body; greater retention and graduation rates; a growing number of major national and international faculty awards; and a thriving research program including six national research centers and total multi-year, multi-school funding of more than $180M. Yortsos spearheaded strategic directions for the creation of educational and research programs that respond to the critical needs of the profession, the society and of global outreach.

Yortsos coined the term Engineering+, a concept promoting interdisciplinary research, programs and faculty appointments that enable engineering’s powerful role for innovation in the sciences and the professions. He led the establishment of new programs across curricula to enhance engineering education, including the recent HST@USC collaboration between the schools of engineering and medicine at USC. Along with his counterparts at Duke University and Olin College, he promoted the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges of Engineering, co-hosting the first NAE Grand Challenges Summit at Duke University in Spring 2009, and the second annual summit at USC in Fall 2010. The first meeting spawned the Grand Challenges Scholars Program for undergraduate engineering schools across the nation. To expand ties with top institutions overseas, Yortsos created offices overseas in Bangalore, Shanghai and Beijing, which led to a strong global presence.

The recipient of many honors for research, teaching and service, Dean Yortsos is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and serves as the liaison of Section 11 to the National Research Council. Yortsos received his B.Sc. from the National Technical University, Athens, Greece, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, all in chemical engineering. An invited scholar at several institutions in the United States and abroad, he joined the faculty of USC in 1978. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Engineering Deans Council as well as the Executive Committee of the Global Engineering Deans Council.

Research Summary

* Fluid flow, transport, and reaction in porous media
* Viscous flows in porous media geometries
* Phase change in porous media
* Applications to the recovery of subsurface fluids (oil recovery, a soil remediation)

[Specific Research Projects]

* Miscible flows in Hele-Shaw cells
* Vapor-Liquid Flow in Porous Media
* Transport and Displacement in Heterogeneous and Fractured Media
* Scale-Up of Displacement Processes in Heterogeneous Media
* Flow of Fluids with Yield Stress in Porous Media
* Darcian Dynamics
* Heterogeneity Identification
* Filtration Combustion


  • 2009 Dubna International University Honorary Doctoral Degree
  • 2008 Society of Petroleum Engineers Western North America Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award
  • 2004 Best Paper
  • 2004 Endow Chaired Professorship
  • 2004 Service Award
  • 2000 Orange County Engineering Council Distinguished Educator Award
  • 1985 AIME Rossiter W. Raymond Award
  • 1984 Pi Epsilon Tau Distinguished Service Award
  • 1981 ARCO Oil and Gas Outstanding Jr. Faculty Award
  • - National Academy of Greece in Natural Sciences, the Arts and Humanities Associate member of the Academy of Athens
  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

  • OHE 200
  • Olin Hall of Engineering
  • 3650 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 1450

Contact Information
  • (213) 740-0617
  • yortsos@usc.edu


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