Dr. Thanos Papanicolaou joined the University of Tennessee College of Engineering this spring semester as a Goodrich Chair of Excellence Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Most recently, Papanicolaou was a Donald E. Bently Faculty Fellow of Engineering and professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa (UI). At UI, he was affiliated with the IIHR Hydroscience & Engineering research laboratory and was a researcher for the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research & Policy Center. Papanicolaou is a distinguished member of the Iowa Academy of Science. He also served as associate director of the university’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program.
Prior to his UI appointment, Papanicolaou was assistant professor and associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Washington State University. He earned a BS degree with honors in 1990 in civil engineering from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He earned his MS degree in 1993 and his doctorate in 1997 in civil and environmental engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Papanicolaou’s research focuses on sediments and soil, and how they interact with flow and precipitation. He and his research team develop methods to predict the rate of transport and deposition of soil and sediment and trace the sediment source. As co-director of the Critical Zone Observatory for Intensively Managed Landscapes (IML-CZO), an NSF-funded project, Papanicolaou and multi-university partners seek ways to improve the resilience of natural systems that are modified for agriculture and other uses.
Papanicolaou is a member of numerous professional and scientific societies, serves on several editorial boards, is a technical advisor of several federal agencies, and was a 2008 National Civil Engineering Prize Award recipient. He has co-authored more than eighty refereed papers, numerous reports, and around 300 conference proceedings. According to Google Scholar, the number of citations of his papers reaches a total of 1,024. Since 2008 alone, his papers have been cited 617 times. To date, he has been the principal investigator of fifty-three projects, out of which thirty-eight are federal (NSF, NOAA, USDA, NASA, USGS/NIWR, USBR, DOT/RITA, ONR/US NAVY, DOD/USACE), and the remaining are from state agencies and private sector.
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