Return to Faculty Directory

Wallace, Dr. James

Wallace, James
Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering
Director, Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics
0100-K Ellicott Hall, Building 256
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Research Interests 

  • Physics of turbulent fluid flow
  • social implications of science and technology


Dr. Wallace Retired in 2012.


  • D.Phil., Oxford University, 1969

Honors and Awards 

  • The Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award of the University of Maryland (2006)
  • 2005 Maryland Professor of the Year, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
  • University System of Maryland Board of Regents Teaching Award (2004)
  • Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, Georgia Institute of Technology (1995)
  • Achievement Award for Contribution to Science, University of Maryland Sigma Xi Chapter (1992)
  • Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (1989)
  • Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, University of Maryland, College Park (1987-88)
  • Distinguished Service Award in the Engineering Sciences, Washington Academy of Sciences (1984)

Professional Memberships and Service 

  • Chairman, Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society (2003), Councilor (2009-present);
  • Member-at-Large of the United States National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the National Research Council (2003-2006).

Selected Publications 


  • R.B. Loucks and J.M. Wallace, "Velocity and Velocity Gradient Based Properties of a Turbulent Mixing Layer," J. Fluid Mech. (2012), in press.


  • J.M. Wallace and P.V. Vukoslavcevic, "Experimental Measurement of the Velocity Gradient Tensor," Ann. Rev. of Fluid Mech. (2010), 42, 157-181.


  • A. Folz and J.M. Wallace, “Near-Surface Turbulence in the Atmospheric Surface Layer,” Physica D (2009), 10.1016/j.physd.2009.06.014.
  • J.M. Wallace, "Twenty Years of Experimental and DNS Access to the Velocity Gradient Tensor:  What have we learned about Turbulence?," Phys. Fluids (2009), 21, 021301, 1-17


  • J.M. Wallace and L. Ong, "Local Isotropy of the Velocity and Vorticity Fields in a Boundary Layer a High Reynolds Number," Phys. Fluids (2008) 20, 101506, 1-7.
  • S. Simoens and J. M. Wallace, "The Flow Across a Street Canyon of Variable Width - Part II: Scalar Dispersion from a Street Level Line Source," Atmos. Environ. (2008), 42, 2489-2503.


  • S. Simoens, M. Ayrault and J.M. Wallace, "The Flow Across a Street Canyon of Variable Width - Part I: Kinematic Description," Atmos. Environ. (2007), 41, 9002-9017.


  • P.S. Bernard and J.M. Wallace, "Turbulent Flow: Measurement, Analysis and Prediction," John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, (2002).


  • E. Balaras, U. Piomelli and J.M. Wallace, "Self-similar States in Turbulent Mixing Layers," J. Fluid Mech. (2001), 446, 1-24.


  • J.-Y. Vincont, S. Simoens, M. Ayrault, and J.M. Wallace, "Passive Scalar Dispersion in a Turbulent Boundary Layer from a Line Source at the Wall and Downstream of an Obstacle," J. Fluid Mech. (2000), 424, 127-167.


  • L. Ong, and J.M. Wallace, "Joint Probability Density Analysis of the Structure and Dynamics of the Vorticity Field of a Turbulent Boundary Layer," J. Fluid Mech. (1998), 367, 291-328.


  • J.M. Wallace and J.F. Foss, "The Measurement of Vorticity in Turbulent Flows," Ann. Rev. of Fluid Mech. (1995), 27, 469-514.

Related News 

Two Mechanical Engineering Professors Publish Articles Among Most Read in Physics of Fluids in 2012
Assistant Professor Johan Larsson and Professor Emeritus James Wallace published articles in Physics of Fluids among the most read last year. April 1, 2013

Mechanical Engineering Honors Prof. James Wallace & Faculty
Mechanical Engineering faculty were honored at the Faculty Recognition Event and Dinner on Friday, May 12. May 15, 2006

Professor James Wallace Receives Major Teaching Award
Professor James Wallace has been named 2005 Maryland Professor of the Year. November 15, 2005

ME Undergrad Awarded Prestigious NOAA Scholarship
Jennifer Thompson was awarded a prestigious NOAA Ernest F. Hollings scholarship. October 15, 2005

Professors Wallace, Duncan Elected to Ameican Physical Society Division Executive Committee
This division is the principal professional organization for over five-thousand fluid dynamicists in the U.S. and abroad. February 15, 2004

Congratulations to Professor Wallace for this outstanding achievement. February 15, 2004

Wallace Appointed to U.S. National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
Professor James Wallace has been appointed Member-at-Large of the USNC/TAM of the National Academy of Sciences. October 11, 2002

Duncan Named Director of Science, Technology, and Society Program
Professor James Duncan has been named Director STS Program, taking the reins from Professor James Wallace. September 15, 2002