Ted Heindel

Ted Heindel
Bergles Professor of Thermal Science

  research   Publications   Teaching   Laboratory   Students   CV (pdf)


PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1994
MS, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1990
BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1988

Areas of Interest

  • X-ray flow visualization
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Multiphase flow hydrodynamics
  • Gas-liquid, gas-solid, and gas-liquid-solid multiphase flows
  • Gas-liquid mass transfer


Ted Heindel is currently the Bergles Professor of Thermal Science in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University; he also holds a courtesy professor appointment in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He directs the Experimental Multiphase Flow Laboratory at ISU, which houses a unique instrument for performing X-ray visualization studies of large-scale complex fluid flows. His research currently focuses on multiphase flow hydrodynamics (e.g., mixing in gas-liquid, gas-solid, and gas-liquid-solid flows), multiphase flow visualization and characterization using X-ray imaging technology, and particle-particle mixing. This work has applications in petroleum-based and bio-based chemical and fuel processing, energy generation, food processing, agricultural waste management, pulp and paper processing, mineral processing, and wastewater treatment. Dr. Heindel’s research program has been funded by over 45 projects supported through the NSF, USDA, DOE, the State of Iowa, and industrial partners. He has co-authored one book and published over 70 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 200 conference papers, abstracts, and technical reports.

Dr. Heindel is the project director for the Iowa NSF EPSCoR project “Harnessing Energy Flows in the Biosphere to Build Sustainable Energy Systems.” This $20M, five-year project involves all three Iowa Regent institutions and has activities throughout the state of Iowa. He is also the Energy Utilization Platform leader in the Iowa NSF EPSCoR project; this platform focuses on building systems and community intervention and education to enhance energy utilization. Dr. Heindel recently completed a project funded by the Iowa Office of Energy Independence with a focus on enhancing the energy education opportunities at Iowa State. He developed a minor in energy systems that was approved in spring 2012, and he is the Director of Graduate Education for the newly approved Masters of Engineering degree in Energy Systems, which will be offered beginning fall 2014.

In October 2012, Dr. Heindel completed a three-year, three-month appointment as the interim chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the most popular program on the Iowa State campus. During his time as Department Chair, student enrollment increased by over 30%, plans for a successful ABET review were initiated, and over nine tenured/tenure-track faculty were hired. Prior to becoming interim chair, Dr. Heindel was the Associate Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Mechanical Engineering where he chaired a department-wide strategic planning process. The outcome of this process was a faculty and staff supported roadmap identifying five strategic areas that is still being followed and was highlighted by the ABET reviewer during the fall 2012 ABET visit. Dr. Heindel was in the initial cohort of ISU’s Emerging Leaders Academy, a Provost-supported program to build university leadership; he completed this year-long program in December 2009.

Dr. Heindel’s teaching emphasis is in the area of thermal science (thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and heat/mass transfer) and measurement and instrumentation. He has also developed a new graduate-level course entitled “ME 531: Advanced Energy Systems and Analysis.” He has been recognized for his teaching efforts through the College of Engineering’s Superior Engineering Teacher of the Year Award, and was twice selected by graduating seniors as mechanical engineering’s Professor of the Year. He typically supports several undergraduate research assistants in his laboratory and has mentored eight Program for Women in Science and Engineering (PWSE) summer interns and 22 Freshmen Honors research participants. He currently has three graduate students and five undergraduate research assistants working in has lab.

Dr. Heindel is active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fluids Engineering Division. He was an associate editor of the ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering for two 3-year terms (the maximum allowed by JFE) and Chair of the Fluid Measurement and Instrumentation Technical Committee for two 2-year terms. He now serves on the Fluids Engineering Division (FED) Honors and Awards Committee and represents the FED as an Advisory Board Member of the ASME Journal of Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine. He has also chaired or co-chaired several sessions at ASME conferences, and reviews papers and proposals for several journals and organizations.

Dr. Heindel is a past holder of the William and Virginia Binger Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at ISU. He was an assistant professor of engineering at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) prior to joining Iowa State University. IPST was a private graduate school supported by the paper industry and located on the Georgia Tech Campus; it officially merged with Georgia Tech in 2003. Dr. Heindel received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University, all in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in the thermal sciences.

Ted Heindel

2018 Black Engineering