2018 NSF Workshop: April 17 -18, 2018

Constructal Theory: 20 Years of Exploration and What the Future Holds

In constructal theory—a mental view of the geometric principle for flow structures—it is thought that “for a finite-size flow system to persist in time (to live), it must evolve in such a way that it provides easier access to the currents that flow through it.” The current can be fluid, mass, energy, heat, money, information, publications, mechanical stress, electrical current, and so forth.

Constructal theory has grown into its own field of research with over 5000 textbook, journal, and conference publications in a broad range of areas including engineering and the physical and social sciences. This workshop aims to advance and accelerate constructal theory through the synergistic interaction among theoretical explorations and industrial applications for new frontiers.


The goals of this workshop:

  • Review accomplishments from the first 20 years of exploration of constructal theory
  • Identify new scientific opportunities for further theoretical advances
  • Examine how to effectively utilize the constructal theory with new materials and innovative infrastructure
  • Discuss challenges in achieving the vision of accelerating impact on industry and the nation's economy

The workshop will be one-and-one-half days and will include keynotes from leaders in industry and academe. Discussed will be the state-of-the-art and possible future use of constructal theory, law and design to improve the health and well-being of the world’s population relative to energy, food and water nexus. Key research and engineering areas include:

  • Heat and energy
  • Water supply
  • Biology
  • Health science disciplines

The workshop will bring together experts across various fields to provide a focused effort in identifying promising, key areas of future research.

Invited Keynote Speakers

Heather Morgan, AECOM
Jordan Charles, Blue Origin
Vadim Tsoi, Huawei Sweden
Ehsan Samei, Duke Medical Center
Victor Chiriac, Qualcomm
Sylvie Lorente, University of Toulouse, INSA,     France
Ewald Weibel, University of Bern
Timothy Burt, Durham University
Adrian Bejan, Duke University
Jonathan Boreyko, Virginia Tech
Fanis Grammenos, Urban Pattern Associates, Ottawa, ON
Pierre Leblanc, SENTO Consultants Inc., Valleyfield, Québec
S. G. Sterrett, Wichita State University

Participation Support

An NSF grant will cover the cost of food and lodging for all participants. Alcoholic beverages available at the reception on 4/17 will not be covered by the grant.


The workshop will take place at Villanova University in Villanova, PA. Detailed descriptions of Villanova University and the proposed venue for the workshop (The Inn at Villanova; TheInnAtVillanova.com) can be found online.

Organizing Committee and Staff

Gerard “Jerry” Jones, Villanova University
Calvin H. Li, Villanova University
Sylvie Lorente, University of Toulouse, INSA, France
Nancy D’Angeli, Villanova University
Helen Tursi, Villanova University
Kim Shimer, Villanova University
Joyce Munyan, Villanova University


Helen Tursi for room reservations, transportation or special needs.

Nancy D’Angeli for general questions about the program.

Dr. Jerry Jones or  Dr. Calvin Li for program specific questions.

Joyce Munyan for problems or questions about the registration or payment forms.