Thomas Halsey

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Dr. Halsey is a Lecturer in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, commencing in 2023.  In 2021 he retired as Chief Computational Scientist from ExxonMobil in Spring, TX.  He joined ExxonMobil in 1994, and over the next 26 and 1/2 years he held a variety of research, staff, and management jobs in ExxonMobil in New Jersey and in Texas.  Prior to his ExxonMobil career, he held faculty and postdoctoral positions in the Department of Physics and the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago from 1984 to 1994.

Research Areas

Dr. Halsey has pursued a variety of research interests over the course of his career, including topics in soft condensed matter physics, applied mathematics, and geological physics, leading to approximately 100 publications and six patents. His most recent interests include the modeling of offshore turbidity currents, which are the dominant physical mechanism by which sediment is moved from onshore into the deep ocean, and approaches to the successful use of modeling of (epistemically) uncertain systems to support decision making. At earlier stages in his career, he worked on the physics of granular flow, pattern formation in statistical systems, notably diffusion-limited aggregation and related growth models, electro-and magneto-rheology, and the statistics of “multifractal” systems that arise in nonlinear dynamics, statistical physics, and complex natural systems. With his co-authors, he published a seminal paper on multifractal statistics that has garnered >4000 citations. Dr. Halsey has been a leader within the Society of Petroleum Engineers in pursuing constructive engagement between the petroleum industry and the emerging energy transition towards a lower carbon energy system.


1984, Ph.D., Physics, Harvard University

1980 B.S., Physics, University of California at Riverside


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