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History of TIM

The TIM originated in upstate New York in the early 1980’s; it was called the Casowasco meeting and was held in a United Methodist Church camp, located near Moravia on Lake Owasco. The Casowasco meeting was originally organized by Jacques Lewalle of Syracuse University who shamelessly copied the idea from the Midwestern University Fluid Mechanics Retreat, where instead of marbles, “frogs” continue to be the currency. While these meetings are aimed specifically at graduate students, the Casowasco meeting transformed faculty too: Paul Steen of Cornell met Kyra Stephanoff, then of Lehigh University, at the Casowasco meeting and have now been happily married for 26 years!

The attendees had cabins to sleep in and a central building called “Galilee”, which held the Saturday evening experimental two-phase flow session. The camp still operates. The meeting lasted at Casowasco until about 1992 under the guidance of Jacques; however, our spirited “two-phase flow session” caused the management of the Church camp a problem that lead to a short hiatus for the meeting. Shortly thereafter, Dan Ewing, who was a graduate student of Bill George (formerly SUNY Buffalo, now a peripatetic turbulence researcher) joined Andrew Pollard at Queen’s and, based upon their earlier positive experiences at Casowasco, they re-instituted the meeting using the Glen House Resort in Lansdowne, Ontario and the TIM began in 1996.

TIM, as with the Casowasco meeting, plays a useful role to introduce students to faculty who attended, but more importantly, it enables each group of students to build up their peer group, to share ideas and insights. The tradition of marbles and the Saturday evening “experimental two-phase flow session” remains as well as the rather pliable set of “rules” set by each chair of the technical sessions.

More recently, the reins of the meeting have been passed to Ken Visser and Brian Helenbrook of Clarkson, who livened up the meeting by setting a new dress code. And, upon joining Syracuse University, Melissa Green, who benefited from TIM as a Ph.D. student with Lex Smits at Princeton, has now taken a central role in its organization, including re-formatting and moving the website from Clarkson to

2016 marked the 20th anniversary of TIM and about the 32nd anniversary of the meeting in general if we include Casowasco. Many students have passed through its portal and gone onto significant careers themselves, including joining the ranks of the professoriate. Gratifyingly, they return now with their own students!

Compiled by Andrew Pollard, Kingston, July 2016 with input from Paul Steen, Lex Smits, Jacques Lewalle, Ken Visser, and Bill George.