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Themistoklis Sapsis

Contact Info

room 5-318

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 2005


  • 2011



Research Interests

  • Extreme events
  • Uncertainty quantification and prediction
  • Turbulent systems
  • Nonlinear water waves
  • Climate modeling
  • Random vibrations
  • Energy harvesting


Dr. Sapsis is the William I. Koch Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering at MIT as well as the Director of the Center for Ocean Engineering. He is also affiliated with the Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS) and the Center for Computational Science and Engineering (CSSE), both within Schwarzman College of Computing. He received a Diploma in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Technical University of Athens, Greece and a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering from MIT. Before his faculty appointment at MIT he served as Research Scientist at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. He has also been a visiting faculty at ETH-Zurich. Prof. Sapsis work lies on the interface of nonlinear dynamical systems, probabilistic modeling and data-driven methods. A particular emphasis of his work is the formulation of mathematical methods for the prediction, statistical quantification and optimization of complex engineering and physical systems with extreme transient features, such as turbulent fluid flows in engineering and geophysical settings, nonlinear waves, and extreme ship motions. He has received numerous awards including three Young Investigator Awards (Navy, Army and Air-Force research office), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award, the Verisk AI Faculty Research Award, the MathWorks Faculty Research Innovation Fellowship, and more recently the ASME Lloyd Hamilton Donnell Award and the Bodossaki Award on Basic Sciences: Mathematics.

Honors + Awards

  • 2021, Bodossaki Award on Basic Sciences: Mathematics
  • 2020, Verisk AI Faculty Research Award
  • 2020, MathWorks Faculty Research Innovation Fellowship, MIT
  • 2017, Doherty Associate Professor Chair in Ocean Utilization, MIT
  • 2016, Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award
  • 2015, Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award
  • 2015, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Ocean Sciences
  • 2015, Army Research Office Young Investigator Award
  • 2015, Office of Naval Research - Summer Faculty Research Program Fellow
  • 2013, Recipient of the first American Bureau of Shipping Career Development Chair, MIT


  • American Physical Society
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
  • International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers

Professional Service

  • 2023-     Journal of Nonlinear Science
  • 2017-     SIAM/ASA Journal of Uncertainty Quantification
  • 2022-     International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics
  • 2016-     International Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering
  • 2017-2023 Nature-Springer Journal of Nonlinear Dynamics
  • 2017-2018 ASME Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics, Guest Editor
  • 2014-2016 Journal of Ocean and Wind Energy


  • 2.121/2.122 Stochastic Systems
  • 2.003 Dynamics and Control
  • 2.700/2.701 Principles of Naval Architecture
  • 2.081/16.230 Plates and Shells: Static and Dynamic Analysis