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ETH Zürich
Prof. Dr. Erich J. Windhab
IFNH Food Process Engineering Group
LFO E 18
Schmelzbergstrasse 9
8092 Zürich


Phone: +41 44 632 53 48
Fax: +41 44 632 11 55

Erich J. Windhab has been Full Professor of Food Process Engineering in IFNH at the ETH Zürich since 1992

Windhab was born in 1956 in Karlsruhe, Germany. After completing his studies in chemical engineering and process technology at the Technical University of Karlsruhe, he received his PhD (Dr.-Ing.) in Chemical Engineering at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics of the same university in 1985. From 1984 until 1988 Windhab established his own engineering business, specializing in process engineering and related consulting work.

In 1985, Windhab was offered by the government of Lower Saxony, Germany and the Volkswagen Foundation, to establish the scientific structure of the German Institute of Food Technology (DIL) in Quakenbrück /Osnabrück, an industrial research institute. Two years later in 1987 he was promoted to vice director of DIL. He served for five years in this position. From 1988 to 1992 Windhab lectured in Fluid Dynamics II / Rheology at the Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Process Automation at the Technical University in Munich/Weihenstephan, Germany. In 1992 where he was offered the position of a full professor in Food Process Engineering at ETH Zürich.

To date, Windhab has held many professional positions in various influential establishments. Within the ETH Zurich domain, he has been director of studies for the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Food Science, since 2003. He is also on the steering board of the Material Research Center at ETH Zurich. Within Switzerland,/ Europe Windhab is president of the Swiss Rheology Group/ Polymer Society (since 1997), director of Swiss Competence Centre of Rheology (Since 2000), on the board of AIF-FEI (Forschungskreis der Ernährungsindustrie, Germany, since 2001), member of the European Academy of Sciences (since 2002), scientific member of the “AIF Kuratorium” in Berlin (2004-2010), member of the scientific advisory boards of Bühler AG (Uzwil, Switzerland, since 2006) and SuMo Biomaterials in Göteborg, Sweden (since 2008), and is a member of the Scientific Board of GVC (Gesellschaft Verfahrenstechnik u. Chemie) in Germany.

Internationally, Windhab was on the Board of Directors Heinkel AG (D, UK, US) from 1999 until 2007, has been chairman of Codex Alimentarius CCPC (WHO/FAO) since 1998, and has been a member of the advisory board  for Solae / Dupont; St. Louis, USA. He has also been on the editorial board of the journal “Applied Rheology.” Windhab has published more than 220 peer-reviewed publications, presented more than 450 times (over half of which were invited talks), and holds more than 70 patents resulting from his work. Windhab has also been granted numerous awards, most recently including the European Food Tec award (together with Bühler AG, 2003), the International Nestlé Innovation award (2005), and the prestigious Blaise Pascal Medal of the European Academy of Sciences (2004).

Windhab's research priorities are fluid- and powder technological processes for functional microstructuring of multiphase systems (suspensions, emulsions, foams), in the biomaterial-related product fields concerning mostly food systems but also including applications in other life science related product domains like pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

In detail he connects the domains of (i) Food process engineering particularly including Functional Microstructure Engineering and Gastro-Intestinal Engineering, there dealing with aspects of fluid dynamics, flow simulation, heat and mass transfer, process-induced multi-scale structuring kinetics as well as process design, optimization and scaling from microfluidics to industrial production scale and of (ii) Food material Science, with specific focus rheology, powder mechanics and interfacial physics.

Selected publications of  E. Windhab in the area of “Multiphase Food Systems Processing”

  1. Hanselmann, W., and Windhab, E. (1996). "Foam Flow in Pipes." Appl. Rheology, 6(6), 253-262
  2. Hanselmann, W., and Windhab, E. J. (1999). "Flow Characteristics and Modelling of Foam Generation in a Continuous Rotor/Stator Mixer." Journal of Food Engineering, 38, 393-405.
  3. Gunde, R., Kumar, A., Lehnert-Batar, S., Mäder, R., and Windhab, E. J. (2001). "Measurement of the Surface and Interfacial Tension from Maximum Volume of a Pendant Drop." Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 244, 113-122.
  4. Windhab, E., Fischer, P., Stranzinger, M., and Kaufmann, S. "Experimental and Numerical Studies on the Controlled Liquid-Liquid Break-up in Complex Laminar Flow Fields." Engineering and Food for the 21st Century, Boca Raton, FL, USA, 361-380
  5. Erni, P., Fischer, P., Windhab, E. J., Kusnezov, V., Stettin, H., and Lauger, J. (2003). "Stress- and Strain-Controlled Measurements of Interfacial Shear Viscosity and Viscoelasticity at Liquid/Liquid and Gas/Liquid Interfaces." Review of Scientific Instruments, 74(11), 4916-4924.
  6. Schadler, V., Windhab, E. J. (2004) "Kontinuierliches Membran-Emulgieren mittels rotierender Mikromembranen mit definierten Porenabständen." Chemie Ingenieur Technik, 76(9), 1392.
  7. Eisner, M. D., Wildmoser, H., and Windhab, E. J. (2005). "Air cell microstructuring in a high viscous ice cream matrix." Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 263(1-3), 390-399.
  8. Erni, P., Fischer, P., and Windhab, E. J. (2005). "Deformation of single emulsion drops covered with a viscoelastic adsorbed protein layer in simple shear flow." Applied Physics Letters, 87(24), 244104.
  9. Erni, P., Fischer, P., and Windhab, E. J. (2005). "Sorbitan tristearate layers at the air/water interface studied by shear and dilatational interfacial rheology." Langmuir, 21(23), 10555-10563.
  10. Jeelani, S. A. K., Hosig, R., and Windhab, E. J. (2005). "Kinetics of Low Reynolds Number Creaming and Coalescence in Droplet Dispersions." AIChE Journal, 51(1), 149.
  11. Müller-Fischer, N., and Windhab, E. J. (2005). "Influence of process parameters on microstructure of food foam whipped in a rotor-stator device within a wide static pressure range." Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 263(1-3), 353-362.
  12. Wildmoser, H., Jeelani, S. A. K., and Windhab, E. J. (2005). "Serum separation in molten ice creams produced by low temperature extrusion processes." International Dairy Journal, 15(10), 1074-1085.
  13. Windhab, E. J., Dressler, M., Feigl, K., Fischer, P., and Megias-Alguacil, D. (2005). "Emulsion processing--from single-drop deformation to design of complex processes and products." Chemical Engineering Science, 60(8-9), 2101-2113.
  14. Jeelani, S. A. K., and Windhab, E. J. (2006). "Local film thinning due to concentration gradient of an insoluble surfactant at an interface." Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 298(2), 810-824.
  15. Eisner, M. D., Jeelani, S. A. K., Bernhard, L., and Windhab, E. J. (2007). "Stability of foams containing proteins, fat particles and nonionic surfactants." Chemical Engineering Science, 62(7), 1974-1987.
  16. Fischer, P., Eugster, A., Windhab, E. J., and Schuleit, M. (2007). "Predictive stress tests to study the influence of processing procedure on long term stability of supersaturated pharmaceutical o/w creams." International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 339, 189-196.
  17. Müller-Fischer, N. F., Suppiger, D., and Windhab, E. J. (2007). "Impact of static pressure and volumetric energy input on the microstructure of food foam whipped in a rotor-stator device." Journal of Food Engineering, 80(1), 306-316.
  18. Müller-Fischer, N. F., Bleuler, H., and Windhab, E. J. (2007). "Dynamically enhanced membrane foaming." Chemical Engineering Science, 62, 4409-4419.
  19. Erni, P., Fischer, P., and Windhab, E. J. (2008). "Complex interfaces and their role in protein-stabilized soft materials." ChemPhysChem, 9(13), 1833-1837
  20. Jeelani, S. A. K., and Windhab, E. J. (2009) "Drop coalescence in planar extensional flow and gravity." Chemical Engineering Science, 64, 2718 - 2722.
  21. Joshi, K. S., Baumann, A., Jeelani, S. A. K., Blickenstorfer, C., Naegeli, I., and Windhab, E. J. (2009) "Mechanism of bubble coalescence induced by surfactant covered antifoam particles." Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 339(2), 446-453.
  22. Erni, P., Windhab, E. J. (2011). "Emulsion Drops with Complex Interfaces: Globular Versus Flexible Proteins." Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 296, 249-262.
  23. Cramer, C., Studer, S., Windhab, E.J., and Fischer, P. (2012) "Periodic dripping dynamics in a co-flowing liquid-liquid system" Physics of Fluids, Vol. 24, 093101.
  24. Althaus, T. O., Windhab, E. J. and Scheuble, N. (2012) "Effect of pendular liquid bridges on the flow behavior of wet powders" Powder Technology, Vol. 217, 599-606.
  25. Tanner, F.X. Al-Habahbeh, A.A., Feigl, K.A., Nahar, S., Jeelani, S.A.K., Case, W.R. and Windhab, E.J. (2012) "Numerical and Experimental Investigation of a Non-Newtonian Flow in a Collapsed Elastic Tube" Applied Rheology, Vol. 22, 63910.
  26. Wiklund, J., Birkhofer, B., Jeelani, S. A. K., Stading, M. and Windhab, E. (2012) "In-line rheometry of particulate suspensions by pulsed ultrasound velocimetry combined with pressure difference method" Applied Rheology, Vol. 22, 42232.
  27. Holzapfel, S., Rondeau, E., Mühlich, P. and Windhab, E.J. (2013) "Drop Detachment from a Micro-Engineered Membrane Surface in a Dynamic Membrane Emulsification Process" Chemical Engineering & Technology, Vol. 36, 1785-1794.
  28. Liebi, M., van Rhee, P.G., Christianen, P.C.M., Kohlbrecher, J., Fischer, P., Walde, P. and Windhab, E.J. (2013) "Alignment of Bicelles Studied with High-Field Magnetic Birefringence and Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Measurements" Langmuir, Vol. 29, 3467-3473.
  29. Dubey, B. N. and Windhab, E. J. (2013) "Iron encapsulated microstructured emulsion-particle formation by prilling process and its release kinetics" Journal of Food Engineering, Vol. 115, 198-206.
  30. Feigl, K., Tanner, F. X., Holzapfel, S. and Windhab, E. J. (2014) "Effect of flow type, channel height, and viscosity on drop production from micro-pores" Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 116, 372 – 382.
  31. Scheuble, N., Geue, T., Windhab, E. J. and Fischer, P. (2014) "Tailored Interfacial Rheology for Gastric Stable Adsorption Layers" Biomacromolecules, Vol. 15, 3139−3145.


ETH Zurich

Inst.f. Lebensm.wiss.,Ern.,Ges.

Prof. Dr. Erich J. Windhab

Deputy head of Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health

LFO E 18

Schmelzbergstrasse 9

8092 Zürich


  • phone +41 44 632 53 48 
  • fax +41 44 632 11 55 
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