Julio Mario Ottino is a researcher, engineering scientist, artist, author, and educator. He is a professor, and former dean, in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science as well as a professor in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Born in Argentina, he grew up with twin interests in physical sciences and visual arts, finding beauty in math and art, and seeing creativity as being one thing, rather that something living in compartments. Art provided a cathartic means of expression while growing up in turbulent times. He managed to mount a solo art exhibit while drafted as an officer in the Argentinian Navy. When he moved to the United States to pursue a doctorate, research achievements followed.

Most of the early attention Ottino received stemmed from work in chaos theory and mixing and a combination of scientific insight and visualization. His research work has been featured on the covers of Nature, Science, Scientific American, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, and other publications. He has supervised more than 65 PhD theses, written over 260 papers, 3 books, and given invited presentations at over 200 universities in the United States and around the world, as well as at organizations such as Accenture, Boeing, Google, 3M, and Unilever. His 2022 book, The Nexus, dealing with creativity and innovation at the intersection of art, technology, and science, in collaboration with noted designer Bruce Mau, was published in May by MIT press, and was selected as category winner in the 2023 PROSE Award from the Association of American Publishers.

An academic entrepreneur, Ottino was the founding co-director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems and educational and research initiatives in design, entrepreneurship, and energy and sustainability. He also founded educational and research partnerships with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business, the Pritzker School of Law, the Medill School of Journalism, the Feinberg School of Medicine, the School of Communication, and the School of Education and Social Policy, as well as with external partners ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to Argonne National Lab. In 2008, he was selected by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as one of the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era.” In 2017, Ottino was awarded the Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education from the National Academy of Engineering for the concept of whole-brain engineering. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Talks, podcasts, media coverage, and presentations related to The Nexus