Thermo-Fluids Research

Our thermo-fluids research spans length scales from ocean waves to blood vessels and includes applications such as bio-inspired silent flight and underwater locomotion, sustainable energy systems, and design of advanced materials for power generation. Browse below to learn more about our faculty-led research labs in thermo-fluids.

Bio-Nano-Interface Lab

Yaling Liu’s lab focuses on micro/nano-engineering for biology and medicine. They use combined experimental and computational approaches to characterize the interfacial phenomena at the micro/nano scale and explore the mechanical behavior of biological systems. Recent projects have included biofluidics, microfluidics, lab on chip, organ on chip, biotransport, nanotechnology, and machine learning.

Graduate Student Placements: Apple, Mercedes Daimler AG, Regeneron, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Northern Illinois University, and Princeton University

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Read more about Prof. Liu and one of his projects to predict hemolysis in medical devices.

Fluid Mechanics Laboratories

Flow past aircraft wings, heat exchanger tubes, fuel rods in a nuclear reactor, tall buildings, race cars, and cutouts in submarine hulls can give rise to flow-induced vibration and noise generation. These phenomena may arise from inherent instabilities of the flow, elastic behavior of the structure in presence of flow, or gusts / vortices incident upon the structure. In the laboratory, use of advanced laser diagnostic and image processing techniques can lead to a deep understanding of these phenomena and provide a basis for new models of the interactions.

Graduate Student Placements: Lockheed, Blue Origin, Creare, Air Products, Bechtel (Marine Propulsion), University of Toronto, University der Bundeswehr Munich, Monash University (Australia), Pennsylvania State University

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Read more about Prof. Donald Rockwell and his work on unsteady flows on maneuvering wings.

Please note, Prof. Rockwell is no longer taking on graduate students, postdoctoral associates or visiting faculty.

Unsteady Flow Interactions Lab

Keith Moored's lab discovers the fundamental physics behind unsteady flow phenomena and fluid-structure interactions that occur in engineering and throughout nature. We integrate in-house numerical tools with state-of-the-art experimental techniques to generate new understanding of phenomena at the intersection of fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, and biology. Our research has broad applications to bio-inspired underwater vehicles, marine hydrokinetic turbines, unmanned aerial systems, aircraft, rotorcraft, and wind turbines. Research updates and lab news can be found on Twitter @MooredLabs.

Graduate Student Placements: Boeing, Sikorsky, Gulfstream, Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Pennsylvania State University, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), University of Southampton (UK)

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Read more about Prof. Keith Moored and his work on bio-inspired riverine power.

Jaworski Research Group

Professor Jaworski’s research group studies the coupled interactions between unsteady fluid flows and moving or elastic structures with a focus on aeroelastic stability and flow-noise prediction. Mathematical and numerical models are developed to investigate noise mitigation strategies in low-speed flows inspired by owls, the vortex dynamics of birds and aircraft flying in formation, the performance of offshore wind turbines, and microscale power generation designs, among other nascent topics. 

Research updates and lab news can be found on Twitter @JaworskiFSI.

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Graduate Student Placements: Harvard University, Northeastern University, University of Washington, Naval Research Laboratory

Read more about Prof. Jaworski and his research on owl-inspired mechanisms of quiet flight.


Arindam Banerjee’s Turb-Lab focuses on multi-scale fluid-dynamics with an emphasis on energy and biological systems. The research goal of our group is to enhance the limited understanding of fundamental issues related to space and scale interactions in turbulent flows. Current research projects include tidal/wave/offshore-wind energy systems, hydrodynamic instabilities in the non-linear regimes, and, computational pulmonary fluid dynamics.

Graduate Student Placements: Air Products and Chemicals, American Standards, Amazon, Cal Tech, Caterpillar Inc., Corvid Technologies, EMD Electronics, Exa Corporation, Georgia Tech, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Raytheon, University of Alabama, Verdant Power Inc, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

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Follow @LabTurb on Twitter for research updates.

Read more about Prof. Arindam Banerjee and his work on Mimicking Turbulence Characteristics at Tidal Energy Test Sites in a Laboratory Environment.

Group for Interfacial and Nanoengineering (GIAN)

Ganesh Balasubramanian’s Group for Interfacial and Nanoengineering (GIAN) focuses on computationally guided engineering of materials and processes with applications in renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, power generation, and defense systems. The group’s activities predominantly concentrate on scientific problems that are influenced by molecular interactions and interfaces. Their models use a suite of techniques that include first principles, molecular simulations, micro/macro scale computations, and data analytics with experimental validations and feedback through material synthesis, characterization, and measurements.

Graduate Student Placements: Argonne National Lab, Pacific Northwest National Lab

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Read more about Prof. Balasubramanian and his work on predictive manufacturing of multicomponent alloys.


Professor Demir’s Design and Engineering of Microswimmers for Interdisciplinary Research (DEMIR) Lab focuses on developing artificial swimmers that mimic microorganisms found in the nature, such as bacteria and spermatozoa, to elucidate the physics of their swimming in biological fluids. The lab uses computational methods to better the design of the swimmers and to study the fluid-swimmer interactions. The swimmers are then manufactured using advanced manufacturing techniques, and used in experiments mimicking biological fluidic environments, such as blood flows inside veins. Larger scale robotic swimmers are also studied in the lab to explore the possible contributions of machine learning algorithms.

Research updates and lab news can be found on Twitter @DEMIR_Lab.

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Read more about Prof. Demir.

Faculty Members