We study problems in mechanics, specifically focusing on the interface between solid and fluid mechanics. The main research approach is analysis, which is supplemented by numerical computations based on commercial codes and small-scale illustrative experiments.
Viscous flow within an elastic solid applies pressure and shear stresses on the interface between the solid and fluid and creates stress-field and deformation-field within the solid. Our research group is investigating the use of viscous flows within elastic bodies as a tool to create controlled deformation, with complex structure in space and time, of elastic bodies. We also study the use of internal flows as a tool to improve the effective stiffness of elastic structures by creating an internal stress-field to oppose the stress-field generated by an external load. The research is of importance to a variety of research areas such as soft robotics, medical applications, micro-aerial vehicles, robotic swimmers, micro-machines and more.
Below is an outline of the research conducted in the group, including links to more information.
Main research aims
Flow & elastic bi/multi-stability (see more here)
This subject broadly deals with the time-dependent dynamics of fluid flow in contact with bi/multi-stable elastic structures. The stress the flow applied to the solid can be used to control the state of bi- and multi-stable structures. Similarly, rapid flows are created due to the release of energy during transitions between stable solid states. These interactions yield interesting physics, relevant to a variety of applications ranging from medical devices to aviation.
Playlist of several of our works on flow & elastic bi/multi-stability (see more here)
Fluid mechanics of soft actuators and robots (see more here)
Pressurization of fluid within elastic chambers is a popular method for the actuation of soft robots, resulting in stress at the fluid-solid interface, and thus, a desired deformation of the structure. Our group studies the internal fluid mechanics of soft-robots, leveraging fluidic effects to extend the capabilities of soft robots.
Playlist of several of our works on fluid mechanics of soft actuators and robots (see more here).
Thin fluid-films bounded by elastic membranes (see more here)
We study the dynamics and stability of thin fluidic films confined between a rigid surface and an elastic membrane. These configurations may be actuated by various mechanisms such as external forces, or electric fields, and are governed by non-linear evolution equations. The results of this aim are relevant to the implementation of reconfigurable lab-on-a-chip and micro-scale robotics.
Playlist of several of our works on thin fluid-films bounded by elastic membranes (see more here)