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Mattia Gazzola

Assistant Professor
(217) 300-4773
256 Computing Applications Bldg

For more information


  • PhD Mechanical Engineering, ETH Zurich, 2013
  • MSc Nuclear Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, 2006
  • BSc Energy Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, 2003

Academic Positions

  • Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology Faculty, UIUC, 2020-date
  • Blue Waters Professor, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, UIUC, 2016-date
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, 2016-date
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, SEAS, Harvard, 2013-2016

Research Interests

  • Biolocomotion
  • Bio-hybrid systems
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Soft mechanics
  • Numerics
  • High Performance Computing

Research Areas

  • Applied Physics
  • Computation and Applied Math
  • Energy
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Health and Bio
  • Security and Defense
  • Solid Mechanics and Materials

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Bhosale, Parthasarathy, Gazzola, "Shape curvature effects in viscous streaming", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2020.
  • Weiner, Bhosale, Gazzola, King, "Mechanics of randomly packed filaments – the 'bird nest' as meta-material", Journal of Applied Physics, 2020.
  • Aydin, Zhang, Nuethong, Pagan-Diaz, Bashir, Gazzola, Saif, "Neuromuscular actuation of biohybrid motile bots", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.
  • Zhang, Chan, Parthasarathy, Gazzola, "Modeling and simulation of complex dynamic musculoskeletal architectures", Nature Communications, 2019.
  • Parthasarathy, Chan, Gazzola, "Streaming-enhanced flow-mediated transport", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2019.
  • Charles, Gazzola, Mahadevan, "Topology, geometry, and mechanics of strongly stretched and twisted filaments: solenoids, plectonemes, and artificial muscle fibers", Physical Review Letters, 2019.
  • Gazzola, Dudte, McCormick, Mahadevan, "Forward and inverse problems in the mechanics of soft filaments", Royal Society Open Science, 2018.
  • Pagan‐Diaz, Zhang, Grant, Kim, Aydin, Cvetkovic, Ko, Solomon, Hollis, Kong, Saif, Gazzola, Bashir, "Simulation and fabrication of stronger, larger and faster walking biohybrid machines", Advanced Functional Materials, 2018.
  • Park, Gazzola, Park, Park, Di Santo, Blevins, Lind, Campbell, Dauth, Capulli, Pasqualini, Ahn, Cho, Yuan, Maoz, Vijaykumar, Choi, Deisseroth, Lauder, Mahadevan, Parker, "Phototactic guidance of a tissue-engineered soft-robotic ray", Science, 2016.
  • Gazzola, Argentina, Mahadevan, "Gait and speed selection in slender inertial swimmers", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015.
  • Gazzola, Tchieu, Alexeev, de Brauer, Koumoutsakos, "Learning to school in the presence of hydrodynamic interactions", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2015.
  • Gazzola, Argentina, Mahadevan, "Scaling macroscopic aquatic locomotion", Nature Physics, 2014.
  • Gazzola, Hejazialhosseini, Koumoutsakos, "Reinforcement learning and wavelet adapted vortex methods for simulations of self-propelled swimmers", SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 2014.
  • van Rees, Gazzola, Koumoutsakos, "Optimal shapes for anguilliform swimmers at intermediate Reynolds numbers", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2013.
  • Gazzola, van Rees, Koumoutsakos, "C-start: optimal start of larval fish", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2012.
  • Gazzola, Chatelain, van Rees, Koumoutsakos, "Simulations of single and multiple swimmers with non-divergence free deforming geometries", Journal of Computational Physics, 2011.

Other Scholarly Activities

  • Paper2Tree Fall Event 2018
  • Initiated and funded large scale outreach Paper2Tree project, involving Champaign and Urbana municipalities, school and park districts (2017)


  • NSF CAREER Award (2019)
  • Cover of Journal of Fluid Mechanics (2019)
  • Cover of Advanced Functional Materials (2018)
  • Blue Waters Professorship (2016)
  • Cover of Science (2016)
  • Advanced Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship (2015)
  • Le Prix La Recherche (2015)
  • Cover of Nature Physics (2014)
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship (2013)
  • ETH Medal Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis (2013)
  • Cover of Journal of Fluid Mechanics (2013)
  • Cover of Journal of Fluid Mechanics (2012)

Teaching Honors

  • UIUC Teacher Ranked as Excellent by Students - Fall 2018
  • UIUC Teacher Ranked as Excellent by Students - Spring 2017
  • UIUC Teacher Ranked as Excellent by Students - Fall 2016

Improvement Activities

  • Collins Scholars, 2016-2017

Courses Taught

  • ME 310 - Fundamentals of Fluid Dynamics
  • ME 447 - Comp Design & Dyn of Soft Syst
  • ME 498 - Comp modeling & optimization
  • TAM 539 - Fluid Mechanics Seminar