Mattia Gazzola

Mattia Gazzola
Mattia Gazzola
Associate Professor; Charles Conrad Kritzer Faculty Scholar
(217) 300-4773
3032B Sidney Lu Mech Engr Bldg

For More Information


  • PhD Mechanical Engineering, ETH Zurich, Aug 2013 (Advisor: Petros Koumoutsakos)
  • MSc Nuclear Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, May 2006
  • BSc Energy Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, May 2003

Academic Positions

  • Core Theme Faculty, 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, 2016-2023
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, SEAS, Harvard, 2013-2016 (Advisor: L. Mahadevan)

Research Interests

  • Bio-locomotion
  • Bio-hybrid robotics and computing
  • 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

  • H. Chang, U. Halder, C. Shih*, N. Naughton*, M. Gazzola, P. Mehta. Energy-shaping control of a muscular octopus arm moving in three dimensions. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 479(2270):20220593, 2023.
  • X. Zhang*, Z. Dou*, S. Kim*, G. Upadhyay*, D. Havert, S. Kang, K. Kazemi*, K. Huang, O. Aydin, R. Huang, S. Rahman, A. Ellis-Mohr, H. Noblet, K. Lim, H. Chung, H. Gritton, M. Saif, H. Kong, J. Beggs, M. Gazzola. Mind in Vitro platforms: Versatile, scalable, robust, and open solutions to interfacing with living neurons. Advanced Science, page 2306826, 2023.
  • C. Shih*, N. Naughton*, U. Halder, H. Chang, S. Kim*, R. Gillette, P. Mehta, M. Gazzola. Hierarchical control and learning of a foraging CyberOctopus. Advanced Intelligent Systems, 2300088, 2023.
  • Y. Kim, Y. Yang, X. Zhang*, Z. Li, A. Vazquez-Guardado, I. Park, J. Wang, A. Efimov, Z. Dou*, Y. Wang, J. Park, H. Luan, X. Ni, Y. Kim, J. Baek, Z. Xie, Z. Zhao, M. Gazzola, J. Rogers, R. Bashir. Remote control of miniature robots integrating biological muscles and battery-free wireless optoelectronics. Science Robotics, 8(74):eadd1053, 2023.
  • Y. Bhosale*, T. Parthasarathy*, M. Gazzola, "Soft streaming – flow rectification via elastic boundaries", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 945, R1, 2022.
  • T. Parthasarathy*, Y. Bhosale*, M. Gazzola, "Elastic solid dynamics in a coupled oscillatory Couette flow system", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 946, A15, 2022.
  • Y. Bhosale*, G. Vishwanathan, G. Upadhyay*, T. Parthasarathy*, G. Juarez, M. Gazzola, "Multi-curvature viscous streaming: flow topology and particle manipulation", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119 (36), e2120538119, 2022.
  • Y. Bhosale*, N. Weiner, A. Butler, S. Kim*, M. Gazzola, H. King, "Micromechanical origin of plasticity and hysteresis in nest-like packings", Physical Review Letters, 128(19), 198003, 2022.
  • F. Chan*, Y. Bhosale*, T. Parthasarathy*, M. Gazzola, "Three-dimensional geometry and topology effects in viscous streaming", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 933, A53, 2022.
  • X. Zhang*, N. Naughton*, T. Parthasarathy*, M. Gazzola, "Friction modulation in limbless, three-dimensional gaits and heterogeneous terrains", Nature Communications, 12, 6076, 2021.
  • Y. Bhosale*, T. Parthasarathy*, M. Gazzola, "A remeshed vortex method for mixed rigid/soft body fluid-structure interaction", Journal of Computational Physics, 444, 110577, 2021.
  • S. Agarwal, F. Chan*, B. Rallabandi, M. Gazzola, S. Hilgenfeldt, An unrecognized inertial force induced by flow curvature in microfluidics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (29), 2021.
  • N. Naughton*, J. Sun, A. Tekinalp*, T. Parthasarathy*, G. Chowdhary, M. Gazzola, "Elastica: A compliant mechanics environment for soft robotic control", IEEE Robotics and Automation Letter, 6 (2), 3389-3396, 2021.
  • J. Wang, X. Zhang*, J. Park, I. Park, E. Kilicarslan, Y. Kim, Z. Dou*, R. Bashir, M. Gazzola, "Computationally assisted design and selection of maneuverable biological walking machines", Advanced Intelligent Systems, 3 (5), 2000237, 2021.
  • Y. Bhosale*, T. Parthasarathy*, M. Gazzola, "Shape curvature effects in viscous streaming", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 898, 2020.
  • N. Weiner, Y. Bhosale*, M. Gazzola, H. King, "Mechanics of randomly packed filaments – the 'bird nest' as meta-material", Journal of Applied Physics, 127 (5), 050902, 2020.
  • O. Aydin, X. Zhang*, S. Nuethong, G. Pagan-Diaz, R. Bashir, M. Gazzola, T. Saif, "Neuromuscular actuation of biohybrid motile bots", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116 (40), 19841-19847, 2019.
  • X. Zhang*, F. Chan*, T. Parthasarathy*, M. Gazzola, "Modeling and simulation of complex dynamic musculoskeletal architectures", Nature Communications, 10 (1), 1-12, 2019.
  • T. Parthasarathy*, F. Chan*, M. Gazzola, "Streaming-enhanced flow-mediated transport", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 878, 647-662, 2019.
  • N. Charles, M. Gazzola, L. Mahadevan, "Topology, geometry, and mechanics of strongly stretched and twisted filaments: solenoids, plectonemes, and artificial muscle fibers", Physical Review Letters, 123 (20), 208003, 2019.
  • G. Chowdhary, M. Gazzola, G. Krishnan, C. Soman, S. Lovell, "Soft robotics as an enabling technology for agroforestry practice and research", Sustainability, 11 (23), 6751, 2019.
  • C. Bernier, M. Gazzola, R. Ronsse, P. Chatelain, "Simulations of propelling and energy harvesting articulated bodies via vortex particle-mesh methods", Journal of Computational Physics, 392, 34-55, 2019.
  • M. Gazzola, L. Dudte, A. McCormick, L. Mahadevan, "Forward and inverse problems in the mechanics of soft filaments", Royal Society Open Science, 5 (6), 171628, 2018.
  • G. Pagan-Diaz, X. Zhang*, L. Grant, Y. Kim, O. Aydin, C. Cvetkovic, E. Ko, E. Solomon, J. Hollis, H. Kong, T. Saif, M. Gazzola, R. Bashir, "Simulation and fabrication of stronger, larger and faster walking biohybrid machines", Advanced Functional Materials, 28 (23), 1801145, 2018.
  • S. Park, M. Gazzola, K. Park, S. Park, V. Di Santo, E. Blevins, J. Lind, P. Campbell, S. Dauth, A. Capulli, F. Pasqualini, S. Ahn, A. Cho, H. Yuan, B. Maoz, R. Vijaykumar, J. Choi, K. Deisseroth, G. Lauder, L. Mahadevan, K. Parker, "Phototactic guidance of a tissue-engineered soft-robotic ray", Science, 353 (6295), 158-162, 2016.
  • M. Gazzola, A. Tchieu, D. Alexeev, A. de Brauer, P. Koumoutsakos, "Learning to school in the presence of hydrodynamic interactions", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 789, 726-749, 2016.
  • M. Gazzola, M. Argentina, L. Mahadevan, "Gait and speed selection in slender inertial swimmers", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112 (13), 3874-3879, 2015.
  • W. M. van Rees, M. Gazzola, P. Koumoutsakos, "Optimal morphokinematics for undulatory swimmers at intermediate Reynolds numbers", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 722, R3, 2015.
  • F. Huhn, W. van Rees, M. Gazzola, D. Rossinelli, G. Haller, P. Koumoutsakos, "Quantitative flow analysis of swimming dynamics with coherent lagrangian vortices", Chaos, 25 (8), 087405, 2015.
  • D. Rossinelli, B. Hejazialhosseini, W. van Rees, M. Gazzola, M. Bergdorf, P. Koumoutsakos, "MRAG-I2D: Multi-resolution adapted grids for remeshed vortex methods on multicore architectures", Journal of Computational Physics, 288, 1-18, 2015.
  • M. Gazzola, M. Argentina, L. Mahadevan, "Scaling macroscopic aquatic locomotion", Nature Physics, 10 (10), 758-761, 2014.
  • M. Gazzola, B. Hejazialhosseini, P. Koumoutsakos, "Reinforcement learning and wavelet adapted vortex methods for simulations of self-propelled swimmers", SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 36 (3), B622-B639, 2014.
  • W. van Rees, M. Gazzola, P. Koumoutsakos, "Optimal shapes for anguilliform swimmers at intermediate Reynolds numbers", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 698, 5-18, 2013.
  • M. Gazzola, C. Mimeau, A. Tchieu, P. Koumoutsakos, "Flow mediated interactions between two cylinders at finite Reynolds numbers", Physics of Fluids, 24 (4), 043103, 2012.
  • M. Gazzola, W. van Rees, P. Koumoutsakos, "C-start: optimal start of larval fish", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 698, 5-18, 2012.
  • P. Chatelain, M. Gazzola, S. Kern, P. Koumoutsakos, "Simulations of single and multiple swimmers with non-divergence free deforming geometries", Journal of Computational Physics, 230 (19), 7093-7114, 2011.
  • M. Gazzola, O. Vasilyev, P. Koumoutsakos, "Shape optimization for drag reduction in linked bodies using evolution strategies", Computers and Structures, 89 (11-12), 1224-1231, 2011.
  • M. Gazzola, C. Burckhardt, B. Bayati, M. Engelke, U. Greber, P. Koumoutsakos, "A stochastic model for microtubule motors describes the in vivo cytoplasmic transport of human adenovirus", PLoS Computational Biology, 5(12): e1000623, 2009.
  • J. Peiro, L. Formaggia, M. Gazzola, A. Radaelli, V. Rigamonti, "Shape reconstruction from medical images and quality mesh generation via implicit surfaces", International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 53 (8), 1339-1360, 2007.
  • E. Oubel, M. De Craene, M. Gazzola, O. Alfred, A. Frangi, "Multiview registration of cardiac tagging MRI images", 4th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: Macro to Nano, pp. 388-391, 2007.

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)


  • Cover of Physical Review Letters (2022)
  • Cover of Advanced Intelligent Systems (2021)
  • 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)

Teaching Honors

  • UIUC Teacher Ranked as Excellent by Students (Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2018)

Improvement Activities

  • Collins Scholars, 2016-2017

Recent Courses Taught

  • ME 310 AE2 (ME 310 AL3, ME 310 AL1) - Fundamentals of Fluid Dynamics
  • ME 447 - Comp Design & Dyn of Soft Syst
  • ME 498 MG - Comp modeling & optimization
  • TAM 539 - Fluid Mechanics Seminar