Faculty Profile

Mattia Gazzola

Mechanical Science and Engineering
Mattia Gazzola
Mattia Gazzola
Assistant Professor
352 Mechanical Engineering Bldg
1206 W. Green
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-4773

Primary Research Area

  • Fluid Mechanics


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

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC, 2016-date
  • Faculty Affiliate, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, UIUC, 2016-date

For more information

Resident Instruction

  • Fundamentals of Fluid Dynamics, Spring 2017
  • Fundamentals of Fluid Dynamics, Fall 2016

Research Interests

  • Bio-locomotion
  • Inverse design
  • 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

  • Gazzola, Dudte, McCormick, Mahadevan, "Computational mechanics of soft filaments", arXiv, 2017.
  • 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.
  • van Rees, Gazzola, Koumoutsakos, "Optimal morphokinematics for undulatory swimmers at intermediate Reynolds numbers", Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2015.
  • Huhn, van Rees, Gazzola, Rossinelli, Haller, Koumoutsakos, "Quantitative flow analysis of swimming dynamics with coherent lagrangian vortices", Chaos, 2015.
  • Rossinelli, Hejazialhosseini, van Rees, Gazzola, Bergdorf, Koumoutsakos, "MRAG-I2D: Multi-resolution adapted grids for remeshed vortex methods on multicore architectures", Journal of Computational Physics, 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, Mimeau, Tchieu, Koumoutsakos, "Flow mediated interactions between two cylinders at finite Reynolds numbers", Physics of Fluids, 2012.
  • 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.
  • Gazzola, Vasilyev, Koumoutsakos, "Shape optimization for drag reduction in linked bodies using evolution strategies", Computers and Structures, 2011.
  • Chatelain, P., M. Gazzola, S. Kern, and P. Koumoutsakos, "Optimization of aircraft wake alleviation schemes through an evolution strategy", Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2011.
  • Gazzola, Burckhardt, Bayati, Engelke, Greber, Koumoutsakos, "A stochastic model for microtubule motors describes the in vivo cytoplasmic transport of human adenovirus", PLoS Computational Biology, 2009.
  • Peiro, Formaggia, Gazzola, Radaelli, Rigamonti, "Shape reconstruction from medical images and quality mesh generation via implicit surfaces", International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 2007.
  • Oubel, De Craene, Gazzola, Alfred, Frangi, "Multiview registration of cardiac tagging mri images", 4th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: Macro to Nano, 2007.

Other Scholarly Activities

  • Initiated and funded large scale outreach Paper2Tree project, involving Champaign and Urbana municipalities, school and park districts (www.paper2tree.org)


  • 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)
  • Focus on Fluids in Journal of Fluid Mechanics (2012)

Teaching Honors

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

Improvement Activities

  • Collins Scholars, 2016-2017