Faculty Profile

Gaurav Bahl

Mechanical Science and Engineering
Gaurav Bahl
Gaurav Bahl
Assistant Professor
4413 Mechanical Engineering Lab
105 S. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-2194


  • PhD, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, September 2010
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, June 2008
  • B.Eng, Summa cum laude, Electrical Engineering, McMaster University, ON, Canada, June 2005

Academic Positions

  • Affiliate, Technology Entrepreneur Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 5, 2017-date.
  • Affiliate, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, January 16, 2013-date
  • Affiliate, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 16, 2012-date
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 16, 2012-date
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, EECS, Optics and Photonics Laboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, September 2010-August 2012
  • Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering, Micro-Structures and Sensors Laboratory, Stanford, April 2006-August 2010

For more information

Course Development

  • Developed a new special topics class for mechanical engineers ME 498 PM4 "Photonic MEMS". Offered first time in Fall 2012. Subsequently offered in Spring 2014 and Fall 2016.

Research Statement

Gaurav Bahl performs experimental research at the interface between optical and mechanical systems. Of particular interest are the mechanisms by which light interacts mechanically with photonic microsystems (i.e. via radiation pressure, gradient force, electrostrictive pressure, and photothermal effects), and how mechanical devices can affect and manipulate light. Applications of this research include inertial sensors, microfluidic bio-chemical devices, microwave frequency references, and harsh-environment physical sensors.

While the forces exerted on matter by single photons are miniscule, micro/nanodevices that are both optically and mechanically resonant can enhance such opto-mechanical interactions by several orders-of-magnitude. These devices are excellent scientific platforms for research in nonlinear optics, quantum mechanics, laser development, and thermal management via laser heating and cooling.

Graduate Research Opportunities

PhD oriented Electrical Engineering graduate students with a strong background in experimental optics are encouraged to contact Prof. Bahl with a complete CV.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Our group is seeking talented undergraduate researchers for summer 2015 positions, with the potential for continued work into the school year.￿Students with strong backgrounds in the following topics are encouraged to apply -- electromagnetics, RF and microwave circuits, photonics, and microfabrication.￿Interested students should contact Prof. Bahl (bahl@illinois.edu) with a complete CV, accompanied by a short paragraph highlighting relevant experience and coursework.￿Please see our group website (http://bahl.mechse.illinois.edu) for representative work.￿Women and students from minority backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Research Areas

  • Applied Physics
  • Energy
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Health and Bio
  • Manufacturing
  • Security and Defense
  • Solid Mechanics
  • Thermo Heat and Transfer

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

Professional Societies

  • Member, SPIE, 2014-date
  • Member, Optical Society of America (OSA), 2010-date
  • Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Member: 2009-2016, Senior member: 2016-Present