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Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
208 North Wright Street Urbana, Illinois 61801


Office hours 8:30a - 5:00p


Phone: 217-333-3097
Fax: 217-244-6375


Narayana R. Aluru

Narayana R. Aluru

Mechanical Science & Engineering
3265 Beckman Institute, MC-MC 251
405 N. Mathews
Urbana, Illinois 61801
(217) 333-1180
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Ph.D. Civil (Major) & Electrical (Minor) Stanford University 1995

Research Statement:
Professor Aluru studies problems at the crossroads of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, materials science and chemical engineering. His work in the area of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) revealed previously unknown nonlinear dynamic phenomena, such as complex oscillations, period doubling bifurcation to chaos, and U-sequence. These insights led him to perform fundamental studies on thermoelastic damping in MEMS and to develop a new model to predict thermoelastic damping for complex nonlinear oscillations encountered in NEMS.

In another effort, he developed the first bio-MEMS and microfluidics models for the analysis and design of lab-on-a-chip applications, as well as mathematical models for pH- and electric field-responsive hydrogels-materials with potential applications in small-scale sensing and actuation.

Professor Aluru also studies the unique physics that occur at the nanometer level. He discovered several new physical phenomena through nanofluidics research, including charge inversion, flow reversal, anomalously immobilized water, asymmetric dependence of fluid and ion transport on surface charge, and enhanced conductivity in nanopores. His recent investigations of surface diffusion demonstrated that liquid molecules move as much as 30 times faster over a solid surface when that surfaced is only partially covered by such molecules, and that larger molecules move faster on a partially covered surface than shorter ones do. His other work in nanofluidics includes the multiscale modeling of the transport of water and other ions through membranes, studying the function of biological channels in the membranes of living cells, investigating the use of carbon nanotubes to filter pathogens and other toxins out of water, and exploring the use of carbon and boron nanotubes to speed the removal of salt from water during reverse osmosis.
Research Interests:
  • Computational Microtechnology (MEMS, Bio-MEMS, and Microfluidics)
  • Computational Methods: meshless (finite cloud, boundary cloud), finite-element, boundary-element, fast algorithms, multiscale methods, molecular dynamics, quantum simulations, Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC), reduced-order techniques, compact models, stochastic methods, uncertainty quantification, and parallel computing
  • Computational Nanotechnology (NEMS, Nanofluidics, and Bio-Nano)
For more information:
Research Website
Research Page

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Teaching:

  • College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award, 2012
  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, 2012
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students: Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

Honors, Recognition, and Outstanding Achievements for Research:

  • NCSA Faculty Fellow, 2014
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2011
  • Fellow, United States Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM), 2011
  • Hung Hing Ying Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Science and Technology, The University of Hong Kong, 2011
  • University Scholar, 2010-2013
  • William Mong Visiting Research Fellowship in Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, 2010
  • Richard W. Kritzer Distinguished Professor, 2009 - date
  • R. H. Gallagher Young Investigator Award from the United States Association for Computational Mechanics (USACM), 2007
  • ASME Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award, 2006
  • NCSA Faculty Fellow, 2006
  • Willett Faculty Scholar Award, 2002-2009
  • Xerox Award for Faculty Research (Assistant Professor level), 2002
  • Distinguished Young Author Award from Computer Modeling in Engineering and Sciences (International Journal), 2001
  • NCSA Faculty Fellow, 1999
  • NSF CAREER Award, 1999
  • Nominated by UIUC to Hewlett-Packard as one of two UIUC faculty for Hewlett-Packard Fellowships, 1998