Mathematician Shahriar Afkhami, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of mathematical sciences, uses computational and mathematical modeling to help researchers better understand a range of real-life engineering phenomena. His work includes examining biomedical systems, polymers and plastics, microfluidics and nano-materials. His research looks for the existence of solutions and issues involving fluid flows from stability to asymptotic behavior.
Afkhami’s current research project is to numerically discover a better way to understand the dynamics of mixtures of fluids. The effort will tie into his new three-year National Science Foundation $252,000 grant (2013-16) to develop a state-of-the-art computational framework for polymeric liquids. The fruits of this labor will eventually have a broad effect in complex applications, such as how blood and other bodily fluids flow in microfluidic devices as well as finding better ways to improve the flow of emulsions when blending or processing polymers.
Afkhami also looks for numerical computations to improve the understanding of how liquid metal reacts on surfaces. He uses numbers to examine the dynamics of ferrofluidic systems. “We study the dynamics of ferrofluid drops on substrates subjected to an applied external magnetic field,” he said. “Governing equations are the static Maxwell equations coupled with the incompressible Navier–Stokes equations.” He notes that his research also uses the long wave approximation to derive the equation that governs the non-linear evolution of the drop interface.
His most recent notable papers include: "A volume-of-fluid formulation for the study of co-flowing fluids governed by the Hele-Shaw equations," Physics of Fluids, 25 (8) 082001 2013, with co-author Virginia Institute of Technology Professor Y. Renardy; "Numerical simulation of ejected molten metal nanoparticles liquified by laser irradiation: Interplay of geometry and dewetting,” Physical Review Letters, vol. 111: 034501, 2013, with co-author NJIT Professor Lou Kondic. He also collaborated on "Obstructed breakup of slender drops in a microfluidic T junction,” Physical Review Letters, vol. 108: 264502, 2012.
Afkhami received his doctorate from the University of Toronto.
Topics: rheologically complex liquids, magnetic liquids, flow interaction with microscopic geometries, electrowetting, nano-microfluidics, flow of liquid metals
Last update: August 14, 2013