College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Welcoming Saikat Mukherjee, new assistant professor of mechanical engineering

Saikat Mukherjee

Saikat MukherjeeStart Date: July 1, 2023

Education: PhD, Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Tech. BE, Mechanical Engineering, Jadavpur University

Research focus: Biological transport and fluid dynamics, more specifically transport in the brain under neurological disorders, microbial dynamics, and front propagation in chaotic fluid flows.

Joining Iowa State from: Postdoctoral research position, University of Minnesota Department of Mechanical Engineering

Recognitions and awards: Liviu Librescu Memorial Fellowship and Manuel Stein Fellowship at Virginia Tech, as well as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship to pursue postdoctoral studies at Universite Libre de Bruxelles. Honorable mention in the impactful research category of the University of Minnesota’s Postdoctoral Achievement Awards. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Physical Review E, and Physical Review Fluids, and has been highlighted in American Physical Society news, Alzforum, Yale News and Burroughs Wellcome Fund news.

How do you hope your research discoveries impact the world?

I am broadly interested in quantifying the changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow and transport in the brain subjected to neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, as well as stroke, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). I am also interested in quantifying bacterial chemotaxis and transport in bacterial biofilms, with targeted applications in biological wastewater treatment, and bioremediation.

What kind of classroom and teaching experience do you look forward to creating at Iowa State?

I want to foster and support my students’ genuine curiosity. Research can be especially difficult and often uncertain, which is why it is important to be persistent, sincere, and to stay humble all along in the pursuit of new knowledge. 

What drew you to join Iowa State?

There are several intersections between my research interests and the interests of other Iowa State faculty members which I am positive will open unique opportunities for productive collaborations. I had excellent meetings and discussions with the faculty members during my campus interview and I found the department to be very collegial and supportive.

The department’s commitment to key focus areas of fluids, computational science, and health are perfectly aligned with my research interests. Iowa State University is a globally-renowned institution for higher education and research. I consider it to be an honor as well as a privilege to be a part of this institute of repute.