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Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar

Thursday, February 23, 2023
11:00am to 12:00pm
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Gates-Thomas 135
Multiphysics Simulations Using Phase-Field Modeling
Hector Gomez, Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University,

Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar Series

Title: Multiphysics Simulations Using Phase-Field Modeling

Abstract: Phase-field modeling has been widely utilized in material sciences for decades, but its emergence as a pivotal tool in fluid mechanics, biomechanics and multiphysics problems is more recent. This seminar will show how a unique combination of advanced modeling techniques based on the phase field theory and innovative computational methods based on isogeometric analysis can fundamentally advance our understanding of several problems that are critical in national security, energy and medicine. I will present recent research on phase-transforming liquid-vapor flows, such as cavitating and boiling flows. Despite their significance, our ability to make quantitative predictions remains limited. I will discuss a phase-field model and a computational method which open opportunities for predictive computations of liquid-vapor flows [1]. I will also describe our modeling approach to study the collapse of cavitation bubbles in soft, porous materials, a problem that, despite its importance, has remained unexplored [2]. I will conclude my talk with our models and computational methods of elastocapillarity —the process whereby capillary forces at a fluid-fluid interface deform a solid. Our elastocapillarity research is motivated by intriguing experiments which showed spontaneous droplet motion on soft surfaces with space-varying stiffness (droplet durotaxis). Through an innovative fluid-structure algorithm, we showed that durotactic droplet motion can be inverted by changing the system's wettability [3].

Bio: Dr. Hector Gomez is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and the Perry Scholar of Academic Excellence. Prof. Gomez specializes in computational mechanics with particular emphasis in isogeometric modeling and analysis, interfacial mechanics of multiphysics systems and simulation at the interface of engineering and medicine. Prof. Gomez's research has been recognized with multiple awards including the Juan C. Simo Award from the Spanish Society of Computational Mechanics, the MIT Innovators Under 35, the Young Investigator Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain, the Gallagher Young Investigator Award from the US Association for Computational Mechanics and the Princess of Girona Scientific Research Award (presented by the King of Spain to the best young researcher in all fields of science, engineering and humanities). Prof. Gomez has published over 95 journal papers and made over 160 contributions to conferences, including multiple plenary and keynote presentations.

NOTE: At this time, in-person Mechanical and Civil Engineering Lectures are open to all Caltech students/staff/faculty/visitors.

For more information, please contact Stacie Takase by phone at (626) 395-3389 or by email at [email protected] or visit