Welcome to the research group page of Lorenzo Botto.
My group at Queen Mary University of London is interested in fundamental aspects of microscale fluid mechanics and transport phenomena in multiphase systems.
Much of my group’s research focuses on topics at the interface between classical fluid mechanics and materials science.
These include the mechanisms of formation of solid-stabilised emulsions, liquid transport in oil repellent textiles, and the liquid processing of nanostructured materials. We collaborate with fluid mechanicians, soft matter physics, colloids and interface scientists, and materials engineers.
My ERC project FLEXNANOFLOW focuses on the microhydrodynamics of suspensions of graphene and other 2D nanomaterials, towards understanding how 2D nanomaterials behave in sheared liquids in applications such as coating, printing, and nanocomposites manufacturing. For a summary description of the project, see the bottom of the current page.
The group’s research is based primarily on computer simulation and theory, but the complexity of the systems we study often call for experimental validation. We are building our own experimental lab, and collaborate extensively with experimentalists in the UK and abroad.
The Fluids, Particles and Interfaces research group is embedded into the wider QMUL’s Fluid Group.
Current research areas are:
- fundamentals of dispersed multiphase flows, including drops, particulate suspensions, and powders;
- modelling of particle-laden drops, bubbles and emulsions, for applications to materials science (e.g. nanoparticle stabilised polyner blends) and chemical engineering;
- micromechanics of and solute transport in biological and bioengineered materials, including cell mechanics and transport in gels for regenerative medicine;
- capillary deformation of drops on deformable substrates (“soft wetting”);
- modelling of deagglomeration/dispersion of nanoparticles in sheared liquids;
- fluidisation of pharmaceutical drug powders in inhaler devices;
- liquid transport in textiles via X-ray microscopy.
Lorenzo Botto’s Brief Bio
- Research interests: fluid mechanics and transport phenomena, soft matter physics, applied mathematics, scientific computing
- Short bio:
- 2017-current Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Fluid Mechanics, Division of Fluid Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London
- 20013-2017 Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Engineering Simulation and Modelling, Division of Engineering Science, School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London
- 2012-2013 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Imperial College (supervisor: Prof. Y. Xu)
- 2009-2012 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania (supervisor: Prof. K. Stebe)
- 2009 Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics, Johns Hopkins University (supervisor: A. Prosperetti)
- 2006 M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
- 2003 Master in Applied Mathematics, U. of Milan
- 2002 Laurea in Industrial Engineering, U. of Udine
ERC Starting Grant Project “FLEXNANOFLOW” (from 2017-04-01 to 2022-03-31)
2D nanomaterials hold immense technological promise thanks to extraordinary intrinsic properties such as ultra-high conductivity, strength and unusual semiconducting properties. Our understanding of how these extremely thin and flexible objects are processed in flow is however inadequate, and this is hindering progress towards true market applications. When processed in liquid environments to make nanocomposites, conductive coatings and energy storage devices, 2D nanomaterials tend to fold and break owing to strong shear forces produced by the mechanical agitation of the liquid. This can lead to poorly-oriented, crumpled sheets of small lateral size and therefore of low intrinsic value. Orientation is also a major issue, as ultra-flexible materials are difficult to extend and align. In this project, we will develop nanoscale fluid-structure simulation techniques to capture with unprecedented resolution the unsteady deformation and fracture dynamics of single and multiple sheets in response to the complex hydrodynamic load produced by shearing flows. In addition, we will demonstrate via simulations new strategies to exploit capillary forces to structure 2D nanomaterials into 3D constructs of desired morphology. To guide the simulations and explore a wider parameter space than allowed in computations, we will develop conceptually new experiments on “scaled-up 2D nanomaterials”. The simulations will include continuum treatments and atomistic details, and will be analysed within the theoretical framework of microhydrodynamics and non-linear solid mechanics. By uncovering the physical principles governing flow-induced deformation of 2D nanomaterials, this project will have a profound impact on our ability to produce and process 2D nanomaterials on large scales.
Several PhD and postdoctoral positions are available for this project. If you are interested in joining my group, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ms. Claire Savonnet is visiting the group from École nationale supérieure des mines de Saint-Étienne, to perform a research project during the Summer. Welcome Claire!
- Dr. Srinivasa Ramisetti, working in University of Leeds with Prof. Dognsheng Wen, has visited the group and given a talk on “Slip flow over nano-structured surfaces & nano gas films”. Dr. Ramisetti’s visit has been supported by a UK Fluids Short Research Visit grant
- 9/5/2018 – Lorenzo Botto’s talk at Euromech Colloquium “NUMERICAL SIMULATIONS OF FLOWS WITH PARTICLES, BUBBLES AND DROPLETS”, in Venice, Italy. Seminar title:“3-phase flows with particles: the FIPI method for the fast simulation of particle-drop and particle-bubble interactions”
- our group member Jake Bewick has won Best 3rd Year Project Student award at the QMUL Industrial Liaison Forum meeting for his thesis on modelling of cell buckling . Jake has been a fantastic student.
- PhD student Gannian Zhang has won the 2018 Best Student Presentation award at the SEMS PhD Student Forum with his presentation on “Drop impact on textiles” (work done in collaboration with Rafael Castrejon Pita and the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory).