Faculty Directory
Neelesh A. Patankar

Charles Deering McCormick Professor in Teaching Excellence

Professor and Associate Chair of Mechanical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech L490
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-3021Email Neelesh Patankar


Patankar Group Computational and Theoretical Fluid Dynamics


Mechanical Engineering

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Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India

Research Interests

Patankar group research is focused on four primary missions: First, to develop fully resolved computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques to simulate muscle activated movement of organisms (e.g. knifefish, zebrafish) and organs (e.g. esophagus). Second, to use theory and CFD to understand the neural control of movement, to design novel underwater vehicles, and to interrogate the evolution of fish form and function. Third, to establish the foundational science of controlling phase (anti-icing, anti-frosting, boiling, condensation, non-wetting supehydrophobic surfaces) using surface roughness and chemistry. Fourth, to establish new metrics to quantify the mileage efficiency and greenhouse emissions of automotive vehicles.

Significant Recognition

  • International Conference on Multiphase Flow Junior Award, 2010 (presented once every three years for significant scientific breakthrough(s) in the field of multiphase flow by a researcher younger than 40 years)
  • Defense Science Study Group member (one of fifteen scientists and engineers chosen nation-wide), 2010-2011
  • Associated Student Government Honor Roll for outstanding teaching (one of six chosen from the entire school of engineering), Northwestern University, 2009
  • Honorable mention McCormick Teacher of the Year, 2008
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2002
  • Searle Junior Fellowship, 2001, Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, Northwestern University
  • Certificate of outstanding ability in mathematics (ranked 14th in India), 1988, Indian Mathematics Olympiad Association
  • National talent scholarship, 1987, National Council for Education Research and Training, India

Selected Publications

In the Classroom

Professor Patankar has taught Engineering Fluid Mechanics (ME 373) and Engineering Analysis III (EA3; Gen Eng 205-3) for undergraduates. He has the EA3 course beginning from spring 2008. He has developed the following graduate courses: Introduction to CFD (ME 423), Advanced Topics in CFD (ME 424), and Design and Analysis of Microfluidic Systems (ME 421). His future course development effort will specifically focus on the hydrodynamics of aquatic locomotion (in the broad context of biology, evolution, neuromechanical modeling, underwater vehicle design, and animation), and on textured surfaces to tune wetting behavior.