Faculty Directory
Petia Vlahovska

Associate Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics (and by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road, Rm. M456
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

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Prof. Vlahovska's Research Website


Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

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David Crighton Fellowship, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University, UK

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT

M.S. Chemistry, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria

Research Interests

Mathematical modeling of physical and biological systems. Current projects explore membrane biophysics (biomembrane electromechanics and stability, thermal shape fluctuations) and  non-equilibrium soft matter (emergent phenomena and self-organization in active matter, directed assembly, nonlinear particle dynamics, rheology of complex fluids). Research in my group inegrates theory and experiment. I direct the Applied Math Lab, a testbed and  a source of inspiration for our theories!

Significant Recognition

  • Humboldt Research Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, 2016
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, NSF, 2009
  • Prize Teaching Fellowship, Yale University, 2002

Selected Publications

    P. M. Vlahovska “Electrohydrodynamic of drops and vesicles” Annual Reviews of Fluid MEchanics  51   (2019) 

    W. Kim, W. Zhu, G. L. Hendricks, D. Van Tyne, A. D. Steele, C. E. Keohane,  N. Fricke, A. L. Conery,  S. Shen, W. Pan, K. Lee, R. Rajamuthiah, B. B. Fuchs, P. M. Vlahovska, W. M. Wuerst,  M. Gilmore, H. Gao, F. M. Ausubel, E. Mylonakis "A new class of synthetic retinoid antibiotics effective against bacterial persisters", Nature 556: 103-107 (2018) 

    Z. Shen, T. M. Fischer , A. Farutin , P. M. Vlahovska, J. Harting , C. Misbah "Blood crystal: emergent order of red blood cells under shear flow", Physical Review Letters 120:268102 (2018) 

    Q. Brosseau and P. M. Vlahovska, “Equatorial streaming of a drop in an electric field”, Physical Review Letters 119: 034501 (2017)  see Saturn-shaped drops

    P. M. Vlahovska "Voltage-morphology coupling in biomimetic membranes: dynamics of giant vesicles in applied electric fields", highlight article for Soft Matter, 11:7232 -7236 (2015)

    K. Yeo, E. Lushi and P. M. Vlahovska “Collective dynamics in a binary mixture of hydrodynamically coupled microrotors”, Physical Review Letters 114: 188301 (2015)

    X. Li, P.M. Vlahovska, G. Em Karniadakis “Continuum- and particle-based modeling of shapes and dynamics of red blood cell in health and disease “, Soft Matter, 9: 28 - 37 (2013)

    P. M. Vlahovska, Y.-n.Young, G. Danker and C. Misbah, "Dynamics of a non-spherical microcapsule with incompressible interface in a shear flow" J. Fluid Mech. 678:221-247 (2011)

    P. M. Vlahovska, T. Podgorski and C. Misbah "Vesicles and red blood cells: from individual dynamics to rheology”  Comptes Rendus Physique 10:775–789 (2009)

    P. M. Vlahovska, R. S. Gracia, S. Aranda and R. Dimova,  “Electrohydrodynamic model of vesicle deformation in alternating electric fields “, Biophysical Journal, 96:4789-4803 (2009)

    P. M. Vlahovska, J. Blawzdziewicz and M. Loewenberg "Small-deformation theory for a surfactant-covered drop in linear flows", J. Fluid Mech.  624:293-337 (2009)  

    P.M.Vlahovska and R.S.Gracia "Dynamics of a viscous vesicle in linear flows", Physical Review E 75 016313 (2007)