Principal Investigator

Pirouz Kavehpour is a Professor in the UCLA Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 2003. His research addresses various aspects of microfluidics and biofluidics, biofuel cells, cardiovascular flow, complex fluids, interfacial physics, micro-tribology, non-isothermal flows, drug delivery systems, and artificial organs. He serves as the Faculty Director of the University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced DegreeS (UC LEADS) program, a two-year capstone program that offers resources and research opportunities for first generation and minority science and engineering students. He was awarded the L. E. Scriven Young Investigator Award in 2010.

Graduate Students

Gabriela is a Ph.D student in the MAE department at UCLA. Her emphasis is in Heat and Mass Transfer. Gabriela’s primary research areas are thermal property analysis of supercritical fluids and thermal energy systems for solar energy storage applications. Gabriela’s past research experiences have been the behavior of passive scalars for a better understanding of real world applications and the properties of nucleate boiling under microgravity conditions. She also worked at San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS) in the design groups and then transferred to the primary systems plant engineering group, where she was responsible for inspecting and solving potential technical plant problems. Gabriela is a member of the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE) since 2008, and was part of the Center for Academic and Research Excellence scholar in 2010 and 2011.

Sammy is a Ph.D Student in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at UCLA with an emphasis on fluid mechanics and heat transfer. His current research involves the thermodynamic numerical modeling, analysis and optimization of a thermal and compressed air energy storage hybrid system. Sammy is strongly motivated to make renewable sources an independent form of sustainable energy through efficient energy storage.

Kelly is a Ph.D student in the Mechanical Engineering department at UCLA with a focus in fluid dynamics. Her primary research area is using rheology to study the material properties of vitreous humor in human eyes with the goal to improve patient treatments for vitreous-related ocular diseases. Kelly is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and enjoys outreach events teaching young students about engineering.

Peggy is a Ph.D student at UCLA in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department with an emphasis in Heat and Mass Transfer. Her research interests are studying heat transfer properties in advanced thermal energy storage, and discovering new applications of these storage systems with existing energy infrastructure. Peggy is a recent graduate from UC San Diego, and she is passionate about sustainability.

Rommina is a M.S. student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UCLA. Her research focuses on the rheological properties of vitreous in the human eye. She received her Bacherlor's degree in Material Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology.


  • Alireza Mohammad Karim, Ph.D
  • Faryar Tavakoli, Ph.D.
  • Pooria Sharif-Kashani, Ph.D.
  • Brian Hardy, Ph.D.
  • Hamarz Aryafar, Ph.D.
  • Kevin Lu, Ph.D.
  • Joseph Attia, Ph.D.
  • Sofy Kabachek, M.S.
  • Anna Hoang, M.S.
  • Janet Zhen, M.S.
  • Kawika Uechi, M.S.
  • Aleksandra Sasha Lukyanets, B.S.
  • Helen Hani Lou, B.S.
  • Maziar Hemati, B.S.
  • Megan Matal, B.S.
  • Jerry Huang, B.S.