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

Alireza Mohammad Karim is a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCLA. His current research concentrates on the experimental/theoretical investigations in the area of dynamics of wetting of Ultra-hydrophobic Surfaces. His previous research was in the field of dynamics of spreading of emulsions on solid substrates. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA with Summa Cum Laude honors. He received his Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Californian Institute of Technology (Caltech) with Jet Propulsion Laboratory Space Fellowship award.

Gabriela Bran-Anleu 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.

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

Kelly Connelly is a Ph.D student in the Mechanical Engineering department at UCLA with a focus in fluid dynamics and rheology. Her primary research area is studying the material properties of vitreous humor in human eyes with the goal to improve patient treatments for vitreous-related ocular diseases. Kelly's past research as an undergraduate at the University of Washington in Seattle was developing a method to improve sensitivity of paper-based microfluidic devices that could be used in low-resource settings. Kelly is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and enjoys outreach events teaching young students about engineering.


  • 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.