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Ranga Narayanan, Ph.D.

Ranga Narayanan

Distinguished Professor and William P. and Tracy Cirioli Term Professor

Areas of Interest

Interfacial instabilities
Transport phenomena with applications to materials science and microgravity operations.
Transport of heat and mass and momentum are often accompanied by spatial and temporal pattern formation. Understanding the cause of pattern formation is pivotal as this research has application to the processing of materials on earth and under microgravity conditions. In the area of instabilities it is the goal of the present research to examine the physics of the spontaneous generation of spatial patterns in processes that involve solidification, electrodeposition, resonance, and free-surface convection. The pattern formation is associated with instabilities of a parent state as a control parameter is changed. Other processes of interest that involve instabilities are shearing flows with viscous dissipation of heat and oscillatory flows where flow reversal is the cause of non-rectilinear patterns.
The mathematical methods used in our research are related to bifurcation theory, nonlinear energy methods and perturbation techniques. The experimental methods involve flow sensing by infrared imaging, shadow-graphy, and electrochemical titration.


University Term Professor, 2018-2021
Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Fellow of the American Physical Society
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fellow of the institute of Mathematics and Applications
Academician of International Academy of Astronautics
Institute of Advanced Study Fellowship, Durham University
J.W. Fulbright Distinguished Chair Professorship and Fulbright Scholar Award
Humboldt Research Fellowships
Distinguished Achievement and Education Award, National Engineering Council
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship
Chevron Professorship, IIT Madras


Ph.D., 1978, Illinois Institute of Technology (1981)

Courses Taught

Material and Energy Balances, Process Thermodynamics, Continuum Basis and Mathematical Basis of Chemical Engineering

Selected Publications

  • K.L. Ward, S. Matsumoto, and R. Narayanan, “ The Electrostatically fForced Faraday Instability- Theory and Experiments”, J. Fluid Mech., 862, pp 696-731, (2019)
  • G. Dietze, J. Picardo and R. Narayanan, “Sliding Instability of Draining Fluid Films”,   J. Fluid Mech. 857, pp 111-141 (2018)
  • D. Pillai and R. Narayanan, “Interfacial Dynamics of a Confined Liquid Vapor Bilayer Undergoing Evaporation”, J. Fluid Mech.  857, pp1-37, (2018)
  • D. Pillai and R. Narayanan, “D. Pillai and R. Narayanan, “Nonlinear Dynamics of  Electrostatic Faraday Instability in Thin Films”, J. Fluid Mech. 855, p R4 (2018)
  • D. Pillai and R. Narayanan, “Rayleigh Taylor Stability in an Evaporating Binary Mixture”, J. Fluid Mech, 848, R1  (2018)
  • S.V. Diwakar, V. Jajoo, S. Amiroudine, S. Matsumoto, R. Narayanan and F. Zoueshtiagh, “Influence of capillarity and gravity on confined Faraday waves”, Phys Rev. Fluids,  3, 073902, (2018)
  • N. B. Brosius, K.L. Ward, S. Matsumoto, M. Sansoucie, and R. Narayanan, “Faraday forcing of high temperature levitated liquid metal drops to measure surface tension”, Nature (microgravity), 4, N.10 (2018)
  • J. Picardo and R. Narayanan, “Interfacial pattern selection in defiance of linear growth, J. Fluid Mech., 829, 345-363, (2017)
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