Daniele Vigolo

Daniele Vigolo

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

My main research interests are in the field of soft matter, complex fluids and bio-microfluidics. I aim to answers fundamental inter-disciplinary questions in micro-fluid dynamics of multiphase flows and transport phenomena in non-equilibrium systems in the presence of temperature gradients (i.e., thermophoresis). I study bio-fluid dynamics from a fundamental point of view and applied to health-related problems with the aim to predict and prevent the insurgence of diseases such as deep vein thrombosis. Additionally, I am interested in understanding the behaviour of cells cultivated on biocompatible soft materials presenting custom stiffness pattern that we fabricated. I am also interested in studying dynamics phenomena developing close to soft interfaces (e.g., liquid-liquid or close to elastic materials) and to understand their implication. To do so I exploit lab-on-a-chip devices with which we are able to precisely control the microenvironment conditions and to design and realize functionalised advanced biocompatible materials.

For more information please visit my group website


I received my Laurea (5-year Master course) in Nuclear Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano in 2006. At the same institution, in 2010, I got my Ph.D. in Radiation Science and Technology working on “Thermophoresis in complex fluids” under the supervision of Prof. Roberto Piazza. I investigated the behaviour of a colloidal suspension in a temperature gradient with optical methods (e.g., the beam deflection technique), and in microfluidic devices during my internship at Harvard University in the group of Prof. Howard A. Stone. In 2011 I moved to Princeton University working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Complex Fluids Group of Prof. Howard A. Stone. Here I worked on an experimental and theoretical fluid mechanical investigation of particle-wall impacts and air-bubble behaviour in a T-junction. I also developed a microfluidic microbial fuel cell and investigated the dependence of the electric output on the shear stress induced by the flow. In December 2012 I joined the group of  Prof. Andrew deMello at ETH Zürich after been awarded of the ETH Postdoctoral Fellowship (Marie Curie Actions). In July 2015 I joined the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham as a Lecturer (i.e. Assistant Professor) and in June 2019 I have been promoted to Senior Lecturer (i.e. Associate Professor).


  • 2015–2018 Fellow of Higher Education Academy, University of Birmingham, UK.60-credit Masters level programme, Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP)
  • 1.2007–3.2010 Ph.D., Politecnico di Milano, Italy, “Cum Laude” (100% with distinction, 1st class), Italian National Ph.D. Fellowship, Ph.D. advisor Prof. R. Piazza. Radiation Science and Technology
  • 2.2009–7.2009 Short Term Scholar, Harvard University, S.E.A.S., Cambridge (MA) - U.S.A. Microfluidics approach to thermophoresis
  • 9.1999–12.2006 Laurea (5 year Master program), Politecnico di Milano, Italy, “94/100”. Nuclear Engineering - Physical, Chemical and Materials course