An animation showing a reacting front quenching and changing the spiral defect chaos state of Rayleigh-Bénard convection. From "Mukherjee & Paul, J. Fluid Mech., 2022".

From an invited seminar at Université Libre de Bruxelles organized by Professor Laurence Rongy (June 2022).

Saikat Mukherjee, PhD

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Minnesota, 2020-present.

  • PhD in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech, 2015-2020.

  • BE in Mechanical Engineering from Jadavpur University, India, 2011-2015.

I am interested in the numerical modeling of reaction-advection-diffusion processes in physical and biological systems. I use my expertise in high-performance computing and high-fidelity numerical modeling to answer pioneering questions pertaining to neurological disorders and microbial dynamics.

Current research interests include fluid dynamics of autocatalytic reaction fronts, spiral defect chaos, transport and reaction-diffusion processes in the glymphatic system of the brain, and the dynamics of bacteria in the presence of fluid flow.

Interests : fluid dynamics, reaction-advection-diffusion systems, pattern formation, chaos, biophysics, biological fluid dynamics


I completed my PhD in Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech under the supervision of Professor Mark Paul in May, 2020. Prior to joining Virginia Tech I completed my undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering from Jadavpur University, India in 2015. My PhD research involved the quantification of the geometry, nonlinear dynamics and feedback of propagating reaction fronts in chaotic convective flow fields generated by Rayleigh-Bénard convection.

I started as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Minnesota Twin Cities right after my PhD and I am presently employed here. In collaboration with experimentalists, I am researching on the fluid mechanics, transport and excitable reaction-diffusion processes in the brain. I am also researching on fluid flow and transport in bacterial biofilms. I am working closely with Jeff Tithof while also collaborating with exciting research groups across University of Minnesota, Yale University, University of Rochester, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and ULB Brussels.

Awards and honors

  • Honorable mention, University of Minnesota Postdoctoral Awards in Impactful Research, 2022.

  • Individual Fellowship (Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND action) to pursue postdoctoral studies with Professor Laurence Rongy at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), 2020.

  • Liviu Librescu Memorial Fellowship, Engineering Mechanics program, Virginia Tech, 2018.

  • Manuel Stein Fellowship, Engineering Mechanics program, Virginia Tech, 2018.