Prof. Sigurdur T. Thoroddsen

Principal Investigator

Professor, Mechanical Engineering


Research Interest

Professor Thoroddsen's research work has appeared in over 160 journal publications. His work is in the area of experimental fluid mechanics, focusing on the use of ultra-high-speed video imaging to study the dynamics of free-surface flows and Tomo-PIV studies in turbulence. This includes the coalescence and breakup of drops and bubbles, splashing and spray formation, as well as the dynamics of fine jets of relevance to inkjet printers.

He is also interested in superfluid in cryogenic helium, coating flows, the dynamics of granular media, laser-produced cavitation dynamics, Leidenfrost effects and the spinning of nanofibers from electrified drops.

Selected Publications

  • Mugundhan, V., Pugazenthi, R., Speirs, N., Samtaney, R. & Thoroddsen,S.  T.,  The  alignment  of  vortical  structures  in  turbulent  flow  through  a contraction, J. Fluid Mech., 884, A5 (2020).
  • Zhang, J. M., Li, E. Q. & Thoroddsen, S. T., Fine radial jetting during the impact of compound drops, J. Fluid Mech.,883, A46 (2020).
  • Langley, K. R., Li, E. Q., Vakarelski, I. U. & Thoroddsen, S. T., The air entrapment under a drop impacting on a nano-rough surface, Soft Matter, 14, 7586-7596 (2018).
  • Thoroddsen, S. T., Takehara, K., Nguyen, D. H. & Etoh, T. G., Singular jets during the collapse of drop-impact craters, J.  Fluid  Mech., 848, R3 (2018).
  • Li,  E.  Q.,  Thoraval,  M.-J.,  Marston,  J.  O.  &  Thoroddsen,  S.  T.,  Early azimuthal instability during drop impacts. J.  Fluid  Mech., 848, 821-835 (2018).
  • Vakarelski, I. U., Klaseboer, E., Jetly, A., Mansoor, M. M., Aguirre-Pablo,A. A., Chan, D. Y. C. & Thoroddsen, S. T., Self-determined shapes and velocities of giant near-zero drag gas cavities, Science Advances, 3, e1701558 (2017).
  • Li, E. Q., Langley, K. R., Tian, Y. S., Hicks, P. D. & Thoroddsen, S. T., Double contact during drop impact on a solid under reduced air pressure, Phys.  Rev.  Lett.,119, 214502 (2017).
  • Langley, K., Li, E. Q. & Thoroddsen, S. T., Impact of ultra-viscous drops: air-film gliding and extreme wetting. J. Fluid Mech., 813, 647 (2017).
  • Josserand, C. & Thoroddsen, S. T., Drop impact on a solid surface, Annu. Rev.  Fluid Mech., 48, 365-391 (2016).
  • Vakarelski,  I.  U.,  Berry,  J.  D.,  Chan,  D.  Y.  C.  &  Thoroddsen,  S.  T., Leidenfrost vapor layers reduce drag without the crisis in high viscosity liquids, Phys.  Rev.  Lett., 117, 114503 (2016).
  • Thoraval, M.-J., Takehara, K., Etoh, T. G., Popinet, S., Ray, P. Josserand,C., Zaleski, S. & Thoroddsen, S. T., Von K ́arm ́an vortex street within an impacting drop, Phys.  Rev.  Lett.,108, 264506 (2012).
  • Vakarelski, I. U., Neleesh, P. , Marston, J. O., Chan, D. & Thoroddsen, S.T., Stabilization of Leidenfrost vapour layer by textured superhydrophobic surfaces, Nature, 489, 472-477 (2012).


  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute for Nonlinear Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 1992–1994
  • Ph.D., Applied Mechanics, University of California, San Diego, 1991
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, Colorado State University, 1986
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Iceland, 1982

Scientific and Professional Membership

Fellow, American Physical Society, Division of Fluid Dynamics


The American Physical Society, Gallery of Fluid Motion Awards, for the years 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2012 and 2014.

Research Interests Keywords

Fluid Mechanics Microfluidics