I am Assistant Professor at Princeton University, in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and the Princeton Environmental Institute.

Please visit our new webpage!

We work on fundamental fluid dynamics with an emphasis on non-linear and multi-scale systems. I am focusing on fundamental physics problems, motivated by their importance in environmental and industrial applications, as diverse as the statistics of waves in the ocean, floating ice sheets, gas transfer by surface breaking waves in the ocean, and spray dynamics in the atmosphere.

My approach is to design and develop complementary laboratory and numerical experiments to propose simple physical models describing the processes at play.



Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Princeton University
41 Olden St.
Princeton, NJ.
(+1) 609 258 7920


March 2018: Our recent work on bursting bubbles was featured on Princeton's webpage 

December 2017: Wouter Mostert joins the group as Postdoctoral researcher. Welcome Wouter!

                  August 2017: Dan Ruth joins the group as PhD student. Welcome Dan!

Research Interests

Our research focuses on multi-phase turbulent systems, involving waves, drops and bubbles in turbulent environment. We develop laboratory and numerical experiments to explore the physics at play and build simple models. Our work is motivated by environmental and industrial applications, as diverse as the statistics of waves in the ocean, wave impact on structures, floating ice sheet, gas transfer by surface breaking waves in the ocean, spray dynamics and cloud formation in the atmosphere.

Current projects include: 

1) the role of wave breaking in air-sea interaction, 

2) bubbles in turbulent flow, their dynamics and break-up

3) spray generation by breaking waves and bursting bubbles

Future work will involve turbulence in two-fluids systems, such as droplets/bubbles in a turbulent environment, as well as further studies on non-linear waves.

Wave breaking and air-sea interactions:

Surface wave breaking plays an important role in the coupling between the atmosphere and the ocean from local weather to global climatic scales. It generates turbulence, entrains air bubbles into the ocean and ejects sea spray into the atmosphere. These processes enhance air-sea exchanges of momentum, gases, heat, moisture and marine aerosols. Quantifying these exchanges is necessary to improve our understanding of the ocean, atmosphere and climate systems.

Current projects involve direct numerical simulations of wave breaking and lab experiments to investigate the air entrainment by breaking waves, spray generation, lagrangian dynamics, mass transport and current generation. We develop simplified models and scaling argument on single wave experiment and then upscale these results using wave and wave breaking statistics.

Example of direct Numerical Simulation of wave breaking, using the open source solver Gerris. Various aspects of breaking waves can be analyzed: importance of surface tension effects at small scale, parasitic capillary wave generation, dissipation due to breaking and capillaries, air bubble entrainment, spray droplet generation, mass transport. DNS results are systematically compared to laboratory experiments.

Ocean surface taken from R/P FLIP in the pacific ocean just after a strong breaking event. Bubbles of various sizes and at various depth are visible.

Wave turbulence

aims to describe the statistical and dynamical evolution of a set of non-linear interacting waves, I have been working on various wave turbulence systems

- Stationary and decaying capillary wave turbulence and the influence of dissipation at all scale (though small scale lab experiments). We have shown that the existence of dissipation at all scale induce a "leaking cascade" phenomenology, with steeper spectrum for highly dissipative regimes.

- Gravity wave turbulence, direct and inverse cascade, together with finite size effects and boundary conditions; through experiments in small lab tank (20cm) and the large waves tanks (10 by 15 m and 30 by 50 m) located in Nantes (Collaboration Turbulon).

- Direct numerical simulation of capillary wave turbulence, using the open source flow solver Gerris.

Hydro-elastic waves

I studied Hydro-elastic waves through small scale experiments by developing a laboratory setup consisting on a floating elastic sheet. This idealized setup presents formal analogies with floating ice sheets in the ocean. I have investigated the propagation of linear and non-linear hydro-elastic waves, the role of the sheet tension, the dissipation of the waves and the three-wave resonant interaction process.