Nathalie Vriend, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder


2023 Experimental Physics Investigator

Nathalie Vriend, Ph.D.

Research Description

Nathalie Vriend’s research addressed a major gap in our understanding of the precise role of the discrete particle phase in dense suspensions – particle-fluid mixtures where the particles are separated by less than a particle diameter. Even though liquid-solid processes are ubiquitous and can be measured and modelled on a system-scale, we are completely in the dark on the details and the implications of the particle-phase. Her methodology presents a unique opportunity to characterize dense suspensions by quantitatively measuring and visualizing network interactions due to solid contact forces with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution.

Research Impact

Dr. Vriend’s work on understanding the role that the particle-phase plays in suspensions has the potential to advance our analysis, modelling, predicting and forward-projecting of environment suspensions in natural hazards (e.g., landslides, avalanches), such as solid crystal mush mixed in with viscous magma deep in our Earth, ice crystals initiating in cold polar water reservoirs or sticky clay particles avalanching down the salty sea bottom in a turbidity current.


related links

Experimental Physics Investigators Initiative Science University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Mechanical Engineering Back


PhD, Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
MSc, Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology
Ingenieur, Mechanical Engineering, University of Twente, The Netherlands

Affiliated Investigators