Dr Monica Oliveira

Senior Lecturer

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Personal statement

Mónica Oliveira is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. She has a PhD in Chemical & Process Engineering from Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, UK), and a first degree in Chemical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (Portugal). She held a postdoc position in the Non-Newtonian Fluid Dynamics Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge MA, USA), after which she returned to the University of Porto to join CEFT (Transport Phenomena Research Centre) where she held a research position until 2012. Her research focuses on fluid flows and transport phenomena, in particular the rheology of complex fluids, non-Newtonian fluid dynamics and microfluidics. Mónica publishes her research results in leading international journals including Physical Review Letters, Physics of Fluids, Microfluidics & Nanofluidics, Soft Matter and Journal of Fluid Mechanics. She is a member of both the Society of Rheology of the American Institute of Physics, and the British Society of Rheology.


Has expertise in:

    • Complex Fluid Flows
    • Microfluidics
    • Computational Fluid Dynamics
    • Rheology (shear and extension)
    • Microdevice design/optimisation


Flow dynamics of Vitreous Humour during saccadic eye movements
Silva Andreia F, Pimenta Francisco, Alves Manuel A, Oliveira Monica SN
Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials (2020)
Spatio-temporal dynamics of dilute red blood cell suspensions in low-inertia microchannel flow
Zhou Q, Fidalgo J, Calvi L, Bernabeu M O, Hoskins P R, Oliveira M S N, Krüger T
Biophysical Journal (2020)
Optimised multi-stream microfluidic designs for controlled extensional deformation
Zografos Konstantinos, Haward Simon J, Oliveira Mónica S N
Microfluidics and Nanofluidics Vol 23 (2019)
Viscoelastic fluid flow simulations in the e-VROCTM geometry
Zografos Konstantinos, Hartt William, Hamersky Mark, Oliveira Monica SN, Alves Manuel A, Poole Robert J
Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics (2019)
Thermocapillary motion of a Newtonian drop in a dilute viscoelastic fluid
Capobianchi Paolo, T. Pinho Fernando, Lappa Marcello, Oliveira Mónica S N
Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics Vol 270, pp. 8-22 (2019)
An exact solution for the thermocapillary motion of a Newtonian droplet in a viscoelastic fluid
Capobianchi Paolo, Lappa Marcello, Oliveira Monica, Morozov Alexander
8th International Symposium on Bifurcations and Instabilities in Fluid Dynamics (2019)

More publications

Research interests

Mónica is interested in fluid flows and transport phenomena. Currently, a major part of her research focus on rheology and flow of complex fluids in microscale devices, taking advantage of the unique conditions provided by these small-scale platforms. She has been focusing on the fundamental flow physics of complex fluids in both rheometric and microfluidic devices, but also exploring the distinctive characteristics of complex fluid flows at the micro-scale to design new microfluidic components for extensional rheometry, to develop synthetic biofluid analogues, and to enhance and control microscale mixing.

Keywords: Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid dynamics, Rheology, Viscoelasticity, Elastic Instabilities, Experimental characterisation of complex fluid flows, CFD, Biofluid analogues, Red blood cell deformation, Aneurysm flows, Microfluidics, Microdevice optimisation.

Professional activities

British Society of Rheology Winter Meeting 2015
Invited speaker
World Congress on Computational Mechanics
9th Annual European Rheology Conference, AERC 2014
Extensional flows of complex fluids at the micro-scale
Invited speaker
VIPIMAGE 2013, IV ECCOMAS Thematic Conference on Computational Vision and Medical Image Processing
Seminar at Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais
Invited speaker

More professional activities


Oliveira, Monica (Principal Investigator) Haw, Mark (Co-investigator) Rycroft, Ewan (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2021
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Houston, Gemma
Oliveira, Monica (Principal Investigator) Zhang, Yonghao (Co-investigator) Houston, Gemma (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2021
Medical Devices Doctoral Training Centre Renewal | Radhakrishnan, Pretheepan
McKay, Geoffrey (Principal Investigator) Mottram, Nigel (Co-investigator) Oliveira, Monica (Co-investigator) Radhakrishnan, Pretheepan (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2014 - 01-Jan-2018
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Devices and Health Technologies | Radhakrishnan, Pretheepan
McKay, Geoffrey (Principal Investigator) Mottram, Nigel (Co-investigator) Oliveira, Monica (Co-investigator) Radhakrishnan, Pretheepan (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2014 - 01-Jan-2018
Microfluidics of Complex Fluids: Extensional Rheology from Optimisation to Experiment
Oliveira, Monica (Principal Investigator)
"Microfluidics finds application in technologies ranging across energy, medicine, biotechnology, chemistry and engineering. The current market for microfluidic devices is some US$1.5Bn per year, and is set to rise over coming decades. Examples include lab-on-a-chip devices for the production of emulsions, chemical reactors, medical diagnostics, the delivery of drugs and chemicals, isolation and tagging of biomaterials, and analytical chemistry. Many of these applications require handling complex fluids (e.g. polymeric solutions or biofluids) that have non-Newtonian rheological behaviour, such as shear thinning and viscoelasticity, the effects of which are enhanced at the microscale. For viscoelastic complex fluids the effect of extension on the fluid behaviour often leads to much larger flow resistances than with Newtonian Fluids due to strong extensionally-thickening behaviour. This makes thorough experimental characterisation of the extensional properties of viscoelastic fluids crucial in an industrial context:
- to accurately describe their behaviour,
- to effectively control their flow,
- for designing efficient and safe devices/components,
- to detect subtle dissimilarities in their composition (e.g. for product quality control),
- for quality-assurance of the final product (e.g. in polymer or food processing industries).
Moreover, properties of viscoelastic physiological fluids (eg. synovial fluid, saliva and blood) are closely linked to their functionality, and changes to the extensional viscosity provide indications of fluid degradation and an inability to achieve the desired in vivo functionality. Rheological information about healthy and diseased biofluids is bound to shed new light upon the onset and progression of diseases (e.g., diabetes and arthritis sufferers), leading in turn to improved therapeutics and formulation of analogue or prosthetic fluids.
The project aim is to develop a microfluidic-based extensional rheometer design; this requires sophisticated experiments guided by shape-optimisation computational tools. Microfluidic characterisation of the extensional properties of weakly viscoelastic fluids will provide new insight into important fluid mechanics that is practically intractable using conventional instruments. The project's technological outcome will be a proof-of-concept optimal extensional rheometer design; the engineering science outcome will be new insight into viscoelastic flows at the microscale. The long-term impact will be a much higher degree of control over processes using viscoelastic fluids (e.g. inkjet printing and coating processes), and this is likely to open the door to new, currently unforeseen, applications of these materials."
03-Jan-2014 - 08-Jan-2016
BTG: New connections in particles and fluids—from fracking and foods, to bacteria and blood
Haw, Mark (Principal Investigator) Shipton, Zoe K. (Co-investigator) Zagnoni, Michele (Co-investigator) Oliveira, Monica (Co-investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator) Corney, Jonathan (Co-investigator) Zhang, Yonghao (Co-investigator) Pritchard, David (Co-investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator)
A wide range of applications in science and engineering, including fracking, oil and gas extraction, design of pumps, water treatment, continuous crystallization for pharmaceuticals, geological phenomena, settling and separation, nuclear waste storage and processing, bacterial transport, biodiagnostics, and blood and other biological flows, involve the flow, processing and transport of systems of particles suspended in fluids. Applications involve a range of scales from microns to tens of metres and a range of particle concentrations from ‘dilute’ to concentrated. There is a wide but disparate range of relevant expertise across Strathclyde. The aim of this one-day BTG workshop and half-day follow-up is to bring this research community together, to identify innovative ideas and solutions across these applications, and to promote novel themes for funding proposals, high-impact publications, industrial and public engagement, knowledge exchange, and CPD.
01-Jan-2014 - 30-Jan-2014

More projects


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
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