Phone : +91-80-2293-2317
Fax: +91-80-2360-8121
Email : prnott at iisc.ac.in
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- B.Tech Chemical Engineering, I.I.T., Madras (1985)
- PhD., Chemical Engineering, Princeton University (1991)


- CH 206 Seminar Course
- CH 243 Mechanics of Particle Suspensions
- CH 234 Mechanics of Granular Materials


I am interested in the mechanics of complex fluids, such as dry granular materials (food grains, pharmaceutical powders, etc.) and particle-fluid suspensions (slurries, paints, etc.). Understanding their flow and dynamics is of tremendous practical benefit, as they occur in many industrial processes and natural phenomena. Moreover, they pose interesting scientific challenges. We try to build reliable continuum mechanical descriptions, and test them by conducting simple yet probing experiments and particle dynamics simulations. We try to achieve an understanding of the macroscopic behaviour by relating them to phenomena at the microscopic scale.

Another interest I have is on the collective dynamics of swimming microorganisms. This started as a fluid mechanical problem of the collective behaviour of Stokesian swimmers that interact purely by hydrodynamic (physical) interactions, but very soon I realized that even the most primitive microorganisms communicate by an elaborate (biological) signalling apparatus. We are now studying the interplay between signalling and motility, and to the collective phenotypic changes that occur over longer time-scales. In collaboration with Dr. Deepak Saini, I aim to develop a quantitative understanding of how signalling affects motility, how the two are related to the phenomenon of quorum sensing, and lead ultimately to the formation of biofilms. Such an understanding has significant technological value, as microbial biofilms are thought to be responsible for many infections, and resist the action of antibiotics by building a thick polysaccharide coat.

Schematic of our cylindrical Couette rheometer for granular materials. The novelty of the apparatus is the three-axis force sensor that is mounted on a vertical slider, enabling the measurement of all components of the traction on outer cylinder as a function of the depth.

Awards & Honors



1. Krishnaraj, K. P., and Prabhu R. Nott. "A dilation-driven vortex flow in sheared granular materials explains a rheometric anomaly." Nature Commun. 7, 10630 (2016).

2. Nott, P. R., Davis, R. H., Reeks, M., Saintillan, D. and Sundaresan, S. Report on the IUTAM Symposium on Mobile Particulate Systems: Kinematics, Rheology, and Complex Phenomena, Bangalore, India, 2012, Phys. Fluids 25, 070501 (2013).

3. Gutam, KJ, Mehandia, V, Venkatesh, B & Nott, PR, The stress in sheared granular columns: anomalous profile due an anisotropic microstructure, Phys. Fluids, 25 (5), (2013).

4. Mehandia, V, Gutam, KJ & Nott, PR, Anomalous stress profile in a sheared granular column, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 128002, (2012).

5. Subramanian, G & Nott, PR, The fluid dynamics of swimming microorganisms and cells, J. Indian Inst. Sci. 91 (3), 383-414 (2011).


1. Rao, KK and Nott, PR An introduction to granular flow, Cambridge University Press (2008).