University of California, Santa Barbara

Faculty Profile

Igor Mezic


Mechanical Engineering

Igor Mezic


UCSB Department of Mechanical Engineering
2339 Engineering II Building
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

tel: (805) 893-7603
fax: (805) 893-8651

Personal web site

Research Description

Our current research is centered around operator-theoretic approach to analysis of nonlinear dynamical systems, applications in microfluidics and (bio)-nanotechnology. The research topics can be grouped as follows:

- Mixing and separation in fluids across the scales with applications ranging from
microfluidic phenomena to oceanographic flows.
- Nano and micro-scale particle dynamics induced by dielectrophoresis and other
electrokinetic phenomena, with applications to biotechnology.
- Multiscale dynamics of the Atomic Force Microscope, including interactions with biomolecules.
- Dynamical systems theory of complex systems, including large-scale networked systems.

In each of these topics, the research is characterized by pursuit of the key physical phenomena in a device or system followed by the abstraction of the mathematical problem (or problems) associated with it. We close the loop by applying the solution of the mathematical problem to explain the physical phenomena or design new concepts based on which devices can be built or improved.

Research Groups


After receiving his MS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rijeka, Croatia in 1990, Mezic received his Ph.D. from Cal Tech in 1994 in Applied Mechanics. Before coming to UCSB in 1995, Igor was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, UK. Mezic was an Associate Professor in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University from 2000-2001. In 1999, Mezic was awarded the NSF CAREER Award for reserach on "Nonlinear Dynamics and Control from Microscale to Macrosale". He has 40 publications and has received 15 grants and industrial gifts. Mezic has graciously contributed his time and expertise to a significant number journals, panels, workshops, and conferences. Igor Mezix's research group at UCSB is centered round operator-theoretic approach to analysis of nonlinear dynamical systems, applications in microfluidics and (bio)-nanotechnology.


  • Journal of Applied Mechanics, Associate Editor
  • Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies
  • California Nanoscience Institute


  • Axelby Outstanding Paper Award (IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control), 2000
  • loan Fellowship in Mathematics, 1999
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 1999
  • Honda Initiation Grant, 1998

Selected Publications

  • A Multiscale Measure for Mixing and its Applications, Physica D - Nonlinear Phenomena, 211 (1-2), 2005, 23-46, G. Mathew, I. Mezic, and L. Petzold
  • Control of particles in microelectrode devices, Physical Review Letters, 95 (23), 2005, Article No. 236002, Tuval I, Mezic I, Bottausci F, et al.
  • Spectral properties of dynamical systems, model reduction and decompositions, Nonlinear Dynamics, 41 (1-3), 2005, 309-325, I. Mezic
  • Capture into resonance: a method for efficient control, Physical Review Letters, 93 (8), 2004, 1247-58, D. L. Vainchtein and I. Mezic
  • Comparison of Systems with Complex Behavior, Physica D, 197 (1-2), 2004, 101-133, I. Mezic, Andrzej Banaszuk
  • Controllability for a class of area-preserving twist maps, Physica D, 189 (3-4), 2004, 234-46, U. Vaidya and I. Mezic
  • Distributed Control Design for Parabolic Evolution Equations; Application to Compressor Stall Control, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 49 (8), 2004, 1247-58, G. Hagen, I. Mezic and B. Bamieh
  • Mixing in the shear superposition micromixer: 3-D analysis, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 362, 2004, F. Bottausci, I. Mezic, C. Meinhart and C. Cardonne
  • Optimal control of a co-rotating vortex pair: averaging and impulsive control, Physica D, 192, 2004, 63-82, D. L. Vainchtein and I. Mezic
  • Resonances and particle stochastization in nonhomogeneous electromagnetic fields, Journal of Nonlinear Science, 14, 2004, 173-205, D. L. Vainchtein, E. V. Rovinsky, L. M. Zelenyi, and A. I. Neishtadt

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