Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Jian Sheng
Assistant Professor

Jian Sheng

Contact information
Office: 216 Akerman Hall
Phone: 612-626-5496
E-mail: jsheng (at)

List of research topics
Current research projects

Professor Sheng develops and utilizes advance multi-dimensional multi-species experimental methods to study flow structure interactions (FSI) in unsteady conical flows over deforming boundaries, turbulence wall interactions, environmental boundary layer, microscale flows, hydrodynamic interactions of microorganisms and surface, hydrodynamics of swimming and bio-mimetic locomotion, and biomedical related near surface transport.

Applications include flow control and drag management using actuated surfaces for MAV, microscale coherent structure identification in rough wall turbulent boundary layer, hydrodynamics of bacterial biofilm formations and irrigations, hydrodynamic interactions between physical environment and biological system, cardiovascular flows, transport of micro-circulations, and intra-cellular micro-fluidics. Professor Sheng’s research focuses first on advancing the latest experimental techniques: 3-D holographic PIV, tomographic PIV, digital holographic microscopy, 3-D fluorescent light field microscopy and volumetric flow accelerometer.

The primary objective is to establish the capabilities in obtaining high resolution 3-D and multiple component measurement. The research also emphasizes on applying these new techniques to advances our understanding of flow wall interactions with strong engineering and biomedical implications. Current projects focus on near wall flow structure manipulation via a moving surface with roughness element, developing measurement method to understand two-way coupling of unsteady flow and deforming vascular wall, hydrodynamic interactions of chemotactic bacteria with the wall during biofilm formation and biofilm irrigation using micro-fluidics, and multi-scale investigation of planktonic flows during predation.


B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan, 1995
M.S., Mechanical Engineering Kansas State University, 1998
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, 2001
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, 2006


2008 - present: Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Minnesota
2007 - present: Adjunct Assistant Professor, The Johns Hopkins University
2007 - present: Adjunct research scientist, Great Water Institute, University of Wisconsin
2006 - 2007: Post-doc fellow, The Johns Hopkins University (Advisor: Dr. Joseph Katz)
1999 - 2006: Research assistant, The Johns Hopkins University Department of Mechanical Engineering (advisor: Dr. Joseph Katz)
1998 - 1999: Embedded systems engineer, Chrysler Motor Company
1995 - 1998: Research assistant, Kansas State University Department of Mechanical Engineering (M.S. advisor, Dr. Hui Meng)

Five Recent Publications

  • Sheng, J., Malkiel E., Katz, J., Adolf JE. Place AR, 2010, A Dinoflagellate exploits toxins to immobilize prey prior to ingestion, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America., (Journal Article) More Details
  • Katz J. and Sheng J., 2010, Applications of holography in fluid mechanics and Particle Dynamics, Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, v42, (Journal Article) More Details
  • Sheng, J., Malkiel, E. and Katz, J, 2009, Buffer layer structures associated with extreme wall stress events in a smooth wall turbulent boundary layer, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, v633, (Journal Article) More Details
  • J. Sheng, E. Malkiel, and J. Katz, 2008, Instantaneous wall shear stress distribution and near wall flow structure measurements using a digital holographic microscope, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, in revision, (Journal Article) More Details
  • Sheng, J., Malkiel, E. Katz, J, Adolf JE. Belas R. and Place AR, 2008, Prey-induced changes in swimming behavior of predatory dinoflagellates with different strain, Journal of Phycology, v43, (Journal Article) More Details

See more publications

Honors and Recognitions

The article “Digital holographic microscopy reveals prey-induced changes in swimming behavior of predatory dinoflagellates” (PNAS 2007, with J. Katz, E. Malkiel, R. Belas, J. Adolf, and A. Place) is profiled by National Science Foundation Ocean Science Program and featured in various media (Science Daily.)

NSF CAREER Award, 2008

The article “A Dinoflagellate exploits toxins to immobilize prey prior to ingestion” (PNAS 2009 with J. Katz, E. Malkiel, J. Adolf, AR Place ) is feature on Nature and 20 other news media

Research on hydrodynamics around dwarf seahorse is to be featured on NPR’s show “Loh down on science”


Scientific and Professional Societies

American Physical Society

American Geophysical Union

American Society of Mechanical Engineering

American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

International Society of Optical Engineering


Subjects and Courses Taught

AEM 2012 -- Dynamics
AEM 2021 -- Statics and Dynamics
AEM 4201 -- Fluid Mechanics
AEM 8201 -- Fluid Mechanics I
AEM 8211 -- Theory of Turbulence I
AEM 8271 -- Experimental Methods in Fluid Mechanics
AEM 8295 -- Selected Topics in Fluid Mechanics
Curriculum Vitae Brief Biographical Sketch

Last Modified: 2012-08-28 at 13:58:28 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation