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Pedro J. Sáenz

I am an Assistant Professor and the director of the Physical Mathematics Laboratory in the Department of Mathematics at UNC. Before I was an Instructor in the Department of Mathematics at MIT. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, and pursued brief post-doctoral studies at Imperial College London. I am passionate about fundamental research. My interests include hydrodynamic quantum analogs, fluid mechanics, non-equilibrium soft matter physics, collective dynamics, and any other related problem found in Nature. My work blends experiments, theory, and numerical simulations.




  • 2023 | Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow

  • 2022 | APS Gallery of Fluid Motion, Award winner, Indianapolis, IN

  • 2021 | NSF CAREER award CBET

  • 2021 | UNC Reynolds Junior Faculty Development Award

  • 2017 | APS Gallery of Fluid Motion, Award winner, Denver, CO

  • 2016 | ICTAM U.S. Early Career Travel Fellowship, Montreal, Canada

  • 2014 | ARCHER Image Competition, Winner, UK National Supercomputing Service

  • 2012 | Institute for Materials and Processes Grant, University of Edinburgh

  • 2010-12 | Caja Madrid Fellowship, awarded by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain

  • 2010-13 | Doctoral Training Grant, awarded by the British Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

  • 2008 | M.Sc. final project honored by the University of La Rioja and awarded with a cash prize by the Institution of Engineering and Technology of Aragón and La Rioja (Spain)

  • 2006 | B.Sc. awarded with an Honorific Mention to the highest rank of the graduating class

  • 2006 | B.Sc. final project honored by the University of La Rioja and awarded with a cash prize by the Institution of Engineering and Technology of Aragón and La Rioja (Spain)


  • Fluids Mechanics Seminar, Engineering Department, Carlos III University of Madrid (Spain), June 2023

  • Free Boundary Problems; Lecture series and Recent Advances in Theory and Applications, Columbia University (USA), May 2023

  • Physics Colloquium, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, UNC Chapel Hill (USA), February 2023

  • Physical Mathematics Seminar, Dept. of Mathematics, MIT (USA), December 2022

  • Complex Matter and Biophysics Seminar,  NC State University  (USA), November 2022

  • Dept. of Mathematics Statistics Seminar, University of Strathclyde, (Glasgow, UK), Nov 2022

  • Burgers Program in Fluid Dynamics, University of Maryland College Park (USA), May 2020

  • Applied & Computational Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), Apr 2020

  • Applied Mathematics Seminar, NYU Courant Institute (USA), Apr 2020

  • Complex Matter and Biophysics Seminar, Physics, NC State University (USA), Mar 2020

  • Physique et Mécanique des Milieux Hétérogènes, ESPCI (France), Oct 2019

  • Mathematics of Form in Active and Inactive Media, Isaac Newton Institute (UK), Mar 2019

  • Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania (USA), Feb 2019

  • Dept. of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Yale University (USA), Feb 2019

  • Dept. of Mathematics, UNC Chapel Hill (USA), Feb 2019

  • School of Engineering, Carlos III University of Madrid (Spain), Dec 2018

  • Soft Materials Structures and Devices Seminar Series, Mechanical Eng., MIT (USA), Dec 2018

  • Computations in Science Seminar, Dept. of Physics, University of Chicago (USA), Oct 2018

  • Nonlinear and Complex Systems Seminar, Dept. of Physics, Duke University (USA), Oct 2018

  • Applied Physical Sciences Seminar, UNC at Chapel Hill (USA), Oct 2018

  • Dynamics & PDE Seminar, Dept. of Mathematics, Brown University (USA), Apr 2018

  • Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, University of Minnesota (USA), Mar 2018

  • Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University (USA), Mar 2018

  • Physical Mathematics Seminar, Dept. of Mathematics, MIT (USA), Feb 2018

  • Fluids Seminar, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Brown University (USA), Dec 2017

  • Ingenia Seminar, School of Engineering, University of La Rioja (Spain), May 2016

  • Physical Mathematics Seminar, Dept. of Mathematics, MIT (USA), Oct 2015


    Contact Information 


Dr. Pedro J. Sáenz

Assist. Professor of Mathematics

Department of Mathematics

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapman Hall, Room 427

Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA



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