ferrofluid manipulation                                   magnetic fluid instability 


The primary focus of my research is the investigation of microscopic and macroscopic models of particulate systems, particularly those with direct physical applications, including: neutrally-buoyant and sedimenting suspensions, emulsions, granular materials, magnetic suspensions, fluidized beds and colloidal systems. The general themes of my research are: Micro-Hydrodynamics, Micro-Mechanics and Rheology of Complex Fluids, Fluctuations and Hydrodynamic Dispersion in Suspensions, Stability of Fluidized Beds, Drag Reduction in Flows, Bubble Dynamics, Perturbation Methods in Fluid Mechanics, Hydrodynamic of Magnetic Fluids, Stochastic Processes in Mechanical Science.




Pendent drop tensiometer - interfacial tension between liquid-liquid




Laboratory of Microhydrodynamics and Rheology - Micro-Rheo


Magneto-rheological fluids consist of suspensions of colloidal particles. Each particle contains many tiny, randomly oriented magnetic grains that can be oriented into chains by an externally applied magnetic field. These chains may further coalesce into larger-scale structures in the suspension, thereby dramatically increasing the viscosity of the suspension. This increase, however, may be totally reversed when magnetic field is turned off.




Very viscous fluid versus water



  magneto-rheological suspension - formation of particle agglomerates due do dipolar interactions



suspension of rough non-Brownian particles                                                 oil-water  emulsion   





                                        Rheological characterization  of complex fluids
 FRC is a Professor of Fluid Mechanics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Brasília. He is also a researcher of CNPq- Brazil.  His current research interests include: rheology of complex fluids;  hydrodynamic of magnetic fluids, non-Newtonian fluid dynamics, microhydrodynamics of active and passive particles in suspensions; and mechanics of mobile suspensions in general. His group focuses on developing mathematical and computational modeling tools with experimental investigations, that is highly interdisciplinary. 
 Education and Formation

Post Doctoral Senior (Sabbatical period).  
Applied Math., University of California in Santa Barbara - USA, 2013.

Research topic: Mathematical Models for Magnetic Fluids


Research Collaboration with Prof. Hector D. Ceniceros

Post Doctoral Fellowship.


Chemical Engineering, Yale University, USA, 1998-2000.


Research topic: Rheology of emulsion flows

Research supervisor: Prof. Michael Loewenberg




Applied Mathematics, University of Cambridge, UK, 1992-1995,


Robinson College - DAMTP - Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Complex


Fluid Group - Microhydrodynamics - (G.K. Batchelor, E.J. Hinch and J.M Rallison).

Thesis title: Hydrodynamic dispersion in suspensions

Advisor: Prof. John Hinch, FRS



Mechanical Sciences, University of Brasília, Brazil, 1987-1989.

Dissertation title: Nonlinear mechanisms in fluidized beds.

Advisor: Prof. Antônio F. Parentes Fortes



Mechanical Engineering, University of Brasília, Brazil, 1981-1986.


Plataform Lattes-CNPq - Link: FRC Lattes

Academic Google -
Link: FRC Citations

WebGroup System-CNPq - Link: Group VORTEX   



Fluid Mechanics Videos by VORTEX Group

Video 1:
Instability of a Magnetic Fluid , by Cunha, F.R. & Abade, G.C., 2002 (This video has over 46.000 views on YouTube !)

Video 2:
The amazing self-locomotion of nematodes. See also PARTT II: Microhydrodynamics of Living Suspensions. These videos have been made during the current investigations of my Ph.D student Sara Malvar (2015-current).

Video 3:
Microhydrodynamics of a single drop , by Cunha, F.R. & Dias, N.J., 2013

Video 4:
A Model of Magnetic Separation Oil-Water , by Cunha, F.R. & Sobral, Y.D., 2004

Video 5:
Thermo-Magnetic Convection , by Gontijo, R.G. & Cunha, F.R., 2011. (Presented in the 6th Internacional Conference on Surfaces, Coatings and Nano-Structured Material -NANOMAT Conference - Krakow - Poland - 2011).

Video 6:
SUP - Stand up Paddle Fluid Mechanics (Hydrostatic and Dynamic - drag and lift) .

Video 7:
Talk of Prof. Hinch on the Flow of Elastic Liquids , (Opening talk of COBEM2007-Brazil)

Résumé - FRC 

Professor Francisco Ricardo Cunha received the diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Brasília, Brazil, in 1986. In 1989, he received a M.S. degree in Mechanical Science from the University of Brasília, Brazil. Then at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of University of Cambridge - UK, he was conferred, in 1995, a Ph.D. degree in Fluid Mechanics of Hydrodynamic Dispersion in Suspension Flows. He did a Postdoctoral work at Yale University, where he was also a visiting Associate Professor of the Chemical Engineering Department, and also a Postdoctoral program at University of California in Santa Barbara - UCSB-USA. He joined the University of Brasília in 1995, and is currently Professor of Fluid Mechanics and Applied Mathematics and a Researcher (level 1A) of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq – Brazil. Prof. Cunha’s current research interests are in Microhydrodynamics, Micro-Mechanics, Rheology of Complex Fluids and Hydrodynamic of Magnetic Fluids. Editor-in-Chief- of Journal of Brazilian Society Mechanical Science and Engineering. Prof. Cunha has published several scientific articles in indexed Journal of high impact in his area as: Physics of Fluids, J. of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Physica A, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Journal of Physics – Condensed Matter, Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics, J. of Fluids Engineering, Journal of Engineering Mathematics, Biomicrofluids-APS, Magnetohydrodynamics, Powder Technology, Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics, Computational and Applied Mathematics, Computer Methods in Appl. Mechanics and Engineering. He also has supervised PhD, masters and graduate students in the past and currently.

(in Portuguese)