Pennathur Lab

University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Sumita Pennathur

Dr. Pennathur received her B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering from M.I.T. (2000 and 2001 respectively), and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University (2006). Prior to joining UCSB in 2007, she performed postdoctoral studies at both Sandia National Laboratories and University of Twente.


Since arriving at UCSB, Pennathur has contributed significantly to the fields of nanofluidics and interfacial science. She has been able to push the envelope in both theoretical and experimental characterization of nanofluidic channels. Furthermore, she has discovered novel nanoscale concentration mechanisms which focus analytes of interest within nanofluidic channels and has demonstrated unique quantitative separations of various biomolecules. Finally, she has developed a novel fabrication process for on-chip detection of biomolecules, which has the potential to revolutionize bio-analytical devices, eliminating the need for laborious optical tagging of samples.


These major contributions have been disseminated in the form of over 60 archived journal publications, books or conference papers, 3 patent applications, and over 50 invited presentations. Notable awards include the DARPA young faculty award (2008), the UC Regents Junior Faculty Fellowship (2009), and the PECASE (presidential early career award in science and engineering) award (2010), and the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce Innovator of the Quarter Award (2012)


Current Students and Researchers



Alex Chen, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate, 3rd year CV

Tim de Visser, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate, 3rd year CV

Kaela Acuff, Chemistry Undergraduate, 3nd year CV

Christopher Conner, Physics Undergraduate, 3rd year CV

Amanda Singleton, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate, 2nd year, Gorman Scholar CV





Dr. Jackson Travis Del Bonis-O'Donnell, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, 2010-2016

Dr. Tyler Ray, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, 2010-2015

Ms. Neeraja Venkateshwaran, BMSE Gradaute Student, 2011-2014

Dr. Tom Wynne, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, 2009-2014

Mr. Alex Russell, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, 2011-2013

Mr. Jess Sustarich, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, 2009-2011

Mr. Jared Frey, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, 2009-2011

Mrs. Sharice Handa, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, 2010-2012

Mrs. Cherry Gupta, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, 2007-2009

Mr. David Boy (co-advised), Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, 2008-2012




Dr. Sameh Helmy, 2015-2016

Dr. Kjeld Janssen, 2014-2016

Dr. Pete Crisalli, 2013-4

Dr. Logan Garner, Chemistry, 2013

Dr. Trent Huang, Associate Specialist V, 2008-2010



Technical Staff:

Mr. Seth Boden, University of Louisville, Microfabrication Specialist, 2014-2016



Visiting Scholars:


Dr. Neophytos Loucaides, University of Cypress, Summer 2011

Prof. Brian Storey, Visiting Professor, Olin College, Summer 2010

Mr. Alex Dixon, Visiting Graduate Student, EPFL, 2010-2011

Mr. Alessio Lenzi, Visiting Graduate Student, University of Pisa, Italy, 2010

Mr. Francesco Viola, Visiting Graduate Student, University of Pisa, Italy, 2010

Mr. Mathias Andersen, Visiting Graduate Student, DTU/Stanford, 2007-2010

Mr. Jesper Kristensen, Visiting Undergraduate Student, DTU, January-June 2010

Mr. Kristian Lund Jensen, Visiting Undergraduate Student, DTU, January-June 2010

Mr. Francesco Bonnotto, Visiting Undergraduate/MS Student, U. of Padova, Italy, 2010

Mr. Til Driehorst, Visiting Undergraduate/MS student, Germany, 2008-2009

Dr. Egbert van der Wouden, Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher, U. Twente, 2008

Mrs. Ling Ling Shui, Visiting Doctoral Student, U. Twente, 2008





Charles McIntosh, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate, 2014-2016

Kristen Tsia, CCS Bioengineering Undergraduate, 2014-2016

Madeleine Smither, Chemistry Undergraduate, 2015-2016

Trevor Fritz, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate, 2015-2016

Mr. Andrew Smith, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate, 2014-2016

Ms. Kristi Estes, Chemistry Undergraduate Student, 2014-2015

Meron Asnake, Chemistry Undergraduate, 2014-2015

Mr. Sam Sherman, Undergraduate Student, 2013-2015

Mr. Marco Palombo, Undergraduate Student, 2013-2015

Mr. Tylar Simone, Undergraduate Student, 2013-2015

Mr. Renhao Tao, Undergraduate Student, 2013-2015

Mr. Josh Loessberg-Zahl, Undergraduate Student, 2013-2015

Ms. Bethany Lettiere, Undergraduate Student, 2012-2014

Ms. Robert Albertazzi, Undergraduate Student, 2012-2014

Mr. Ben Eovino, Undergraduate Student, 2011-2013

Mr. John Herr, Undergraduate Student, 2011-2013

Mr. Deep Shah, Undergraduate Student, 2010-2012

Mr. Nolan Pasko, Undergraduate Student, 2009-2010

Mr. Alex Russell, Undergraduate Student, 2009-2011

Mr. Andrew Crumrine, Undergraduate Student, 2010-2011

Mr. David Herrick, Undergraduate Student, 2008-2010

Mr. Daniel Kim, Undergraduate Student, 2009-2010

Mr. Veselin Kolev, Undergraduate Student, 2009-2010

Mr. Coleman Murray, Undergraduate Student, 2009

Mr. Paul Weitkamp, Undergraduate Student, 2009

Mr. Krisna Bhagrava, Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Student, 2008-2009

Mr. Justin Massey, Undergraduate Student, 2008-2009

Ms. Rachel Boy, High School Summer Intern, 2008

Mr. Timothy Wolfcale, Undergraduate Student, 2008

Mr. Josh Silverman, Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Student, 2007-2008

Ms. Sandy Tsoi, Undergraduate Student, 2007-2008

Mr. Stephen Chen, Undergraduate Student, 2011-2012

Mr. Matt Sloan, Undergraduate Student, 2012

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