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Roseanna N. Zia

  • Roseanna N. Zia
  • Dept: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Title: Assistant Professor, James C. and Rebecca Q. Morgan Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow, and Associate Editor, Journal of Rheology
  • Address: 344 Olin Hall
  • Phone: 607 254-3353
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Roseanna Zia received her Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology for research with John F. Brady in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in Chemical Engineering, in 2011. She received her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Missouri, and subsequently worked as a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry in Detroit, Michigan at General Motors Corporation and Delphi Automotive. During this time she also received a Master of Engineering degree at the University of Michigan.

Research Interests

The Zia group develops predictive theory and computational models for the far-from equilibrium behavior of complex fluids and other soft matter undergoing low-Reynolds number flow. My group's research focuses on three primary themes: structural evolution and particle transport in 3D micro-confined suspensions; slow evolution during and sudden release from kinetic arrest in colloidal gels and glasses; and development of a broad non-equilibrium "equation of state", a generalization of Einstein's equilibrium theory. Our approach to developing predictive theory for far-from equilibrium material behavior is to relate it to the microscopic mechanics of the constituent particles. Our work allows us to interact with the dogma that colloids serve as a model system for molecular fluids, ranging from glassy transitions to mechanical transport in living cells. As a result, we have offered new micro-mechanical perspectives of colloidal gels, offered the first accurate hydrodynamical model of the cell interior, and led the way in establishing active microrheology as the modern tool of rheology. Our over-arching goal is to show where the motion of colloidal-scale particles in crowded, watery environments can both zoom in and zoom out: zooming out to predict macroscopic behavior, and zooming in, to reveal signatures of molecular motions---and as part of our long-range vision---perhaps to an extent that it can elucidate the mechanical aspects of the life process.

Teaching Interests

Fluid mechanics, complex fluids, suspension mechanics, micro-hydrodynamics, rheology.

Selected Publications

  • Hoh, N. J., Roseanna Zia. 2015. "Force-induced diffusion in suspensions of hydrodynamically interacting colloids." J. Fluid Mech..
  • Hoh, N J., Roseanna Zia. 2015. "Hydrodynamic diffusion in active microrheology of non-colloidal suspensions: the role of interparticle forces." J. Fluid Mech. 785: 189-218.
  • Zia, Roseanna, J W. Swan, Y Su. 2015. "Pair mobility functions for rigid spheres in concentrated colloidal dispersions: force, torque, translation, and rotation." Journal of Chemical Physics 143: 224901.
  • Zia, Roseanna, B. J. Landrum, W. B. Russel. 2014. "A micro-mechanical study of coarsening and rheology of colloidal gels: Cage building, cage hopping, and Smoluchowski's ratchet." J. Rheol. 58 (5): 1121-1157.
  • Zia, Roseanna, J.F. Brady. 2012. "Microviscosity, microdiffusivity, and normal stresses." Journal of Rheology 56 (5): 1175-1208.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • NSF CAREER Award (National Science Foundation) 2013
  • ONR Young Investigator Award (Office of Naval Research) 2014
  • Publication of the Year Award (Journal of Rheology) 2013
  • NAE Frontiers in Engineering Education (nominated & selected) (National Academy of Engineering) 2014
  • NSF BRIGE Award (National Science Foundation) 2013



  • Ph D (Mechanical Engineering), California Institute of Technology,
  • MEng (Manufacturing Engineering), University of Michigan,
  • BS (Mechanical Engineering), University of Missouri,