Hof Group

Nonlinear Dynamics and Turbulence

Most fluid flows of practical interest are turbulent, yet our understanding of this phenomenon is very limited. The Hof group seeks to gain insight into the nature of turbulence and the dynamics of complex fluids.

Flows in oceans, around vehicles, and through pipelines are all highly turbulent. Turbulence governs friction losses and transport and mixing properties. Despite its ubiquity, insights into the nature of turbulence are very limited. To obtain a fundamental understanding of the origin and the principles underlying this phenomenon, the Hof group investigates turbulence when it first arises from smooth, laminar flow. The group combines detailed laboratory experiments with highly resolved computer simulations, and applies methods from nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics, enabling them to decipher key aspects of the transition from smooth to turbulent flow, and identify universal features shared with disordered systems in other areas of physics. Some of these insights can be used to control turbulent flow, and the group actively develops such methods. In addition, the group investigates instabilities in fluids with more complex properties, such as dense suspensions of particles, polymer solutions and blood flow.

On this site:


Current Projects

Revisiting the turbulence problem using statistical mechanics | Transition from laminar to turbulent flow | Dynamics of complex fluids | Control of fully turbulent flows | Cytoplasmic streaming | Instabilities in cardiovascular flows


Gaertner F, Reis-Rodrigues P, de Vries I, Hons M, Aguilera J, Riedl M, Leithner AF, Tasciyan S, Kopf A, Merrin J, Zheden V, Kaufmann W, Hauschild R, Sixt MK. 2022. WASp triggers mechanosensitive actin patches to facilitate immune cell migration in dense tissues. Developmental Cell. 57(1), 47–62.e9. View

Klotz L, Lemoult GM, Avila K, Hof B. 2022. Phase transition to turbulence in spatially extended shear flows. Physical Review Letters. 128(1), 014502. View

Liu J, Marensi E, Wu X. 2022.Effects of streaky structures on the instability of supersonic boundary layers. In: IUTAM Laminar-Turbulent Transition. vol. 38, 587–598. View

Choueiri GH, Lopez Alonso JM, Varshney A, Sankar S, Hof B. 2021. Experimental observation of the origin and structure of elastoinertial turbulence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 118(45), e2102350118. View

Sortino L, Zotev PG, Phillips CL, Brash AJ, Cambiasso J, Marensi E, Fox AM, Maier SA, Sapienza R, Tartakovskii AI. 2021. Bright single photon emitters with enhanced quantum efficiency in a two-dimensional semiconductor coupled with dielectric nano-antennas. Nature Communications. 12, 6063. View

View All Publications

ReX-Link: Björn Hof


since 2013 Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2007 – 2013 Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, Germany
2005 – 2007 Lecturer, University of Manchester, UK
2003 – 2005 Research Associate, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
2001 PhD, University of Manchester, UK

Selected Distinctions

2019 Simons Foundation Grant
2017 Fellow, American Physical Society (APS)
2012 ERC Consolidator Grant
2011 Dr. Meyer Struckmann Science Prize
2005 RCUK Fellowship

Additional Information

ERC Starting/Consolidator Grant website

Back to Top