Faculty Profiles

Alison Marsden

Computational fluid mechanics, cardiovascular mechanics, bio-fluid mechanics and biomedical devices technology emphasizing optimization methods relating to vascular surgery

Dr. Marsden’s work explores the interface between medicine and the quantitative, physical, and theoretical disciplines. Her postdoctoral research focused on simulation and optimization of the Fontan, a surgery used to treat single-ventricle congenital heart defects. This work led to the development of a new modification of the Fontan surgery. A goal of her ongoing work is that rigorous modeling and optimization of treatments for cardiovascular disease according to engineering principles will complement doctors' clinical judgment and experience to improve outcomes for patients suffering from both congenital and acquired heart disease. In previous work, her thesis research applied novel shape optimization techniques to airfoil design for trailing-edge noise reduction in turbulent flow. This work established a viable framework for optimization in many challenging fluid mechanics problems including turbulence, complex geometries and unsteady flows. Her research interests include the development of derivative-free optimization methods, identification of vascular design principles, treatment planning for pediatric cardiology, and the development of numerical methods for fluid mechanics.

Capsule Bio:

Alison Marsden joined the Jacobs School faculty in 2007. Pursuing studies in Mechanical Engineering, she received her B.S.E. from Princeton University in 1998 and an M.S.E from Stanford University in 2000. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford in 2005 working with Professor Parviz Moin. Marsden then had a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association and worked with Professor Charles Taylor and Jeffrey Feinstein in Stanford’s Department of Pediatrics where she applied her computational skills and optimization techniques to study flow in the heart and arterial systems of patients born with heart defects. She was a 2007 winner of a Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

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