Ubaldo Cordova, PhD

Ubaldo Cordova, PhD

Collaborating Faculty; Professor

T: 787-832-4040



  • Ph.D.
Chem. Eng., California Institute of Technology, 2008
  • M.S.
Chem. Eng., California Institute of Technology, 2006
  • B.S.
Chem. Eng., University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, 2003


  • 2018-present
Interim Vice President, UPR
  • 2008-2017
Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Creative Endeavors, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • 2017-present
Adjunct Professor, Department of Physics, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • 2008-present
Professor; Associate Professor; Assistant Professor; University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • 2016-present
Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering Graduate Program, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • 2013-present
Adjunct Professor, Ph.D. Program in Computing and Information Science and Engineering, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • 2009-present
Honorary Associate, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 2003-2008
Instructor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

Honors, Awards & Fellowships

  • Campus Lead, Pathways to Innovation Program, National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation, NSF, 2015-2016
  • UPRM College of Engineering Distinguished Researcher, 2013-2014
  • UPRM Chemical Engineering Outstanding Professor, 2011-2012
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2011-2017
  • NSF EPSCoR Faculty Start-Up Award, 2009
  • Graduate Study Fellowship, Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 2003

  • Honorary Citizen of Cataño, PR, 2003
  • Honor Student, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, 2001-2003
  • Distinguished Student of the Year, Cataño, PR, 2002

Publications Submitted or in Preparation 

22. R. A. DeLaCruz-Araujo, L. Y. Rivera-Rivera & Ubaldo M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Assembly and disassembly of active superparamagnetic colloidal particles in strong magnetic fields”. (in preparation)

21. G. C. Vidal-Urquiza & U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Dynamics of a magnetic active Brownian particle under a uniform magnetic field: the effect of spin Brownian motion”. (in preparation)

20. N. Sharifi-Mood, P. G. Diaz-Hyland & U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Dynamics of a microswimmer near a curved wall: guided and trapped locomotions”. (submitted to Soft Matter)

19. G. C. Vidal-Urquiza & U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Dynamics of a magnetic active Brownian particle under a uniform magnetic field”. (submitted by PRE)

18. L. Nieves-Rosado, A. Khair & U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Osmotic propulsion of a slender colloidal particle powered by enzymatic reactions”. (submitted to PRE)


17. R. DeLaCruz-Araujo, D. Beltran-Villegas, R. G. Larson, & U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Shear-induced alignment of Janus particle lamellar structures”. Langmuir. (2017). online

16. R. Mangal, N. Karthik, Y. Kim, E. Bukusoglu, U. M. Córdova-Figueroa & N. Abbott, “Active Janus particles at interfaces of liquid crystals”. Langmuir. 33, 10917–10926 (2017). online

15. X. Zhao, K. K. Dey, S. Jeganathan, P. J. Butler, U. M. Córdova-Figueroa & A. Sen, “Enhanced diffusion of passive tracers in active enzyme solutions”. Nano Lett. 17, 4807–4812 (2017). online

14. M. Diaz-Maldonado & U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Dynamics and rheology of Janus drops in a linear shear flow”. Int. J. Multiphase Flow. 2–13 (2016). online

13. N. Sharifi-Mood, A. Mozaffari & U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Pair interaction of catalytically active colloids: from assembly to escape”, J. Fluid Mech. 798, 910–954 (2016).pdf

12. R. DeLaCruz-Araujo, D. J. Beltrán-Villegas, R. Larson & U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Rich Janus colloid phase behavior under steady shear”, Soft Matter. (2016) online

11. K. K. Dey, X. Zhao, B. M. Tansi, W. J. Méndez-Ortiz, U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, R. Golestanian, & A. Sen, “Micromotors powered by enzyme catalysis”, Nano Lett. 15, 8311–8315 (2015) online

10. M. Diaz-Maldonado & U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “On the anisotropic response of a Janus drop in a shearing viscous fluid”. J. Fluid Mech., 770, R2 (2015). online

9. C. Ye, L. Kennedy, K. Shirk, U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, J. Youngblood and C. J. Martinez , “CNC loaded hydrogel particles generated from single and double emulsion drops”. Green Materials. 3(1), 25–34 (2014) online

8. S. Sengupta, D. Patra, I. Ortiz-Rivera, A. Agrawal, S. Shklyaev, K. K. Dey, U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, T. E. Mallouk and A. Sen, “Self-powered enzyme micropumps”. Nature Chemistry, 6, 415-422 (2014) online

7. S. Shklyaev, J. F. Brady, and U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Nonspherical osmotic motor: chemical sailing”, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 748, 488-520 (2014) pdf

6. S. Shklyaev, A. Ivantsov, M. Diaz, and U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, “Dynamics of a Janus drop in an external flow”, Physics of Fluids, 25, 082105 (2013) online pdf

5. U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, J. F. Brady, and S. Shklyaev, “Osmotic propulsion of colloidal particles via constant surface flux”, Soft Matter, 9 (28), (2013) pdf

4. Y. Hong, M. Diaz, U. M. Córdova-Figueroa, and A. Sen, “Titanium dioxide-based photo-induced micro fireworks and micro-motor/micro-pump systems”, Advance Functional Materials, 20, 1-9 (2010) pdf

3. U. M. Córdova-Figueroa and J. F. Brady, “Comment on “Osmotic propulsion: the osmotic motor” reply”, Physical Review Letters, 103, 079802 (2009) pdf

2. U. M. Córdova-Figueroa and J. F. Brady, “Comment on “Osmotic propulsion: the osmotic motor” reply”, Physical Review Letters, 102, 159802 (2009) pdf

1. U. M. Córdova-Figueroa and J. F. Brady, “Osmotic propulsion: the osmotic motor”, Physical Review Letters, 100, 158303 (2008) pdf

Non-Peer Reviewed Publications

U. M. Córdova-Figueroa and C. Martinez, “Effective Research: There’s an App for That”,SHPE Magazine, 16 (1), 26-27 (2014)


NSF_Logo2011 NSF CAREER Award Recipient: Dynamic Simulations of Reconfigurable Complex Fluids from Janus and Catalytically-Driven Colloidal Particles

This research combines Prof. Córdova-Figueroa’s expertise in low Reynolds number hydrodynamics and colloidal suspensions to study the emerging field of complex fluids based on ‘two-faced’ Janus particles—particles which have two distinct sides—that depending on their surface functionality could lead to novel material properties and aggregation/self-ordering abilities or to autonomous behaviors using on-board chemical motors operating far from equilibrium. This NSF CAREER proposal presents research and educational activities designed to elucidate important aspects of reconfigurable complex fluids—active materials that could change and relax their structure with minimum or no external intervention using as precursors Janus and catalytically-driven colloidal particles. The research efforts are divided in two main tasks. The first one focuses in studying the motion, rheology, and structural organization of Janus particle suspensions guided by a combination of fluid flows and external forces. Different behaviors are expected depending on the interparticle force between the ‘Janus’ faces of the particles (e.g., hard sphere, attractive, soft). The second research task aims at understanding collective motion of catalytically-driven Janus particle suspensions. A simple ‘colloidal’ approach to autonomous motion via chemical reactions will be used and implemented based on classic multicomponent diffusion and depletion flocculation theory. Simple elementary dynamic units operating with specific rules and exploiting chemotaxis will be proposed as ‘elements’ for future reconfigurable materials. These efforts will be accomplished by Brownian/Stokesian dynamics simulations and experiments with collaborating partners.

Active and Reconfigurable Colloidal Soft Matter Interfaces (IRT3 PREM), Award # 1827894, NSF, End date 2024


Dynamic Clustering and Rheology of Magnetic Janus Particles with Shifted Dipoles, Award # 1705656, NSF, End Date 2020