Gaurav Bahl

Gaurav Bahl
Gaurav Bahl
  • George B. Grim Professor
(217) 300-2194
4413 Mechanical Engineering Lab

For More Information


  • PhD, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, September 2010
  • MS, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, June 2008
  • B.Eng, Summa cum laude, Electrical Engineering, McMaster University, ON, Canada, June 2005

Academic Positions

  • Affiliate, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, March 2020 - to date
  • Affiliate, Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST), Dec 2018 - to date.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 16, 2018 - to date
  • Affiliate, Technology Entrepreneur Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 5, 2017 - to date.
  • Affiliate, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, January 16, 2013 - to date
  • Affiliate, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 16, 2012 - to date
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 16, 2012-2018
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, EECS, Optics and Photonics Laboratory, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, September 2010-August 2012
  • Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering, Micro-Structures and Sensors Laboratory, Stanford, April 2006-August 2010

Course Development

  • Developed a new special topics class for mechanical engineers ME 498 PM4 "Photonic MEMS".

Research Statement

Gaurav Bahl performs experimental research at the interface between optical and mechanical systems. Of particular interest are the mechanisms by which light interacts mechanically with photonic microsystems (i.e. via radiation pressure, gradient force, electrostrictive pressure, and photothermal effects), and how mechanical devices can affect and manipulate light. Applications of this research include inertial sensors, microfluidic bio-chemical devices, microwave frequency references, and harsh-environment physical sensors.

While the forces exerted on matter by single photons are miniscule, micro/nanodevices that are both optically and mechanically resonant can enhance such opto-mechanical interactions by several orders-of-magnitude. These devices are excellent scientific platforms for research in nonlinear optics, quantum mechanics, laser development, and thermal management via laser heating and cooling.

Graduate Research Opportunities

PhD oriented Electrical Engineering graduate students with a strong background in experimental optics are encouraged to contact Prof. Bahl with a complete CV.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Our group is seeking talented undergraduate researchers for summer 2015 positions, with the potential for continued work into the school year. Students with strong backgrounds in the following topics are encouraged to apply -- electromagnetics, RF and microwave circuits, photonics, and microfabrication. Interested students should contact Prof. Bahl ( with a complete CV, accompanied by a short paragraph highlighting relevant experience and coursework. Please see our group website ( for representative work. Women and students from minority backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Research Areas

  • Acoustics
  • Applied Physics
  • Biosensors and bioelectronics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electromagnetic theory
  • Energy
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Health and Bio
  • Manufacturing
  • Microcavity lasers and nanophotonics
  • Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
  • Microwave devices and circuits
  • Security and Defense
  • Solid Mechanics and Materials
  • Thermo and Heat Transfer

Research Topics

  • Charge particle physics and engineering
  • Electronics, Plasmonics, and Photonics
  • Healthcare and medical technologies
  • Micro & nanoelectromechanical M/NEMS integrated systems
  • Photonics: optical engineering and systems
  • RF and microwave engineering

Chapters in Books

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

Pending Articles


  • US Patent # 10,693,206. June 23, 2020, "Nonreciprocal devices having reconfigurable nonreciprocal transfer functions through nonreciprocal coupling." Authors: Gaurav Bahl, Christopher Peterson.
  • US Patent # 10,693,524. June 23, 2020, "System and Method for Mechanically-Based Magnetic-Field Transmitter." Authors: Gaurav Bahl, Sameh Tawfick, Rhinithaa P. Thanalakshme, Ali Kanj, Inbar Grinberg, Jennifer Bernhard.
  • US Patent # 10,690,856, June 23, 2020, "Breaking Time-Reversal Symmetry with Acoustic Pumping of Nanophotonic Circuits." Authors: Gaurav Bahl, Donggyu Benjamin Sohn
  • US Patent # 10,234,444. March 19, 2019. System and Method for nano-opto-mechanical-fluidic Sensing of Particles. Authors: Gaurav Bahl, Kewen Han.
  • US Patent # 9,594,257. Mar 14, 2017, "System and Method for Brillouin Scattering Induced Transparency" Authors: Gaurav Bahl, JunHwan Kim, Hailin Wang, Mark Kuzyk.

Journal Editorships

  • Associate Editor for Optica, Feb 2023 - Jan 2026 (3-year term)
  • Editorial Advisory Board for APL Photonics, Jan 2019 - Dec 2021 (3-year term)

Professional Societies

  • Member, ASME, 2016-date
  • Member, SPIE, 2014-date
  • Fellow, Optica (formerly OSA), Member: 2010-2020, Senior member: 2020-2023. Fellow: 2023-Present.
  • Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Member: 2009-2016, Senior member: 2016-Present

Research Honors

  • 2022 Fellow of Optica (formerly OSA)
  • 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
  • 2018 Deans Award for Excellence in Research
  • 2017 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Director of Research Early Career Grant
  • 2015 Air Force Young Investigator Program (YIP) award for Chip-Scale Linear Non-Reciprocal Optomechanical Systems.

Other Honors

  • George B. Grim Professor in Mechanical Science and Engineering (Feb 2023)
  • Fellow of Optica (Oct 2022)

Recent Courses Taught

  • ME 360 AL1 (ME 360 AL2) - Signal Processing
  • ME 370 - Mechanical Design I
  • ME 487 - MEMS-NEMS Theory & Fabrication