Mechanical Engineering

Prof Vanessa Diaz

Prof Vanessa Diaz

Professor of Healthcare Engineering

Dept of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2007

Research summary

Vanessa is interested in patient-specific modelling and the development of multi-scale, multi-physics and biologically-oriented models in the cardiovascular field, in order to understand health and disease for individual patients. Vanessa's approach uses a combination of ICT tools, systems biology approaches and biomechanics (CFD, structural mechanics & FSI). She is interested in inflammation and chronic conditions (atherosclerosis, neo-intimal hyperplasia, in-stent restenosis, etc.) but also, in the utilisation of computational tools for the design and optimisation of cardiovascular devices (mechanical heart valves, stents, LVADs). Vanessa is also interested in exploring the use of sensitivity, robustness, uncertainty and optimisation techniques/tools applied to the modelling and simulation of the cardiovascular system in order to better understand how to translate computational models into the clinic and to produce solid and valid models, to test biological hypotheses. Vanessa leads the group "MUSE" (Multiscale Cardiovascular Engineering), the only group in UCL devoted to tackle the integration of data and information through models, at multiple length and time scales.


Teaching summary

Prof. Vanessa Diaz teaches Biofluids (MECH 0028) for 3rd year students in Mechanical Engineering as well as students in the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering.


Universite des Sciences et Technologies de Lille (Lille I)
Doctorate, Doctorate Level - records not on file | 2003
Universidad de Simon Bolivar
First Degree, Ingeniero (Engineer) | 1998


Vanessa has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from University Simon Bolivar (Venezuela), where she was awarded her MEng degree (1st class). She then obtained her PhD in Automatic Control and Industrial Informatics ("très honorable avec les félicitations du jury"; the highest academic distinction awarded for doctorates in the French academic university system) from Ecole Centrale de Lille, France in 2003, her PhD work focused on lumped parameter models, simulation and optimization of cardiac dynamics. 

In 2004 she worked for Imagine, S.A (now part of Siemens), a consulting and software developer company (Amesim® software) in Lyon, France, in modelling and simulation of non-standard thermodynamic applications. 

In 2004, she was awarded a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship by the European Commission. In the Framework of her Marie Curie Fellowship, she worked as a Research Fellow in the Academic Unit of Medical Physics at the University of Sheffield from 2005 until 2007, with her research focused on the coupling of biologically-oriented lumped parameter models as boundary conditions for 3D models of cardiovascular applications, specifically, on the modelling and simulation of mechanical heart valves behaviour. 

Vanessa has been PI of several EU, EPSRC, BHF and Royal Society Grants and leads the "Multiscale Cardiovascular Engineering" (MUSE) group at UCL.  She's also a co-investigator in the WEISS Centre.

She's also the Vice-Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL and co-Chair of the Disability Equality Steering Group.