David W. Murphy

Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

University of South Florida

Office: ENC 2204

Phone: (813) 974-5625


Curriculum Vitae (updated 9/11/20)

Google Scholar Profile


Dr. Murphy received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2012 from the Georgia Institute of Technology and subsequently served as postdoctoral fellow in Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He also received an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MPhil in Biological Science from Cambridge University. He completed a double BS in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research interests include biological, ecological, and environmental fluid mechanics.

Graduate Students

Ferhat Karakas

Ferhat received his MS in Aerospace Engineering in 2016 from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey. He earned his BS in Aeronautical Engineering in 2014 from the same university. He is interested in experimental fluid mechanics and low Reynolds number flows. Ferhat joined the lab in January 2017 and is working on the fluid dynamics of swimming by pteropods with shells of different sizes and shapes.

Ali Al Dasouqi

Ali started his M.Eng in Mechanical Engineering in August 2016 at The University of South Florida. He earned his B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering in May 2015 from The University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan. He is interested in experimental fluid mechanics. Ali joined the lab as a PhD student in August 2017. His current research is on the fluid mechanics of bursting bubbles.


Kuvvat Garayev

Kuvvat received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Turkey in June 2015. He started the MS program in Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Nevada, Reno in January 2016 and joined the lab as a PhD student in January 2018. Kuvvat is interested in experimental fluid mechanics and is currently studying mantis shrimp swimming using high speed visualization and PIV. 

Sanjib Gurung

Sanjib completed his Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2016 from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He joined the lab as a PhD student in January 2018. He is generally interested in Experimental Fluid Mechanics and is currently studying oily marine aerosol formation and its potential health effects.

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Ali Al Shamrani

Ali is a Ph.D. student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of South Florida. Prior to joining Dr. Murphy's Fluids Lab, he earned his M.Eng degree in Mechanical Engineering from USF in 2018. He received his B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering in 2014 from Umm Al-Qura University, Saudi Arabia. Ali is interested in the fluid mechanics of oil spills and splash behavior.

Dr. Murphy is currently looking for graduate students. If interested, please contact him!

  • Please include a cover letter explaining why you would like to work in the Murphy Lab, your CV, and any relevant test scores.

  • An undergraduate degree in engineering is preferred but not necessarily required. For interested students with a background in biology or oceanography, co-advising opportunities are available in the USF Department of Integrative Biology or the USF College of Marine Science.

  • Are you an undergraduate interested in applying for nationally competitive fellowships such as the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program? Dr. Murphy wants to hear from you and would be happy to support your application.

Undergraduate Students

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Tristen Mee

Tristen is currently a senior pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He is interested in how robotic design can merge with animal locomotion. His current work involves preparing a flume for experimental work on krill schooling in Antarctica

Lab Alumni

Ahmet Topcuoglu

Ahmet earned his B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering in 2010 from Pamukkale University, Turkey. After working as a Research Assistant in Mus Alparslan and Sakarya Universities in Turkey, he was awarded a prestigious government scholarship to do graduate work in the US. He came to USF in Fall 2017 and joined the lab as a masters student in January 2018. He is interested in renewable energy systems, performed research into the fluid dynamics of wind harvesters, and graduated with his MS in Summer 2019. He is now pursuing a PhD at Auburn University.


Zongze Li

Zongze received his BS degree in Renewable Energy at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology in China. He started the Mechanical Engineering program as a masters student at the University of South Florida in August 2017 and completed his MS thesis project working on a laboratory Langmuir Circulation experimental facility in Summer 2019. He is now pursuing a PhD with Dr. Wenbin Mao here at USF.

Carlowen Smith 

Carlowen received his Ph.D. in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics from the Florida State University and his BA in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Murphy lab from August 2018-February 2020, where he worked on the effects of Langmuir turbulence on oil-particle aggregation.  He is interested in turbulence in the ocean, from a planetary scale down to the microscale. 

at the University of South Florida