Gaurav Bahl

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor
  • Mechanical Science and Engineering
4413 Mechanical Engineering Lab
105 S. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-2194

Primary Research Area

  • Electromagnetics and Optics - Microcavity lasers and nanophotonics
Gaurav  Bahl
Gaurav Bahl



  • 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 Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 16, 2012-August 16, 2014
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 16, 2012-date
  • 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

For more information

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

The optomechanics / photonic MEMS group has summer (2014) research opportunities for undergraduate students with a strong background in circuit design and microcontroller programming. Specific tasks will include building PID controllers with discrete COTS components for laser stabilization, and programming of Arduino-based sensor systems. Interested students should contact Prof. Bahl with a complete CV highlighting relevant experience at

In general our group almost always has multiple research opportunities for undergraduate students with a strong interest in physics, optics & photonics, and nanomechanics. Topics include microcavity lasers, extreme-nonlinear optics, new sources of radiation, ultra-tunable oscillators, and optomechanical sensors and actuators. Interested students should contact Prof. Bahl with a complete CV.

Research Areas

  • Lasers and optical physics
  • Microcavity lasers and nanophotonics
  • Microcavity lasers and nanophotonics
  • Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)

Selected Articles in Journals

Professional Societies

  • Member, Optical Society of America (OSA), 2010-date
  • Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2009-date

Courses Taught