Dr Nathalie Vriend

MSc (Twente), MSc, PhD (Caltech)

Fellow (D), Tutor

Picture of Nathalie Vriend

College Roles

  • Fellow (D)
  • Assistant Tutor (Undergraduates)

University Roles

  • Royal Society University Research Fellow


Telephone: +44 (0) 1223 764043

Email: n.m.vriend@damtp.cam.ac.uk

Picture of Nathalie Vriend


Dr. Vriend started her independent research career in January 2014 as a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellow. In October 2019 she was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellow which will continue until September 2024.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the dynamics of granular materials, with a special interest in geophysical phenomena occurring in nature and engineering problems in industry. Granular materials span a range of scales, from the micro-scale in grain phenomena to the macro-scale in large systems such as avalanches and dunes. Despite their importance, granular materials remain poorly understood; due to the lack of a comprehensive physical description, mathematical tools and techniques are insufficient to fully predict behaviour of granular materials in industrial and natural applications at this time.

In my research program I aim to gain a deeper understanding of the physics of granular materials across all different scales and flow regimes. My interests can be classified into the following areas:

  • wave propagation in a particulate material
  • avalanching of a granular material and
  • near-surface geophysical techniques to characterise soil, sand and geophysical mass flows.

Although I am first and foremost an experimentalist, I also employ numerical simulations to develop analytical models and to form a comprehensive picture of open research questions.