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Dr Michael John Gravatt

Bachelor of Engineering (First Class Honours) in Engineering Science, University of Auckland


Michael graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Engineering Science from the University of Auckland. He continued on to do a PhD in 2015 looking at the collective dynamics of swimming microorganisms.

Research | Current

PhD Thesis 

Title: Modelling the collective behaviour of model microorganisms

Microorganisms are a fundamental part of the living world and understanding how the move and interact with each other is key to many life processes they are involved in. In this PhD we are examining how hydrodynamic interaction plays a role in situations where they exhibit collective behaviour such as bioconvection.

We are using both discrete and continuum models describe a suspension of microorganisms and capture the interaction. Discrete models describe each organism in the system and its explicit interaction with all others, where continuum models describe the macro scale effect of many organisms interacting, generally using averaged quantities.


Research Groups:

Fluid dynamics

Teaching | Current

ENGGEN 131 - Introduction to Engineering Computation and Software Development - Graduate Teaching Assistant

ENGSCI 233 - Computational Techniques and Computer Systems - Teaching Assistant 


ENGSCI 331 - Computational Techniques 2 - Lab Tutor

ENGSCI 211 - Mathematical Modelling 2 - Lecturer

ENGSCI 111 - Mathematical Modelling 1 - Marker 

Postgraduate supervision

BE(Hons) Part IV project supervision: 

Gregory Cross - Self-Assembly of Nanoparticles 


The University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship

Cecil Segedin Postgraduate Scholarship in Engineering Science

William Finlay Blyth Prize for best student research presentation at the 13th Engineering Mathemactics and Applications Conference

The University of Auckland PhD Leadership Award

Department of Engineering Science Postgraduate Showcase Competition - First Place


Postgraduate Representative on the Staff Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) in the Department of Engineering Science

Engineering Science Representative on Faculty of Engineering Staff Student Consultative Committee

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Gravatt, M. J. (2019). Modelling the collective behaviour of model microorganisms The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 325
New Zealand