Eleonora Piersanti defended her PhD thesis

On Friday 10 February 2023, Eleonora Piersanti defended her PhD thesis "Parameter-robust formulation and preconditioning of poroelasticity equations for brain modelling". The defence took place in the Hans Petter Langtangen Lecture Hall at Simula KA23, and on Zoom, at 10:00.

Main research findings

Mathematical modelling of brain parenchyma mechanics and fluid dynamics is a powerful tool to better understand clearance mechanisms, and investigate mechanistic hypotheses that cannot be verified with in vivo experiments. Single and multiple network poroelasticity theory (MPET) can be used to model the behaviour of different types of porous media. In addition, MPET has been used in the past decade to understand better how the different fluid compartments exchange mass in the brain and, more generally, the brain’s clearance process. Nonetheless, the MPET equations applied to brain modelling present several numerical and modelling challenges. Therefore, in the articles collected in this thesis, an analysis of the system of equations from a numerical and computational viewpoint using both theoretical proofs and practical numerical experiments is presented.

In particular, we present parameter-robust formulations and preconditioners for the MPET equations in order to solve the system in an efficient and accurate manner. In addition, brain parenchyma pulsatility is modelled via linear elasticity and single network poroelasticity equations in a realistic human brain domain.

Public defence

Prior to the defence, on Wednesday 8 February at 14:00, Eleonora presented her trial lecture "Physics informed machine learning for fluid mechanics," on Zoom.

Adjudication committee

  • Associate Professor Carmen Rodrigo Cardiel, University of Zaragoza
  • Professor Paola Antonietti, Politecnico di Milano
  • Professor Kenneth H. Karlsen, University of Oslo


  • Chief Research Scientist Marie Elisabeth Rognes, Simula Research Laboratory
  • Professor Kent-Andre Mardal, University of Oslo

Read more at the UiO Department of Mathematics web page.

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