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Daniel Borrero

Associate Professor of Physics

Headshot of Daniel Borrero

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Collins Science Center 312
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


Ph.D., Physics, Georgia Tech, 2014

M.S., Physics, Georgia Tech, 2006

B.S., Physics, The University of Texas at Austin, 2005


Born in Bogota, Colombia, Daniel Borrero received his BS in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin and his PhD in Physics from Georgia Tech. After receiving his PhD, Daniel taught at Reed College, where he worked to restructure the instrumentation laboratory course using a project-based curriculum. In 2016, Daniel joined the Department of Physics at Willamette University. At Willamette, he has continued to research fluid systems with complex spatiotemporal dynamics, as well as emergent phenomena such as spontaneous synchronization in mechanical systems.


When fluids flow over objects at high speed, their flow becomes a complex and unpredictable tangle of swirling vortices, which we call turbulence. Most fluid flows in our everyday lives are turbulent – the flow in pipes and around cars, the clouds in the sky, and the waves in the ocean are all turbulent. Despite its ubiquity and centuries of study by some of the brightest minds in science and engineering, providing a complete picture of turbulence remains one of the hardest unsolved problems in classical mechanics.

My lab is focused on using the tools of dynamical systems theory (a.k.a chaos theory) to understand systems that assume complex spatiotemporal dynamics like turbulence when they are driven far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Decades of experimental observations have demonstrated that while very complex and chaotic, the dynamics of such systems are not completely random and contain characteristic patterns called coherent structures. Students in my lab study these structures and their role in structuring the dynamics of a variety of fluid mechanical systems including Taylor-Couette flow and electromagnetically-driven quasi-2D liquid layers. These studies are conducted on simple yet powerful table-top experiments, which we build in-house using modern fabrication techniques like 3D printing. To fully understand these problems we take an interdisciplinary approach and use tools from a variety of fields including fluid dynamics, dynamical systems theory, the theory of complex systems, and scientific computing.


IDS 101 - College Colloquium: To Infinity and Beyond!
PHYS 221 - Introductory Physics I
PHYS 222 - Introductory Physics II
PHYS 223 - Modern Physics
PHYS 320 - Thermal Physics
PHYS 324 - Electromagnetism
PHYS 346 - Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos
PHYS 360 - Research Experience in Physics
PHYS 392 - Advanced Techniques in Experimental Physics
PHYS 495 - Research Seminar
PHYS 496 - Research Seminar



D. Feldmann, D. Borrero-Echeverry, M.J. Burin, K. Avila and M. Avila “Routes to turbulence in Taylor–Couette flow,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. 381, 20220114 (2023).

C.J. Crowley, M.C. Krygier, D. Borrero-Echeverry, R.O. Grigoriev, and M.F. Schatz, "A novel subcritical transition to turbulence in Taylor–Couette flow with counter-rotating cylinders," J. Fluid Mech. 892, A12 (2020).

D. Borrero-Echeverry, C.J. Crowley, and T.P. Riddick, “Rheoscopic fluids in a post-Kalliroscope world,” Phys. Fluids 30, 087103 (2018).

D. Borrero-Echeverry and B.C.A. Morrison, “Aqueous ammonium thiocyanate solutions as refractive index-matching fluids with low density and viscosity.” Exp. Fluids 57, 123 (2016).

N.B. Budanur, D. Borrero-Echeverry, and P. Cvitanović, “Periodic orbit analysis of a system with continuous symmetry - a tutorial,” Chaos 25, 073112 (2015).

P. Cvitanović, D. Borrero-Echeverry, K. M. Carroll, B. Robbins, and E. Siminos, “Cartography of high-dimensional flows: A visual guide to sections and slices,” Chaos 22, 047506 (2012).

K. Wiesenfeld and D. Borrero-Echeverry, “Huygens (and Others) Revisited,” Chaos 21, 047515 (2011).

D. Borrero-Echeverry, R. Tagg, and M.F. Schatz, “Transient turbulence in Taylor-Couette Flow,” Phys. Rev. E 81, 025301(R) (2010).

Grants & Awards

NSF-DUE Award # 2221694: Fostering Equity, Support and Community for Low-Income Undergraduates with Academic Potential in STEM (A. Fisher, PI, C. Battle, M. Kleinert, D. Borrero-Echeverry, co-PIs).

Jonathan F. Reichert Foundation ALPhA Immersion Equipment Grant for DC Glow Discharge Plasma Tube.

"Rheoscopic Fluids in a Post-Kalliroscope World" chosen as an Editor's Pick by the editorial board of Physics of Fluids.

Willamette University

Physics Department

Collins Science Center
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6894 voice
503-370-6773 fax