Ravi Hadimani

Associate Professor and Director of Biomagnetics Laboratory

  • East Engineering Office-E3240, Lab-E4263
  • Dept. of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering and Dept. of Biomedical Engineering

Professor Hadimani specializes in non-invasive brain stimulation, biomagnetics, magnetocalorics and energy harvesting research.




Dr. Hadimani has first class honors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kuvempu University, India (2001), MS in Mechatronics from the University of Newcastle, UK (2003) and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Cardiff University, UK (2010). He has served as a Project Scientist from 2010 to 2011 at the Institute of Materials Research and Innovation of the University of Bolton, UK. He has developed a hybrid piezoelectric and photovoltaic energy harvester which is capable of harvesting electrical energy from solar, wind and rain energy. This invention was awarded the UK Energy Innovation Award in 2011 which was published in various news articles by BBC, New Scientist and Scientific America. He has also developed and patented piezoelectric polymer fiber that can be woven or knitted into energy harvesting fabric. Dr. Hadimani has been awarded the International Young Scientist Fellowship by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in 2013.

Dr. Hadimani was an Adjunct Assistant Professor and an Associate Scientist at Iowa State University from 2014 to 2015. He was also an Associate of Ames Laboratory, a US Department of Energy National Lab from 2011 to 2015. He is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of Biomagnetics Laboratory at the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering of Virginia Commonwealth University. Being a Senior IEEE member, he is actively involved with the IEEE Magnetics and Engineering in Medicine and Biology Societies. He has founded the IEEE Joint Magnetics and Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society’s Richmond Chapter and he is the current chair of the chapter.

Industry Expertise

Mechanical/Industrial Engineering

Areas of Expertise

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Tms)
Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting
Magnetic Nanoparticles
Magnetocaloric Effect
Rare-Earth Magnetic Materials
Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation


Engineer of the Year 2020


2020 Engineer of the Year awarded by Richmond Joint Engineers' Council.

Finalist British Council Alumni Award 2018


One of the finalists for British Council's 2018 "Study UK" Alumni Award. https://www.britishcouncil.us/study-uk/alumni-awards

Outreach Award


Received the Outreach Award by the American Physical Society, GMAG topical group.

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Cardiff University


Electrical Engineering


University of Newcastle




Kuvempu University


Mechanical Engineering



  • IEEE, (Magnetics Society, Engineering in Medicine and Biology)
  • American Physical Society (GMAG and Medical Physics)
  • ASME
  • IOP

Media Appearances

Richmond startup develops drone system to help monitor power transmission lines

Richmond Times-Dispatch  print


“It is the perfect example of how students can get interested in something and start their own company,” said Ravi L. Hadimani, an assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at VCU who taught Beiro mechatronics and advised him on his independent studies project.

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Energy harvesting fibre invented at University of Bolton

BBC  online


BBC coverage on energy harvesting fibre

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Materials World (The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining)  online


Media Coverage on energy harvesting fibre that I developed and patented

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Research Focus

Non-invasive Neuromodulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is promising neuromodulation technique which alters the neuronal functions when time-varying short pulses of the magnetic field induce an electric field in the brain. This has been used to treat depression and is currently FDA approved. Commercial TMS coils produce non-focused cortical stimulation, however, many neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) originate from deeper regions middle of the brain. In deep-brain stimulation, accurate calculation of electric field requires detailed information about the structure and electrical properties of various tissues in the brain. This calculation of electric field in the brain is normally done with a homogeneous head model which is not adequately realistic.

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Biomagnetic Materials

Magnetic nanoparticles have gained tremendous attention due to their ability to navigate through the body and vary the physical properties of the tissues of interest. We have designed a technique to produce gadolinium based nanoparticles that are ferromagnetic at room temperature which can increase the MRI quality significantly. These particles can also be used in hyperthermia and targeted drug delivery

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Magnetocaloric Microcooling

We are interested in developing thin films of rare-earth magnetocaloric and magnetoelastic materials. Thin films of magnetocaloric materials have the potential to be used in cooling the integrated circuits that can reduce the heating effects in high density microchips. Magnetocaloric thin films can also be used in various MEMS applications and in the read head in hard disk drives to lower the temperature of the magnetic heads and thus increase the saturation magnetization above the current limit of 2.4 tesla. Fabrication of thin films of these materials are best achieved by femto second pulsed laser deposition (PLD). In the development of these thin films by femto second PLD, various unknown meta-stable magnetic phases have been observed. These phases need to be identified and characterized. The properties of these phases can be tailored to enhance the magnetocaloric effect and magnetoelastic effect by PLD parameters. Classical characterization techniques such as EDS and XRD fail to determine the accurate composition and crystal structure of the films. Advanced techniques such as Auger Spectroscopy and TEM should be used to analyze these films.

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Piezoelectric Polymer Element and Production Method and Apparatus



Continuous production and poling of piezoelectric polymer fiber

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Hybrid Energy Conversion Device



On the development of hybrid piezoelectric and photovoltaic fiber and film

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Research Grants

Optimization of thermal spray coating using sensors: magnetic

Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing


Optimization of thermal spray coating using sensors: magnetic

On-chip studies of neuron cells under magnetic field stimulation

National Science Foundation


On-chip studies of neuron cells under magnetic field stimulation

BT3-Biological Technologies-Life Sciences Research Tool

National Science Foundation


It is an STTR grant from NSF in collaboration with National Standards and Technology (NIST)

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Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Materials EGMN 604

Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Materials

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Mechatronics EGMN 416


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Robotics EGMN 427

Robotics with a focus on industrial manipulators

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Selected Articles

Computational analysis of transcranial magnetic stimulation in the presence of deep brain stimulation probes

American Institute of Physics Advances (AIP Advances)


Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an emerging non-invasive treatment for depres- sion, Parkinson’s disease, and a variety of other neurological disorders. Many Parkin- son’s patients receive the treatment known as Deep Brain Stimulation, but often require additional therapy for speech and swallowing impairment. Transcranial Mag- netic Stimulation has been explored as a possible treatment by stimulating the mouth motor area of the brain. We have calculated induced electric field, magnetic field, and temperature distributions in the brain using finite element analysis and anatom- ically realistic heterogeneous head models fitted with Deep Brain Stimulation leads. A Figure of 8 coil, current of 5000 A, and frequency of 2.5 kHz are used as simula- tion parameters. Results suggest that Deep Brain Stimulation leads cause surrounding tissues to experience slightly increased E-field (∆Emax =30 V/m), but not exceed- ing the nominal values induced in brain tissue by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation without leads (215 V/m). The maximum temperature in the brain tissues surround- ing leads did not change significantly from the normal human body temperature of 37 ◦C. Therefore, we ascertain that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the mouth motor area may stimulate brain tissue surrounding Deep Brain Stimulation leads, but will not cause tissue damage.

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Enhancement of beta phase in PVDF films embedded with ferromagnetic Gd5Si4 nanoparticles for piezoelectric energy harvesting

American Institute of Physics Advances (AIP Advances)


Self-polarized Gd5Si4-polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nanocomposite films have been synthesized via a facile phase-inversion technique. For the 5 wt% Gd5Si4-PVDF films, the enhancement of the piezoelectric β-phase and crystallinity are confirmed using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy (phase fraction, Fβ, of 81% as compared to 49% for pristine PVDF) and differential scanning calorimetry (crystallinity, ∆Xc, of 58% as compared to 46% for pristine PVDF), respectively. The Gd5Si4 magnetic nanoparticles, prepared using high-energy ball milling were characterized using Dynamic Light Scattering and Vibrating Sample Magnetometry (VSM) to reveal a particle size of ∼470 nm with a high magnetization of 11 emu/g. The VSM analysis of free-standing Gd5Si4-PVDF films revealed that while the pristine PVDF membrane shows weak diamagnetic behavior, the Gd5Si4-PVDF films loaded at 2.5 wt% and 5 wt% Gd5Si4 show enhanced ferromagnetic behavior with paramagnetic contribution from Gd5Si3 phase. The interfacial interactions between Gd5Si4 and PVDF results in the preferential crystallization of the β-phase as con-firmed via the shift in the CH2 asymmetric and symmetric stretching vibrations in the FTIR. These results confirm the magnetic Gd5Si4 nanoparticles embedded in the PVDF membrane lead to an increased β-phase fraction, which paves the way for future efficient energy harvesting applications using a combination of magnetic and piezoelectric effects.

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For full list of publications


please visit Biomagnetics Laboratory Website:

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