Complex Fluids and Multiphase Flows

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Aerosols, Emulsions, Suspensions, and Foams

In the Dutcher Lab, we are interested in fundamental studies of the dynamics of complex interfaces and multiphase flows, with a particular focus on environmental remediation. Complex fluids are fluidic mixtures featuring multiple phases and mesoscopic length scales, and include atmospheric aerosols, liquid-liquid emulsions, polymeric solutions, and colloidal suspensions. These interface-rich systems are all around us in our everyday lives.

Using macro and micro-scale flow measurements and analytic mathematical modeling, we explore such areas as the thermodynamics of electrolyte-containing atmospheric aerosols, fluid dynamics and rheology of polymeric and particle-laden solutions, and microfluidics of multiphase flows.

Lab News

  • Jan 2023:  Graduate student Shu Yang has passed her Mechanical Engineering preliminary exam.  Congrats Shu!
  • Oct 2022:  Cari appointed to the Editor board of Aerosol Science & Technology.  
  • Sept 2022: Graduate student Shihao Liu's published paper "Concentration Depth Profile-Based Multilayer Sorption Surface Tension Model for Aqueous Solutions" was selected to be included in a recent jointly published Virtual Issue entitled "Atmospheric Aerosol Research". This Virtual Issue, organized by Franz M. Geiger, V. Faye McNeill, and Andrew J. Orr-Ewing, from ACS Earth and Space Chemistry and The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, respectively, collects recent manuscripts describing studies on particulate matter in the atmosphere. Great work, Shihao! 
  • Sept 2022:  Graduate student Shihao Liu has just accepted a position at Intel as a Packaging R&D Engineer, to start after he graduates in 2023!   Congratulations, Shihao!  
  • July 2022:  Graduate student Vishal Panwar successfully defended his PhD thesis!  Congratulations, Dr. Panwar!  
  • July 2022: Dr. Yun Chen and graduate student Rana Bachnak's co-authored paper, entitled "Studying coalescence at different lengthscales: from films to droplets" was accepted for publication in the Rheologica Acta.  This was in collaboration with Jan Vermant's group, led by Manolis Chatzigiannakis. Congrats all! 
  • May 2022:  Graduate student Maggie House won the student poster competition at the Molecular Understanding of Atmospheric Aerosols (MUOAA 2022) conference.  Congrats, Maggie! 
  • May 2022:  Dr. Yun Chen, postdoctoral scholar in the Dutcher Lab, has just accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University.  Congratulations, Yun!
  • May 2022:  Graduate student Chinmayee Panigrahi just passed the ME Preliminary Exam.  Congrats Chinmayee!
  • April 2022:  Cari Dutcher was accepted as an Collegium Helveticum Senior Fellow, for her upcoming year-long sabbatical at ETH Zürich.  
  • March 2022:  Graduate student Nikhil Sethia's co-authored paper "Pancreatic islet cryopreservation by vitrification achieves high viability, function, recovery, and clinical scalability for transplantation" was just accepted in Nature Medicine!  This exciting work was in collaboration with Prof. John Bischof and lead by PI Erik Finger.  Congrats to all!  
  • Jan 2022: Graduate student Rana Bachnak has also just been selected for the 2022 Joachim and Yuko Heberlein Travel Grant Award. Congratulations, Rana! 
  • Dec 2021:  I am excited to share that our project "WP 18-1031: Understanding Shipboard Oil/Water Emulsions Using Macro- and Micro-scale Flows" has been awarded the 2021 SERDP Project of the Year for Weapons Systems and Platforms. The award recognizes scientific advances and technological solutions to some of DoD’s most significant environmental and installation energy challenges.  
  • Dec 2021: Graduate student Vishal Panwar has just accepted a position at Intel, to start after he graduates with his PhD in Summer 2022!   He will be Portland Technology Development (PTD) Litho Module and Integration Device Yield Engineer within the Lithography team at Intel.  Congratulations, Vishal!  
  • Nov 2021: Graduate student Shihao Liu's paper "Measurements of Static and Dynamic Bubble Surface Tension Using a Deformation-Based Microfluidic Tensiometer" was just accepted to the The Journal of Physical Chemistry B!  The paper will also appear in the upcoming Dor Ben-Amotz Festschrift Virtual Special Issue.  Great job, Shihao!  
  • Nov 2021: Meenal Rathi has joined the Dutcher Lab and Zasadzinski Lab as a co-advised first year chemical engineering PhD student.  Welcome Meenal!
  • Oct 2021: Iaroslav Makhnenko received the American Physical Society’s (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) travel grant to support his participation in the 2021 APS DFD Meeting at Phoenix. Congrats, Iaroslav!  
  • Oct 2021:  Rana Bachnak received the Society of Rheology (SOR) Student-Travel Grant to attend both the 92nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Rheology and the Rheology Research Symposium (RRS) in Bangor, Maine. Congrats, Rana!  

See Archived News for more!