University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Complex Fluids and Multiphase Flows

Complex fluids are fluidic mixtures featuring multiple phases and mesoscopic length scales, and include atmospheric aerosols, polymeric solutions and colloidal suspensions. An exciting feature of many complex fluids is their unusual response to external stimulus, such as thermal, chemical, mechanical, electrical or inertial forcing. The intricate dynamics observed in complex fluids, if well understood, can be engineered for numerous applications.

Our group's research interests are in fundamental studies of the dynamics, bifurcations and patterning of complex fluids and multiphase flows, with a specific focus on environmental remediation. Using laboratory experimental techniques and analytic mathematical modeling, we explore such areas as the thermodynamics of electrolyte-containing atmospheric aerosols, fluid dynamics and rheology of polymeric solutions, and electrohydrodynamics of colloidal suspensions.


August 2017: Lucy Nandy's paper "Isotherm-Based Thermodynamic Model for Solute Activities of Asymmetric Electrolyte Aqueous Solutions" was accepted by Journal of Physical Chemistry A. Congrats Lucy! JPC A with Asymetric Salts.

July 2017: Nikolas Wilkinson's paper "Taylor-Couette Flow with Radial Fluid Injection" was accepted by Review of Scientific Instruments. Congrats Nikolas! Rev. Sci. Instrum.

July 2017: Lucy Nandy's co-authored paper "Spectroscopic Determination of Aerosol pH from Acid-Base Equilibria in Inorganic, Organic, and Mixed Systems" was accepted by Journal of Physical Chemistry A, in collaboration with Andrew Ault's group at the University of Michigan. Congrats Lucy! Aerosol pH paper

June 2017: Nikolas Wilkinson and Athena Metaxas's paper "Ionic Strength Dependence of Aggregate Size and Morphology on Polymer-Clay Flocculation" has just been accepted for publication in the Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects! This was an exciting collaborative effort with Prof. Theresa Reineke's group in the Department of Chemistry. Congrats to All! Colloids and Surfaces A paper.

June 2017: Hallie Boyer's Feature Paper on Atmospheric Aerosols appeared on today's cover of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A. Cover Art

June 2017: Mitch Gardner and Patrick McMauley have joined the lab as summer undergraduate researchers. Welcome Mitch and Patrick!

June 2017: Dr. Archit Dani has accepted a position at Intel Corporation, to work on fabrication of microprocessors. Congrats Archit!

May 2017: Hallie Boyer has passed her PhD defense. Congrats Dr. Boyer!

May 2017: Shweta Narayan has passed her PhD preliminary examination. Congrats Shweta!

May 2017: Hallie Boyer's paper "Atmospheric Aqueous Aerosol Surface Tensions: Isotherm-based Modeling and Biphasic Microfluidic Measurements" has just been accepted as a Feature Article in Journal of Physical Chemsitry A. Congrats Hallie!

May 2017: Hallie Boyer was invited to participate in ACCESS XIV, a highly competitive program for emerging senior scientists in atmospheric chemistry. Congrats Hallie! ACCESS XIV.

April 2017: Lucy Nandy's co-authored paper "Influence of Organic Compound Functionality on Aerosol Hygroscopicity: Dicarboxylic Acids, Alkyl-Substituents, Sugars and Amino Acids" has just been accepted for publication in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics! This was an exciting collaborative effort with Prof. Jonathan Reid's group at the University of Bristol. Congrats Lucy! ACP Paper.

April 2017: Hallie Boyer (soon to be Dr. Boyer!) has accepted the prestigious Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellowship to study aerosols at the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies (CAPS) at Carnegie Mellon University, starting August 1st, under the guidance of Drs. Ryan Sullivan and Neil Donahue. Congrats Hallie!

March 2017: Dr. Andrew Metcalf will be the newest Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at Clemson University, starting Fall 2017. Congratulations, Andrew!

March 2017: Graduate student Athena Metaxas was awarded the NSF graduate student research fellowship. Congrats Athena!

Feb 2017: Professor Dutcher was awarded the University of Minnesota's McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. The award highlights the outstanding work on Atmospheric Aerosol Thermodynamics by Dutcher lab members Andrew Metcalf, Hallie Boyer, Lucy Nandy, Shweta Narayan and Peter Ohm. Congrats to all!

News Archive

Contact Information:

Prof. Cari S. Dutcher
University of Minnesota
Mechanical Engineering Department
111 Church St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Office: 111 Mechanical Engineering
e-mail: cdutcher at umn dot edu
Phone: 612-624-0428