University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

Welcome to the Dutcher Group

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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 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 and particle-laden solutions, and microfludics of multiphase flows.


Oct 2018: Iaroslav Makhnenko and Nikhil Sethia have joined the lab as first year PhD students in mechanical engineering (Iaroslav) and chemical engineering and materials science (Nikhil). Welcome Iaroslav and Nikhil!

Oct 2018: Athena Metaxas, Nikolas Wilkinson, and Ellie Raethke's paper "In situ polymer flocculation and growth in Taylor-Couette flows" was accepted by Soft Matter. Congrats to all!

Aug 2018: Lucy Nandy's co-authored paper "Direct Determination of Aerosol pH: Size-Resolved Measurements of Submicron and Supermicron Aqueous Particles" was accepted by Analytical Chemistry, in collaboration with Andrew Ault at the University of Michigan. Congrats Lucy and all!

Aug 2018: Vishal Panwar joined the lab as a ME MS student and Connor Gunsbury and Natalie Vig as ME undergraduate reserachers this Fall. Welcome Vishal, Connor and Natalie!

July 2018: Dr. Ben Micklavzina and Dr. Yun Chen have joined our group as postdoctoral scholars. Welcome Ben and Yun!

June 2018: Nikolas Wilkinson's paper "Axial Mixing and Vortex Stability to in-situ Radial Injection in Taylor-Couette Laminar and Turbulent Flows" was accepted by Journal of Fluid Mechanics. Congrats Nikolas!

June 2018: Lucy Nandy has passed her PhD Defense Exam, and submitted her Thesis on Chemical Thermodynamics of Water Soluble Organic Compounds Found in Aqueous Atmospheric Aerosols: Modeling and Microfluidic Measurements. Congrats Dr. Nandy!

June 2018: We are excited about all the new scholars joining us this summer! Nancy Bautista and Clayton Hansen have joined the lab as summer undergraduate researchers, Joseph Hassler as a 1st year CEMS PhD student, and Prof. Nahla Al Amoodi as a visiting scholar. Welcome Nancy, Clay, Joe, and Nahla!

June 2018: Ellie Raethke was a recipient of the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science 2017-2018 TA Award. Congrats Ellie!

May 2018: Shweta Narayan's paper "Removing water from diesel fuel: Understanding the impact of droplet size on dynamic interfacial tension of water-in-fuel emulsions" was accepted by Energy and Fuels. This paper is a part of an ongoing exciting collaboration with Donaldson company, studying the removal of water droplets from diesel fuels. Congrats Shweta and all!

May 2018: Lucy Nandy has accepted a postdoctoral research position with Professor Veronica Vaida at the University of Colorado, Boulder! Lucy will be working on experimental methods using solar simulators and spectroscopic probes to investigate organic photochemistry in aqueous systems relevant to the atmosphere. Congrats Lucy!

May 2018: Priyatanu Roy joined the lab as a ME PhD student. Welcome Priyatanu!

April 2018: Shweta Narayan's poster "Microfluidics for Dynamic Interfacial Tension Measurement – towards Improved Fuel-Water Separation Testing" won 3rd place in the American Filtration & Separations Society (AFS) FiltCon 2018 student poster competition. Congrats Shweta!

April 2018: Lucy Nandy's co-authored paper "Influence of Particle Viscosity on Mass Transfer and Heterogeneous Ozonolysis Kinetics in Aqueous-Sucrose-Maleic Acid Aerosol" was accepted by Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, in collaboration with Jonathan Reid at the University of Bristol and Manabu Shiraiwa at University of California - Irvine. Congrats Lucy and all!

April 2018: Shihao Liu and Thomas Neumiller passed the Mechanical Engineering PhD qualifying examination. Congrats Shihao and Tom!

February 2018: Athena Metaxas's paper "Extensional flow behavior of methylcellulose solutions containing fibrils" was accepted by ACS Macro Letters. This was a MRSEC supported co-first authored work by Svetlana Morozova, Peter Schmidt and Athena from the Lodge, Bates and Dutcher groups. Congrats Athena, Peter, and Sveta!

January 2018: Eric Ruud's paper "Electrohydrodynamic aggregation with vertically inverted systems" was accepted by Physical Review E. Congrats Eric!

January 2018: Lucy Nandy's paper "Phase Behavior of Ammonium Sulfate with Organic Acid Solutions in Aqueous Aerosol Mimics Using Microfluidic Traps" was accepted by Journal of Physical Chemistry B. Congrats Lucy! JPC B microfluidic wells.

January 2018: Audrey Sebastian joined the lab as an undergraduate researcher. Welcome Audrey!

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