Seminar: Fluid-microstructure interactions

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Location:US

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Department Seminar Series

03/05 (Wednesday)   11:00 am – Noon     LC 400

Fluid-microstructure interactions: impact on complex surfaces and clogging of microchannels

Dr. Emilie Dressaire
Mechanical Engineering
Trinity College

In the presence of micrometer-scale solid structures, a fluid flow is locally governed by the hydrodynamic interactions between the structures and the fluid. Those interactions at the micrometer scale can lead to dramatic changes in the macroscopic behavior of the fluid. My talk will focus on two experimental investigations in chosen micro-fabricated geometries that highlight these couplings.

First, I will show that the shape and size of a liquid sheet can be controlled and tuned by regularly micro-textured substrates. Then, I will discuss the flow of suspensions of colloidal particles in microchannels and establish the role of large contaminants in the clog formation and the transport of micro-particles.

Our studies illustrate the role of micrometer-scale objects in confined flows, suggesting future work on deformable systems and ``smart clogging'' to control particle-laden flows both in biological and engineered systems.


Emilie Dressaire received her undergraduate degree in Physics and Chemical Engineering from ESPCI (France) and her masters degree in biophysics from the University of Paris. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Harvard University in 2009.  As a graduate student with Prof. Howard Stone, she studied the shaping fluid-fluid interfaces through capillary, elastic, and gravitational effects.

After spending one year as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Brace Centre for Water Resources Management of McGill University (Canada), she joined the Trinity College faculty as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering.  At Trinity, her research laboratory endeavors to discern the fundamental mechanisms that govern particle-laden flows in confined fluidic environments. Her group leverages the simplicity of microfluidic technology and applies external fields to understand and control flow-particle interactions in engineered and biological systems.