476222 Colloidal and Interfacial Phenomena: From Fundamental Studies to Emerging Applications

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Continental 4 & 5 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Yi Zhang, Material Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Research Interests:

My primary research interest lies at the fundamental studies of colloidal and interfacial phenomena as well as their applications in energy, environment, and health. My doctoral research focuses on multiscale assembly and interaction of colloidal multiphase systems. During Ph.D. training, my eyes were also opened to oil recovery and water purification, to see tremendous opportunities of using colloidal and interfacial science to solve problems in energy and environment. My postdoc training with Professor John A. Rogers added two new dimensions, nanomedicine and bio-integrated electronics, to my research experience.

Here, I will provide a brief overview of my research from both a fundamental point of view and their emerging applications. In particular, this overview includes: (i) Multiscale assembly of a new class of colloidal materials, capillary foams; (ii) The application opportunities of capillary foams, including the fabrication of loadbearing, lightweight, or intensely colored porous materials, enhanced oil recovery, advanced froth flotation, wastewater treatment, and oil spill remediation; (iii) The surfactant-free tuning and dynamic reconfiguration of bubble-droplet interaction in colloidal multiphase systems; (iv) Soft, implantable, wireless devices for programmable drug delivery.

Based on my previous training and expertise, I would like to start my academic career by using colloidal and interfacial science to solve problems in energy, environment, and health. Topics of interests include colloidal assembly, water purification, nanomedicine, nanomanufacturing, and bio-integrated electronics.

Postdoctoral Advisor: Professor John A. Rogers, Northwestern University

Ph.D. Advisors: Professor Sven H. Behrens and Professor J. Carson Meredith, Georgia Tech

Selected Publications:

1. Y. Zhang, A. Shitta, J. C. Meredith, S. H. Behrens, “Bubble meets droplet: particle-assisted reconfiguration of wetting morphologies in colloidal multiphase systems,” Small, 2016, doi: 10.1002/smll.201600799.

2. Y. Zhang, M. C. Allen, R. Zhao, D. D. Deheyn, S. H. Behrens, J. C. Meredith, “Capillary foams: stabilization and functionalization of porous liquids and solids,” Langmuir, 2015, 31(9): 2669-2676.

3. Y. Zhang, J. Wu, H. Wang, J. C. Meredith, S. H. Behrens, “Stabilization of liquid foams through the synergistic action of particles and an immiscible liquid,” Angewandte Chemie, 2014, 126(49): 13603-13607.

Teaching Interests:

My teaching philosophy is stimulating the curiosity of my students and equipping them with an effective way of learning that they can benefit from for their lifetime. In this rapidly changing world, the knowledge in science and engineering is expanding exponentially. Therefore, instead of solely subject-oriented teaching, it is critical to stimulate students’ curiosity to explore different fields and teach them learning skills that they can apply to various learning processes.

At Georgia Tech, I have assisted teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses. During such processes, I had opportunities to practice and improve my teaching skills through leading pre-lab meetings, supervising experiments and data analysis, grading laboratory reports, and holding office hours. In addition, I have advised five undergraduate students for two years and resulted in three publications, five posters, and two awards. Throughout these mentoring processes, I have learned how to motivate students’ research interest, manage a project, and communicate with students in a clear, concise and effective manner.

I am prepared to teach both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in chemical engineering and material science and engineering. I feel confident to teach a comprehensive list of courses, including chemical engineering thermodynamics, transport phenomena, kinetics and reactor design, unit operations laboratory, and polymer science and engineering. I will also develop new courses on cutting-edge research topics, such as nanomedicine and bio-integrated electronics. I believe that through my efforts, more people will become interested in engineering and technologies. I am ready to take the responsibility.

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