We are interested in firstly understanding the microscopic origins of the mechanics of structurally complex fluids, and then exploiting that understanding to...well...save the world :)

For instance, we explore the dramatic changes in behaviour in when tiny amounts of flexible polymers are dissolved in otherwise simple Newtonian fluid. Polymer additives lend a certain springiness to the solution. This elasticity is useful in a wide variety of applications such as turbulent-drag reduction, ink-jet printing, agricultural spraying, fuel injection etc.

We are also interested in the mechanobiology of living matter, such as suspensions of motile bacteria, or the membrane-cytoskeletal assemblage within eucaryotic cells. Such "active" materials are collectives of entities that constantly push and pull their neighbours, and are known for their ability to self-organize. The dream is that one day we may be able to control infections by developing strategies to disrupt their mechanics, or be able build soft artificial microbots that can swim or crawl on their own....

We model...we simulate...we experiment....and collaborate....


Complex Flows of Complex Fluids

Some motile bacteria can collectively organize into intricate traffic networks. Can we understand, predict and control such behaviour?