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Presenter: Professor Cari S. Dutcher, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Talk Title: Environmental Aqueous Interfaces with Micro- and Macro- Scale Flows: Aerosols, Droplets, and Clays

Abstract: The presence of particles or droplets suspended in a liquid or gas are known to play essential roles in environmental fields ranging from hydrology to atmospheric science. In this talk, recent advancements in use of micro- and macro-scale hydrodynamic flow fields will be highlighted for measuring properties of aqueous multiphase systems with environmental applications. Systems studied will include atmospheric aerosols, liquid-liquid emulsions, and polymer-clay flocculates. First, a novel method for predicting the phase, viscosity, and surface-bulk partitioning of atmospheric aerosol droplets will be introduced using droplet microfluidic contractions, traps, and wells. Second, studies of dynamic interfacial tension of liquid-liquid emulsions, such as shipboard bilgewater, will be discussed for improved liquid-liquid separation of complex emulsions. Third, new studies of flocculation of suspended particles using water-soluble ionic polymers in micro-scale Taylor-Couette flows will be presented for water treatment applications. The talk will end with implications for the use of hydrodynamics for tuning multiphase assemblies in aqueous environments.

Bio: Cari S. Dutcher is the Benjamin Mayhugh Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a graduate faculty appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Her research interests are in complex fluids and multiphase fluids, with environmental applications. She has received the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2015), NSF CAREER Award (2016), ACS PRF DNI Award (2016), McKnight Land-Grant Professorship (2017), and American Association for Aerosol Research Kenneth T. Whitby Award (2017). Prior to her faculty position, Cari was an NSF-AGS Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Air Quality Research Center at the University of California, Davis. Cari received her B.S from Illinois Institute of Technology (2004) and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (2009), both in Chemical Engineering.

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