(7co) Engineering Materials and Devices for Energy, Environment and Human Health: From Capillary Foams to Wearable Sensors and Implantable Neural Probes | AIChE

(7co) Engineering Materials and Devices for Energy, Environment and Human Health: From Capillary Foams to Wearable Sensors and Implantable Neural Probes


Zhang, Y. - Presenter, Northwestern University
Research Interests:

My primary research interest lies at applying the knowledge of materials, chemistry, and micro- and nano-manufacturing to engineer materials and devices for energy, environment, and human health. My doctoral research focuses on the design and development of a new class of colloidal materials, capillary foams, that can be applied and greatly enhance the efficiency in oil recovery, oil spill cleanup and chemical separations. For my postdoctoral research, I am currently working on wearable sensors and implantable neural probes.

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) Development of capillary foams for surfactant-free and energy-efficient separations; (ii) Design of reconfigurable wetting systems, applicable to new methods to collect and purify water and recover oil from reservoirs and spills; (iv) Engineering of soft, skin-mounted sensors for in-situ perspiration analysis; (iv) Development of implantable neural probes for programmable drug delivery and opotogenetics.

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, S. Wang, J. Zhou, R. Zhao, G. Benz, S. Tcheimou, J. C. Meredith, S. H. Behrens, “Interfacial activity of non-amphiphilic particles in fluid-fluid interfaces,” Langmuir, 2017, 33 (18):4511–4519.

2. 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, 12(24):3309-3319.

3. 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.

4. 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.