The central challenge confronting our society today is the impact of climate change. The frequency of adverse once-in-a-lifetime weather events has increased in the past decade, causing huge loss to human life and infrastructure. How can we, as engineers, design processes and assemble materials to mitigate the effects of climate change on human society?

From the slurries used in advanced batteries to the cementitious materials employed in construction practices, a class of complex structured fluids, called dense suspensions, plays a vital role in decarbonizing our current economy and building a sustainable environment. The mechanical properties of these multiscale soft materials arise from the interplay between the individual building blocks, which in turn is a function of the inherent material properties. A fundamental understanding on how these constitutent building blocks interact is important to precisely engineer their structure-flow relationship. How can we develop scalable strategies for 3D manufacturing of soft sustainable multiscale materials with desired mechanical properties? I seek to answer this question through an interdisciplinary approach and be at the forefront of the environment-soft matter-manufacturing nexus. I aim to employ in-house assembled opto-mechanical tools (such as, confocal rheoscope and diffusive wave spectroscopy) to probe and engineer the multiscale soft matter microstructures.

I plan to advance fundamental and applied research in a new class of earth-inspired multiscale structured fluids, that belong to “high-entropy soft materials”, along the three following research themes:
(1) Designing human-soft matter interface to reverse-engineer natural materials.
(2) Encoding architected material memory for precision multiscale microstructure engineering.
(3) Engineering ice-mediated soft materials for lunar manufacturing and bioprinting.
(4) Learning active-passive matter interactions to uncover design principles to develop learning metamaterials.

Current and Past Research

During my doctoral and postdoctoral research, I investigated the effects of surface anisotropy and multiscale interactions on the flow properties of dense colloidal and granular suspensions. Combining macroscale rheology with microscopic structural characterization, I developed scaling theories, in both linear and nonlinear regimes, that can be applied to broad class of materials. My main contribution is exploring surface anisotropy as a powerful way to engineering flow mechanics in dense suspensions.

I currently work on elucidating the flow mechanics of geophysical flows, where the main challenge is the absence of constitutive models to explain flow properties of natural heterogeneous suspension mixtures.