ChBE 2022 Ralph Peck Lecture: “Behavior of Nanofluids and Colloidal Dispersions Confined Between Surfaces—Evolution of Novel Fluid-Particle Interaction Forces and Their Applications”

Darsh T. Wasan—Distinguished Professor at Illinois Tech Ph.D., Chemical & Biological Engineering, Illinois Tech

“Behavior of Nanofluids and Colloidal Dispersions Confined Between Surfaces—Evolution of Novel Fluid-Particle Interaction Forces and Their Applications”

Friday, September 16, 2022

ChBE Peck Lecture
12 p.m.—1 p.m.
Rettaliata Auditorium, Rm. 104

Darsh T. Wasan Retirement Ceremony and Reception
1 p.m.
Herman Hall Ballroom

Nanofluids which are suspensions of nanometer size particles, polymer latexes, globular proteins and surfactant micelles have surfaces to build Nano structured materials, such as light emitting displays, color shifting inks, solar cells, and biochemical sensors. The spreading and wetting behavior of nanofluids have been pursued by us experimentally and theoretically in recent years. Our research group made an innovative use of thin nanofluidic liquid films formed from concentrated particle suspensions, surfactant micelles and globular proteins to probe particle-particle and particle-confining surface interactions in colloidal dispersions such as foams and emulsions. This technique enabled us to discover novel fluid-particle-confining surface oscillatory structural forces and particle structuring transitions under film confinement. Our research opened new vistas in dispersion science and technology and industrial process improvements in diverse multiphase processing operations such as in processing nuclear waste for DOE, fat-free formulations for Kraft Foods, replacing detergents which are derived from petroleum products with environmental friendly inorganic particles as “green Cleaners” for Proctor & Gamble, formulating fracturing fluids for Frac Tech Services and nanofluids for enhancing oil recovery from tight reservoirs for Chevon.

Darsh T. Wasan led Illinois Tech’s international initiatives for 26 years, serving as the university’s chief ambassador. Wasan is a University Distinguished Professor at Illinois Tech, and member of the United States National Academy of Engineering and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. Since joining the Illinois Tech faculty in 1964, he has made wide-ranging contributions to the university. In 1988 he secured a gift of a five-building campus from CPC International, Inc., and with an initial grant of $3.7 million from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, he founded an innovative national center for research and education in food safety and technology—now called the Institute for Food Safety and Health. In 1997 he initiated the delivery of cutting-edge master’s programs to India via distance learning programs. He established centers in India, Europe, China, and Korea; forged relationships with universities around the world; and increased international enrollment from 15 percent to 50 percent of Illinois Tech’s total enrollment. In his 57 years at Illinois Tech, he has also held nearly every leadership post, including department chair, interim dean of engineering, vice president for research and technology, provost, and senior vice president for academic affairs.