Dufresne receives 2014 Soft Matter Lectureship

Right on the heels of being named the 2014 Graduate Mentor of the Year in the Natural Sciences, Eric Dufresne has won the 2014 Soft Matter Lectureship, presented by the scientific journal Soft Matter. The award, established in 2009, honors younger scientists who have significantly contributed to the soft matter field, highlighting their work through a lecture presented at three different international locations, a lead article to later appear in Soft Matter, and a showcase of the research on the journal's back cover.

Soft matter research seeks to better understand and control the dynamics of soft materials, which includes most living tissues as well as a number of engineered materials. These materials have a wide variety of applications, from cosmetics and toothpastes to engine lubricants and nanorobotics.

Dufresne, an associate professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, physics, & cell biology, has broad interests in the structure and mechanics of soft materials, as well as the application of optics to measure and manipulate soft matter. His research group has focused specifically on experimental soft matter physics, with emphases on colloids, capillarity, and cell biology. His team has developed new methods to investigate the mechanics of these materials with a focus on mechanical singularities, which can determine the structural integrity and wetting of soft materials.

In addition to the many publications to be found on the homepage of his laboratory, we have highlighted his recent research into the contact mechanics of elastic silicone substrates and the seemingly spontaneous migration of water droplets to softer areas of a surface.