This interview focuses on new work in rheology and rheometry: describing and measuring the flow of matter in a liquid or ‘soft solid’ state. One of the relevant technological applications is 3D printing, which is expected to replace many of today’s traditional - and inherently more wasteful - manufacturing techniques. Sustaining life on our planet in the long term is one of the greatest challenges we face today: the ability to use materials more economically and efficiently, and engineer their properties to exactly suit a specific application is part of the solution.
We talk to three researchers in the Polymer Technology Group of TU/e’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. They are Patrick Anderson, Professor in the structure and rheology of complex fluids and Chair of the Polymer Technology Group, Assistant Professor Ruth Cardinaels and PhD candidate Prakhyat Hejmady.
TU/e seems to be at the cutting edge of world-changing science. Would you agree?
Patrick: Our work speaks for itself and demonstrates that we are a leader in the field of fundamental polymer research. And that same inquisitive spirit and desire to change society for the better is present in every single department at the university. We set our staff the task of developing meaningful products through targeted fundamental research, backed by government grants and funding provided by business partners. Eindhoven and TU/e provide the perfect setting for socially committed researchers and our policy is to recruit the best minds available for the job regardless of nationality, creed or culture.
Ruth: Eindhoven, with its network of businesses, and the mix of colleagues in my department have brought me to a different level as a researcher. There are so many opportunities for fundamental research here and the knowledge that your work will ultimately lead to a highimpact product is immensely exciting.
Prakhyat: I love Eindhoven and am involved in research that will help us all lead healthier lives. TU/e’s track record in this area is certain to attract many more projects of a fundamental nature and I look forward to being involved and furthering my career at the university, possibly as a part-time Professor.