Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


Active particles in complex fluids


Dr. Gwynn Johan Elfring


University of British Columbia


Monday, April 16, 2018 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Dr. Alexander Alexeev


Active particles are self-driven objects, biological or otherwise, which convert stored or ambient energy into systematic motion. The motion of small active particles in Newtonian fluids has received considerable attention, with interest ranging from understanding biological locomotion to designing artificial micro-swimmers, whereas studies on active bodies immersed in complex fluids are comparatively scarce. In this talk, I present theoretical developments made in understanding the motion of active particles in complex fluids and then discuss the effects of viscoelasticity and shear-thinning rheology in the context of biological locomotion and the propulsion of artificial micro-swimmers such as colloidal Janus particles.


Gwynn Elfring is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Institute of Applied Mathematics at the University of British Columbia. His research involves modeling the fluid mechanics of soft matter systems, including cell locomotion, the mechanics of (active) suspensions, interfacial and membrane rheology, and non-Newtonian flow physics. In particular, he studies the dynamics of passive and active bodies – from bacteria to Janus particles – in complex and biological fluids. Previously, he completed a Ph.D. in 2012 at the University of California San Diego under the supervision of Eric Lauga and a postdoctoral fellowship with L. Gary Leal and Todd M. Squires at the University of California Santa Barbara before joining the faculty at UBC in 2013.


Refreshments will be served.