ABSTRACT: As part of this IREE award, Prof. Sharp worked in the Laboratory for Aero- and Hydro-dynamics at the Technical University of Delft, Delft, Netherlands from May through August, 2008. Prof. Jerry Westerweel heads the laboratory, with several Assistant and Associate Professors including Prof. Ralph Lindken, and approximately 20 students/visitors/staff/post-doctoral research associates. Sharpâ€™s group at Penn State (PSU) has been carrying out research on particle effects in microfluidics, focusing on particle behavior and flow control mechanisms in microfluidic systems. Her work with the research group of Profs. Westerweel and Lindken at TU-Delft used her expertise in optical diagnostics to assist with data analysis quantifying the cilia-induced/controlled fluid flow in a mouse trachea. The intent of the project is to use the knowledge gleaned towards the development of an artificial cilia-based microfluidic flow control device. Additionally, she assisted with measurements of the velocity field in an operational micro-fuel cell. Both measurements are, to her knowledge, the first of their kind. The biological and energy foci of these two projects expand the scope of the original NSF grant, and have the potential to lead to future PI collaboration with European universities. Three conference papers have been published and presented on these projects at European conferences, with Sharp as a co-author, and journal submissions are planned. With a temporary home in Western Europe for several months, Dr. Sharp was further enabled to present her PSU-based work at two international conferences and was an invited plenary speaker at a German university. She also participated in a research visit to the Fuel Cell Institute at the University of Duisberg. In addition to IREE funding, substantial funding was provided through a competitive visiting researcher program administered by TU-Delft itself. From a fluid mechanics viewpoint, the Netherlands provides many examples of major infrastructure projects including the high-profile Delta Works. Since returning, the PI has drawn on both her research and her new first-hand knowledge and photos of some of these major hydraulics projects in her courses and in presentations to undergraduates in the US.
Kendra Sharp received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. She received an M.Phil. in Engineering from Cambridge University (UK) in 1994, an M.Eng. from the University of California-Berkeley in 1996, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001. Following a year as an AIP/AAAS Congressional Science Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator J. Lieberman, she assumed a position as Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Penn State. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008. Research interests include experimental microfluidics, suspension flows, micro power sources, and optical diagnostics.
Cite this work
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
K.V. Sharp, "Particle Effects in Microfluidics, IREE Supplement", Trip report presented at the NSF IREE 2008 Grantees Conference, May 2008, Washington, D.C.