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Thomas Cubaud Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

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Thomas Cubaud in his lab with an inverted microscope equipped with a high-speed camera and syringe pumps suitable for studying microfluidic flows.

Thomas Cubaud, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, was selected to receive the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award for his work in combining educational and research activities designed to expand the scientific foundations for new and improved manipulations of highly viscous fluids at the microscale level. The award, given to promising young faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both education and research, comes with a supporting five-year grant for approximately $400,000.

“I am honored to receive this award as recognition of my scientific initiatives and research directions,” said Cubaud. “This grant will establish the foundations of my career as an educator and researcher.” Cubaud’s project, “Microwflow of highly viscous fluids: mixing and dissolution processes,” will be funded by the NSF through May 2017. “This award will provide funding for a diversity of students to actively engage in research,” he said, adding, “The five-year period is ideal for combining student training with fundamental and practical approaches to research.”

Cubaud’s research interests include microfluidics, interfacial phenomena, hydrodynamics, nanotechnology and soft-matter physics. He is interested in the development and application of methods to produce interfaces at the microscale level. A central goal of this research is to improve the understanding and practical use of miniature flows made of fluids that are important to energy, technology, health and the environment. “Harnessing the unique properties of microflows is essential to the development of new energy technology,” Cubaud said.

Cubaud’s research has the potential to improve our current understanding of liquid-liquid and liquid-gas multiphase flows on a microscale level,” said Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University. “His work, which is focused on harnessing microflows, could be instrumental in the development of new technologies with respect to energy, health and the environment.”

Cubaud also oversees the Microfluidics and Interfacial Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Stony Brook University, which is designed to develop and bring the science and engineering of small-scale flows to new potential.

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