Three ChE Students Among Fall 2018 Honors College Graduates

This past December, Dr. K. Nandakumar and Dr. Adam Melvin participated in the Honors College Ceremony where three of their students graduated with honors: Spencer Blum, Riad Elkhanoufi, and Grant Landwehr.

Spencer Blum (Thesis title: A Discrete Element Method Study of Granular Self-Organization in an Orbital-Driven Sphere and Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations of Slurry Flow in a Single-Loop Loop Reactor, Advisor: Krishnaswamy Nandakumar). Spencer worked on advanced CFD/DEM simulation of two processes commonly encountered in mixing and reaction of chemicals. Both involved understanding the complex Dynamics of fluid particle systems using high performance computing. The first one dealt with poly olefin slurry rectors, while the second one involved mixing particles in a commonly used Shaker table experiment. He worked with a doctoral student, Dr. Jielin Yu.

Riad Elkhanoufi (Thesis title: Design and Characterization of a Triple-Input Microfluidic Droplet Trapping Array Towards Multiplexed and Dynamic Single Cell Analysis, Advisor: Adam Melvin). Riad’s honors thesis focused on the development of a multiplexed microfluidic device to interrogate how a population of cells responded to different doses and combinations of drugs. Riad explore two different droplet microfluidic geometries to identify an optimal approach for single cell and nanoparticle encapsulation followed by on-chip trapping and analysis of these aqueous droplets. This project is in collaboration with Prof. James Dorman.

Grant Landwehr (Thesis title: Single Cell Analysis of Fluid Shear Stress Induced Breast Cancer Cell Phenotypic Changes in a Microfluidic Device, Advisor: Adam Melvin). Grant’s honors thesis involved the development of a microfluidic device to trap single cancer cells and then expose them to defined durations and magnitudes of fluid shear stress, similar to what cancer cells experience during extravasation. He found that different cell types exhibited significant heterogeneity in their response to shear as evidenced by changes in area and circularity. His work resulted in a recent publication in Biomicrofluidics. This project is in collaboration with Prof. Y. John Kim in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Alabama.

Congratulations, Spencer, Riad, and Grant for your outstanding achievements!

Prof. K. Nandakumar, Spencer Blum, Riad Elkhanoufi, Grant Landwehr, Prof. Adam Melvin
Prof. K. Nandakumar, Spencer Blum, Riad Elkhanoufi, Grant Landwehr, Prof. Adam Melvin

Photo of Spencer Blum
Spencer Blum

Photo of Riad Elkhanoufi
Riad Elkhanoufi

Photo of Grant Landwehr
Grant Landwehr