Jacinta C. Conrad, Ph.D., Frank M. Tiller Professor in the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been elected a Fellow of the Society of Rheology.
The Society of Rheology is composed of physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers and mathematicians interested in advancing and applying rheology, which is defined as the science of deformation and flow of matter. To qualify for Fellow status, members must be in good standing for at least eight years and be selected by a five-member committee. The number of Fellows is capped at 5 percent of the society's membership.
Conrad said she was excited to be elected as a Fellow, given how significant the society has been in her professional development.
“The Society of Rheology has been important to me in my professional development. It was the first professional organization that invited me to give a talk after I started my faculty position at UH in 2010,” she said. “I regularly attend their meetings and have served in a variety of roles – from organizing and chairing sessions to participating in educational and outreach efforts. Some highlights include participating in demonstrations at area museums during the annual society meeting.”
Conrad added, “I was also a member of the local organizing committee when the annual meeting was held in Houston in 2018. I also regularly review for the society’s journal, the Journal of Rheology. I just had a collaborative paper accepted there with ChBE professor Jeremy Palmer and others.”
After completing her doctorate degree and while looking for faculty positions, Conrad said that her research plans nicely intersected with the Society’s focus.
“My Ph.D. is in physics and I did a postdoc in materials science,” she said. “When I was planning my faculty applications, I read fairly broadly to identify topics that interested me. All of them involved thinking about flow and transport properties in complex fluids, materials that have two or more coexisting phases, such as colloidal suspensions (solid particles in liquid) or emulsions (liquid droplets in liquid).”
“Some of this work is done by physicists, but there is a large community of engineers, especially chemical engineers, interested in these problems -- but I didn’t know this community prior to starting my faculty position in ChemE. SoR was where I built my ChemE network. I was able to meet distinguished senior faculty and establish strong connections with early career scientists.”
Conrad added that she was notified that she had been elected a Fellow by someone she has a personal connection with, which added to the honor.
“It was especially meaningful to me that I was notified by the current president, Mike Graham of the University of Wisconsin's Chemical and Biological Engineering Department,” she said. “He was a postdoc in UH ChemE many years ago with Dan Luss! He is one of my favorite scientists in this field and a number of his papers – on swimming of microorganisms and on shear-induced migration – have been touchstones for my own work.”
Conrad's Fellow bio at the SoR can be read here. Conrad received an S.B. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1999, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Harvard University in 2002 and 2005. The 92nd annual SoR meeting will be held in-person from Oct. 10-14 in Bangor, Maine, with a virtual component for those who cannot attend in-person.