University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

Ronald Larson
November 17, 2017
Ronald G. Larson, George Granger Brown Professor of Chemical Engineering, A.H. White Distinguished University Professor of Chemical Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Macromolecular Science and Engineering, University of Michigan
Multi-Scale Modeling of Complex Fluids: Surfactants, Colloids, and Polymers, and Their Applications

Surfactant solutions, polymers, and latex colloidal solutions containing telechelic “HEUR” polymers self-assemble in water into a variety of structures, including long, entangled micelles as well as polymer gels and colloid/polymer gels that are important for consumer products, paints, and drug release formulations. The complex structures of these solutions require multi-scale modeling that includes atomistic, and coarse-grained molecular simulations, as well as colloidal scale simulations to connect rheological and other transport properties to molecular composition. We show examples of such modeling, including the use of accelerated sampling methods, such as Umbrella Sampling, Forward Flux Sampling, and Metadynamics, with application to commercial surfactant and polymer solutions that bridge more than 15 decades of time scales.

Ronald Larson became a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan in 1996, after working for 17 years at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. He received a B.S in1975, an M.S. in 1977, and a Ph.D. in 1980, all in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Larson’s research interests include the structure and mechanical properties of viscous or elastic fluids, which include polymers, glasses, colloids, and biological materials. He is also interested in flow and yielding and transport modeling.  He has written a 1998 textbook, “The Structure and Rheology of Complex Fluids.”

Larson was the President of the Society of Rheology (SOR) from 1997 to 1999, and served on the Executive Committee of that Society during the period 1991 to 2001. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), and was Chairman of the Division of Polymers of the APS in 2010. He served as Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department of the University of Michigan from 2000 to 2008. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE). In 1996, he was named the Prudential Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge England; in 2000 he was awarded the Alpha Chi Sigma Award from the AICHE; and in 2002 he received the Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology. He is a Fellow of the APS, a Fellow of the AICHE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.   Since 2000, he has been the GG Brown Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Univ. of Michigan, and since 2014 has been the AH White Distinguished University Professor of the Univ. of Michigan.

Time: 10:30 am to 11:30 am

About Elizabeth D. Rockwell

Elizabeth D. Rockwell

A fourth generation Houstonian, Mrs. Rockwell was an Executive Director, Private Client Division of CIBC Oppenheimer Corp. She was widely recognized as an expert in retirement, estate, investment, and tax planning. She was an early proponent of the Keogh and IRA plans, for which she has been nationally recognized.

In 1991, she qualified to be a member of the Million Dollar Round Table as well as the Texas Leaders Round Table. Since 1990 she had authored a monthly column for the Houston Chronicle.

Mrs. Rockwell served as President of the UH College of Business Administration Foundation Board, as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, and was an Executive Professor for the college. She also served as a member of the advisory board of the Health Law and Policy Institute and as a Trustee of the University of Houston System’s Foundation, as well as a member of the UH System’s Planned Giving Council.

Mrs. Rockwell served on the Board of Governors for the Houston Forum, and as a Board member of the American Red Cross, the Greater Houston Women’s Foundation, the University of Houston Alumni Organization, and the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. She was a member of the River Oaks Business Women’s Exchange Club, the National Tax Sheltered Annuity Association, the Texas Association of College Teachers, and the Houston Association of Life Underwriters.

Among her numerous honors, she has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Houston, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Houston Alumni Organization and from the UH College of Business Administration. Throughout the years she has been recognized for her many achievements by the Education Foundation of Harris County, the Houston Community College System’s Television Station Advisory Council, and the Houston Mayor’s READ Commission.

The Houston Alumni Center is home to the Elizabeth D. Rockwell President’s Suite. In September 1997, the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Career Services Center was opened in the UH College of Business Administration. She endowed the Chair for the Dean of the M.D. Anderson Library.

Mrs. Rockwell was listed in the Who’s Who in the South and Southwest; Who’s Who in finance and Industry; Who’s Who of American Women; and Who’s Who in the World.