Prof. Prud’homme

Our Fearless Leader
Areas of Research Interest:
Self-assembly and biomacromolecules. In the area of self-assembly, weak forces are used to control both the equilibrium phase behavior as well as the kinetics of assembly. Hydrophobically modified polymers interact with surfactant mesophases, lipid bilayer surfaces, colloids, or other amphiphilic polymers in aqeuous solution. Competitive kinetics of nanoparticle formation and block copolymer assembly can be tuned to create stable nano-particles for drug therapy. Self assembly in non-aqueous solutions can be driven by crystallization. The kinetics of self-assembly of block copolymers and wax crystals can be used to stabilize diesel fuels and crude oil against gelation. In these areas we use combinations of optical, rheological and scattering techniques to relate structure to properties. In the second area of biopolymers we work to understand how nature uses weak hydrogen bonding forces to tailor interactions between biomacromolecules. These forces determine polymer solubility and rheology. New techniques such as fluorescence probe photobleaching and osmotic stress diffraction allow us to probe molecular level interactions.

Education:
1969 BSE Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
1973 Graduate Studies Program in Environmental Science and Public Policy, Harvard University
1978 PhD Chemical Engineering, University of Wisconsin- Madison

Professional Experience:
1979 Research Engineer, E.I. DuPont and Co., Engineering Technology Laboratory, Wilmington, DE (June-Aug)
1984-1985 Research Engineer, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Plastics Research and Development Department, Murray Hill, NJ (sabbatical leave)
2001-2002 Chemistry Department, University of Sydney (sabbatical leave)
1978-present Chemical Engineering, Princeton University (Professor: 1991)

Honors and Awards:
* University of Sydney Visiting Professor Fellowship (2006)
* Vice President of the Society of Rheology (2005)
* Turner Alfrey Professor, Midland Molecular Institute (2005)
* BASF Advisory Council for Nanotechnology (2005)
* Bird, Stewart and Lightfoot Lecturer, University of Wisconsin (2005)
* Wayne State University Visiting Committee (2005)
* National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award (l984) Board of Directors, AIChE Materials Science and Engineering Division (l982-1992)
* Executive Committee, U.S. Society of Rheology (1989-l991)
* McCabe Lecturer, Dept. Chem. Engr., North Carolina State Univ. (l992)
* Editorial Board, Butterworths Publishers Series in Chemical Engineering (l983-present)
* Editorial Board, “Polymer Gels and Networks”, Elsevier Science Publishers (l992-present)
* Director, Program in Engineering Biology, Princeton University (l990-present)
* Board of Directors, Rheometrics Inc., Piscataway, NJ (l982-present)
* Lecturer, A.C.S. short course “Water Soluble and Water Swellable Polymers”, Polym. Mat. Sci. & Engr. Div. (1986, 1987, 1992, 1993)
* Lecturer, University of Minnesota short course, “RheologicalMeasurements”, Minneapolis, MN (l985)
* Lecturer, University of Connecticut short course, “Laser Doppler Velocimetry”, Storrs, CT (1985)
* Lecturer, Polymer Processing Institute short course, “Polymers inElectronics Packaging”, Princeton, NJ (1988)
* Steering Committee, National Bureau of Standards Chemical Engineering Center Mixing Study, Boulder, CO (l984)
* Advisory Committee, Water Soluble Polymer Research, American Cyanamid Central Research, Stamford, CT (1985)
* Task Force on Exxon Research and Engineering University Cooperative Research, Florham Park, NJ (l979-l981)
* ACS Session Chairman, 213th National ACS Meeting, Polymer Surfactant Interactions, Gels and Phase Behavior, San Francisco, CA, April 13-17 (1997)
* Operations Advisory Group, New Jersey Center for Biomaterials & Devices (1997)