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Saville Lectures

Dudley A. Saville
Dudley A. Saville

In memory of our colleague, Princeton University’s Department of Chemical Engineering has established the Dudley A. Saville Lectureship for exceptional early-career chemical engineers and scientists. Inspired by his family and colleagues, this series reflects Dudley Saville’s longtime association with Princeton, his uncompromising pursuit of excellence, and his commitment to helping young people begin their academic careers. In his nearly 40 years at Princeton University, he pioneered new directions in fluid mechanics, especially electrohydrodynamics. Although Dudley’s emphasis was always on fundamentals, the practical applications of his research spanned protein crystallization, electrohydrodynamic printing, enhanced oil recovery, patterning of colloidal crystals, and fluid behavior in microgravity, including an experiment flown on the Space Shuttle Columbia.

Dudley was also a pillar supporting the department’s educational mission. Whether teaching thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, engineering mathematics, or transport phenomena, his classes were distinguished by their mathematical rigor and clarity of exposition. A demanding instructor, he earned the respect of generations of chemical engineering students.

In 1997, he received the Alpha Chi Sigma Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; in 2001, he was named the Stephen C. Macaleer ’63 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science; and in 2003 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional recognition for an American engineer.

2015 Saville Lecturer: M. Scott Shell

M. Scott Shell is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara. Prof. Shell earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon in 2000 and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton in 2005, where he worked with Pablo Debenedetti, Athanassios Panagiotopoulos, and Frank Stillinger in molecular simulation methodologies and the statistical mechanics of supercooled liquids and glasses. From 2005-2007 in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UC San Francisco, he then worked with Ken Dill as a postdoctoral fellow in protein folding theory and simulation. Prof. Shell’s group develops novel molecular simulation, multiscale modeling, and statistical thermodynamic approaches to address problems in contemporary biophysics and soft condensed matter. Recent areas of interest include self-assembled peptide materials, nanobubbles, hydrophobic interfaces, electric double layers, and two-dimensional colloidal particles.  He is the recipient of a Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award (2007), an NSF CAREER Award (2009), a Hellman Family Faculty Fellowship (2010), a Northrop-Grumman Teaching Award (2011), a Sloan Research Fellowship (2012), and a UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award (2014).

Thermodynamic Balancing Acts in Novel Materials at Interfaces

M. Scott Shell, University of California, Santa Barbara

Location:  Friend Center Convocation Room, FC113  
Date:       April 15, 2015  
Time:       4:00 PM  

Interfaces can direct the self-assembly of materials in unique ways that leverage new and often competing thermodynamic driving forces not found in the bulk.  We show how a combination of molecular simulations and theory can identify the relevant interaction forces and then provide systematic design strategies for two such classes of materials.  In the first part of the talk, we examine self-assembly as route to chiral surfaces made from achiral molecules.  We show that a surprisingly simple mechanism, based only on excluded volume interactions, can drive achiral particles into chiral materials.  The mechanism quantitatively explains recent experimental results, predicts new chiral-prone shapes, and suggests a way that chiral structures might emerge in nature.  In the second part, we show that polymers can modulate the folding of proteins attached to an interface in ways distinct from bulk. Simulations reveal that conjugating a polymer to a model protein sometimes stabilizes and sometimes destabilizes the native helical fold, in an apparent non-intuitive manner depending on the precise attachment point.  We show that these unexpected results are actually well-understood in terms of a simple theory that accounts for the entropy of the polymer near an impenetrable surface.

Previous Lecturers in the Series


Ryan C. Hayward

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

2013 Hang Lu

Georgia Institute of Technology

2012 Todd Squires

University of California, Santa Barbara


Yi Tang

University of California, Los Angeles


Bartosz Grzybowski

Northwestern University


Thomas M. Truskett

University of Texas at Austin