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Sujit Datta

Sujit S. Datta

Assistant Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering

B.A., Physics and Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania, 2008
M.S., Physics, University of Pennsylvania, 2008
A.M., Physics, Harvard University, 2010
Ph.D., Physics, Harvard University, 2013
Postdoctoral Scholar, Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 2013-2017

Room: A321 Engineering Quad

Webpage: Soft Materials in Complex Spaces

Honors and Awards

  • Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics, American Physical Society, 2015
  • LeRoy Apker Award, American Physical Society, 2008


Research Areas

Research Interests

Our lab's interests lie at the interface between engineering, physics, biology, materials science, and chemistry. We aim to disentangle the interactions between complex fluids — including emulsions, polymer solutions, and microbial suspensions — and their complex environments — like porous media, biological hydrogels, and tissues and organs in the body.

This represents a new frontier for engineering. Not only do environmental factors alter these materials, but they themselves alter their environments, and these coupled dynamics give rise to non-trivial emergent behavior. The goal of our work is to understand and control these interactions.

We focus on two key areas:

Transport through porous media. This is important for a number of geophysical applications, such as oil migration and recovery, storing CO2 underground, and preventing contamination of groundwater aquifers. It is also important in bio/chemical settings like water filtration, chromatography, and applications of hydrogels.

Physico-chemical restructuring of biological materials. Polymers provide critical functions in our tissues and organs. For example, the gut and airways are lined and protected by a concentrated layer of mucins; our joints are cushioned by a mixture of polysaccharides and glycoproteins; and blood clots are formed by a dense network of cells and proteins.

In both of these areas, we probe the interactions of complex fluids and their environments by integrating in situ optical microscopy and image analysis, microfluidics and rheology, and soft materials processing and characterization. Ultimately, we strive to do research that can make a meaningful, positive impact in society. Our work is fundamental, but is motivated by problems in biotechnology, energy, and environmental science.