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Dr. Taehun Lee: Mathematical Innovation with Practical Implications
Start: 09/17/08
End: 09/30/10

Dr. Taehun LeeTaehun Lee is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering who joined the Grove School in 2006. He has just been awarded a 3-year, $182,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to continue his work on a mathematical breakthrough which will have innovative implications for many things we use in our daily lives.

Dr. Lee’s research entails numerical modeling of liquid slip on superhydrophobic surfaces. Superhydrophobic surfaces are of great interest in many industrial and biological applications because of their properties such as anti-sticking, anti-contamination, and self-cleaning. These applications include anti-biofouling, paints for boats, anti-sticking of snow for antennas and windows, self-cleaning windshields for automobiles, metal refining, stain resistant textiles, and anti-soiling architectural coatings, among many others.

The proposed research explores a new modeling capability that could dramatically change existing approaches to designing microfluidic devices and help prescreen design alternatives. The Lattice Boltzmann Method, which has so far been the modeling tool of choice, is limited in its application. Dr. Lee is developing an unstructured Lattice Boltzmann Method based on the Galerkin Formulation. This Galerkin Lattice Boltzmann Method should overcome the limitations of the current Lattice Boltzmann Method in dealing with the complex shape of superhydrophobic surfaces and large viscosity difference between fluids. It will provide direct simulation of liquid slip on superhydrophobic surfaces and allow the identification of design factors that maximize the effective slip under practical conditions.

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