University of Pittsburgh
January 14, 2004

Pitt Engineering Professor Receives Research Fellowship At Oxford

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh Engineering Professor Anna Balazs recently received a three-year renewable award to collaborate with researchers at the Oxford Centre for Advanced Material and Composites (OCAMAC) at Oxford University.

"This fellowship will give me an excellent opportunity to strengthen existing collaborations and initiate additional ones in new areas," said Balazs, the Robert Von der Luft Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in the School of Engineering.

While at Oxford, Balazs will work with researchers in the Departments of Materials Science and Physics to determine the behavior of complex fluids flowing in microchannels. This research has applications in the field of microfluidics. In addition, she will work with researchers in the Department of Physics to understand the fundamental physics that controls friction, wear, and lubrication between such sliding surfaces as gears in machinery.

At Pitt, Balazs has examined how nanoparticles, like nanotubes, interact with polymer mixtures. Her findings could lead to the formation of better electrical pathways in insulating materials or to the creation of continuous inorganic networks that provide significant mechanical reinforcement of soft organic materials.

In 1981, Balazs earned the Ph.D. degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in materials science and engineering. In 1987, she joined Pitt as an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and moved to the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in 1997.

The OCAMAC is sponsored by the Departments of Materials, Engineering, Chemistry and Physics at Oxford University. The center aims to unlock research potential across sponsoring agencies and other university departments by stimulating research activity within the university and with industry, to disseminate research results to the national and international materials community, and to deliver integrated technical solutions to industry.