Featured Customer: Travis Walker

Dr. Travis Walker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SD Mines). In 2008, he graduated from SD Mines with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics. He then completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University in 2010 and 2013, respectively. He was an Assistant Professor in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University from 2013-2017. In 2015, Travis was named the Distinguished Young Rheologist by TA Instruments, and in 2017, Travis was the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award. Travis is also the owner of Dragon Materials, LLC, a contract research laboratory that specializes in the characterization of soft matter.

Travis is a transport phenomena engineer who works to develop both theoretical and experimental methods that can be applied to the study of complex fluids, soft solids, miscible fluid interactions, and biological systems. He is interested in multiphase systems and the mechanics of materials. His ultimate goal is to provide new detailed insights into the macroscopic characteristics of materials and processes through an in-depth understanding of the fundamental physics that are active at the molecular level. Currently, the Walker Group has projects in aligning magnetic particles with advanced magnetic fields for engineering nanocomposite metamaterials, advanced extensional rheological characterizing of weakly viscoelastic fluids, implementing highly elastic fluids in CMP processing for enhanced particle removal, and measuring transient rheology of biofilm formation in various media. They also have work in advancing additive manufacturing of multicomponent systems and in measuring the rheological dynamics of blood coagulation and cervical mucus. Their past work includes modeling the interfacial stress rheometer (ISR), investigating the drop impact of miscible liquids, and experimentally tracking the two-fluid hydraulic jump.

In many of our projects, accurate information about the microstructure is imperative to successfully connect the material characteristics to our physical models. The array of Wyatt instruments work in concert to provide precise details into the molecular weight distribution of our polymers, which we leverage to explain a wide variety of physical phenomena in a range of scientific fields.