Since the bronze age man has exploited the inherent compliance of liquids to create objects. This concept has been perfected through the years, and has matured into a myriad of industrial processes that abound in the polymer, glass and food industries. Success however comes at the expense of simplicity as these processes have complex multi-physics components. In contrast with this approach, I propose to explore new paradigms in the design, the engineering, and the manufacturing of structured and functional materials, using free surface gravity driven flows, and harnessing their fluidic instabilities. This method relies on a fundamental and predictive understanding of fluid-mechanics in far-from-equilibrium problems, and leverages on the mathematical scaffolding and geometrical nonlinearities that accompany them. Two examples - specific, yet representative of the potential of the method - will be presented.
Bio: Pierre-Thomas Brun is an instructor in Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research is concerned with developing predictive models that rationalize the physics at play in problems arising in natural and laboratory settings at the intersection of fluid mechanics, flexible solids mechanics, non- linear physics, biology and design. Pierre-Thomas Brun received a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique (Palaiseau, France), an M.Phil in Advanced Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University (Cambridge, UK) and a Ph.D in Mechanics from the University Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France). He then moved as a Post-Doc to the Ecole Polytechnique of Lausanne from 2012 to 2014. In 2014 he joined MIT. More information on his research activities may be found in the following link: http://scienceido.com/ptbrun