Michael Harris

Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Education
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Director, Graduate Studies, School of Chemical Engineering

FRNY 1053
Purdue University
School of Chemical Engineering
Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering
480 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100
(765) 494-0963 (office)
(765) 494-0805 (fax)
Joined Purdue in 2001
B.S. ChE Mississippi State University, 1981
M.S. ChE University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 1987
Ph.D. ChE University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 1992

Research Interests

Electrodispersion Processes

This research examines the use of high-intensity-pulsed electric fields for drop size control in reactive water-in-oil emulsions that result in the formation of single- and multicomponent hydrous metal oxide particles or calcium alginate microspheres with diameters of 0.1- to 10 mm. Fundamental studies include experimental and computational investigations of the (1) electrohydrostatics and electrohydrodynamics of atomization processes in liquid-liquid systems and (2) mass transfer/precipitation or gelation dynamics in the microdroplet environments to better control the morphology of the microspheres.

Experiments involve the use of an electrodispersion precipitation reactor, a high voltage power source, a high speed imager (up to 8000 images per second), and several characterization tools (SAXS, USAXS, Light Scattering, Electrophoresis, FTIR and NMR). Finite element methods and hybrid finite element-boundary element methods are employed to solve the governing electrohydrostatic and electrohydrodynamic equations.

Dynamics of Nanophase Formation

The hydrolysis and condensation of silicon alkoxide and metal alkoxide are employed to produce nanostructures and monodisperse nanoparticles. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), ultra-small-angle X-ray scattering (USAXS), light scattering, NMR and FTIR spectroscopy are used to probe the dynamics of nanophase formation to elucidate the mechanism(s) controlling the structure and size of the initial nanophases that are formed.

Impaction and Drying of Hydrosol and Organosol Drops on Smooth and Porous Substrates

This research focuses on determining the effect(s) of colloidal particles on the impaction, spreading and drying of drops on various substrates. High spread imaging is used to monitor drop oscillations and the spreading dynamics. Single drops and multiple drops from ultrasonic and electrostatic spray nozzles are investigated. The finite element method is used to solve the fluid mechanics and mass transfer equations that govern the impaction, spreading and drying of these drops on the substrate.

Environmental Control Technology

The main thrust of this research is to develop models to guide the development of novel electrokinetics techniques for the removal of ions and charge-carrying contaminants from concrete and other porous media. Algorithms are being developed to accurately account for the complex chemistry of the porous media and the constituents in the liquid phase.

Materials Synthesis Using Biotemplates

Metals (gold, platinum, palladium and nickel) are deposisted on the surface of self-Assembed biological structures such as tobacco mosiac virus (TMV). Discrete and continuous nanometric deposits have been achieved on wild-type and genetically engineered TMV. The future application of the metal coated TMV include sensors, batteries and nanocircuits.

Research Group

Graduate Students

  • Oluwamayowa Adigun
  • Christopher Anthony
  • John Austin
  • Nicole Devlin
  • Alexander Freer
  • Patrick Oglesby

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Winstron Black (Grand Challenges REU)
  • Breauna Campbell (SURF)
  • Seth Cory (Grand Challenges REU)
  • Ryan McDonnell
  • Jasmine Morris
  • Pushkaran Palani
  • Nazrin Wan

Awards and Honors

Fellow, AIChE (2009)
Distinguished Service Award, AIChE - Minority Affairs Committee (2009)
Purdue Engineering Mentoring Award, 2006
AIChE Grimes Award, 2005
University Faculty Scholar 2002-2007
NSF CAREER Award, 1997
AIChE Teaching Award - University of Maryland, College Park, 1997
Martin Marietta Energy Systems Significant Achievement Award, 1994
Invention Award - Martin Marietta Energy Systems Awards Night, 1993

Selected Publications

“Syntheses and Applications of Virus-Based Hybrid Nanomaterials,” S. Y. Lee, J. S. Lim, and M. T. Harris, Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 109 (1), 16-30 (2012)

“Modification of Crystallization Behavior in Drug/Polyethylene Glycol Solid Dispersions,” Q. Zhu, M. T. Harris, and L. S. Taylor, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 9 (3), 546-553 (2012)

“The Initial Regime of Coalescence: The Inexorable Resistance of Inertia.” J. D. Paulsen, J. C. Burton, S. R. Nagel, S. Appathurai, M. T. Harris, and O. A. Basaran, PNAS, 109 (18), 6857-6861 (2012)

“Surface Functionalized Silica as a Toolkit for Developing Aqueous Phase Palladium Mineralization on Thiol Moiety in the Absence of External Reducing Agents,” J.S. Lim, S.M. Kim, S.Y. Lee, E.A. Stach, and J.N. Culver, Journal of Colloids and Interface Science, 356 (1), 31-36 (2011)

“Time-resolved SAXS/WAXS Study of the Phase Behavior and Microstructural evolution of drug/PEG blends,” Q. Zhu, M. T. Harris, and L. S. Taylor, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 8 (3), 932-939 (2011)

"Study of Sol-Gel Transition in Calcium Alginate System by Population Balance Modeling," Y. Y. Zhao, F. Hu, J. J. Evans, and M. T. Harris, Chemical Engineering Science, 66(5), 848-858 (2011).

"Complex Dielectric Properties Measurements of Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC) and Anhydrous Lactose Powders Using A Microwave-Based Open Reflection Resonator Sensor," P.F. Sung, Y.L. Hsieh, K. Angonese, D. Dunn, R.J. King, R. Machbitz, A. Christianson, W.J. Chappelll, L.S. Taylor and M. T. Harris, J. Pharmaceutical Sci, 100(7), 2920-2934. (2011).