Michael Harris

Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Education
Robert B. and Virginia V. Covalt Professor 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 deposited on the surface of self-assembed biological structures such as tobacco mosaic 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

Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates

  • Shohreh Hemmati

Graduate Students

  • Christopher Anthony
  • Lihui Wang

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Gloria Novikova
  • Erin Lynn Retzlaff-Roberts
  • Camila Alexandra Llerena

Awards and Honors

Robert B. and Virginia V. Colvalt Professor of Chemical Engineering (2016 to Present)
Pioneers of Diversity Award (AIChE Minority Affairs Committee, 2015)
Reilly Professor of Chemical Engineering (2014 - present)
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
Martin Marietta Energy Systems Significant Achievement Award, 1994
Invention Award - Martin Marietta Energy Systems Awards Night, 1993

Selected Publications

"Decoupling and Elucidation of Surface-driven Processes during Inorganic Mineralization on Virus Templates," O. Adigun, G. Novikova; E. L Retzlaff-Roberts; B.S. Kim; J. T Miller, L.S. Loesch-Fries, and M. T. Harris, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (Accepted for publication July 2016).

"The Importance of Gravity in Droplet Evaporation: A comparison of Pendant and Sessile Drop Evaporation with Particles," N. Devlin, K. Loehr, and M. T. Harris, AIChE J., 62(3), 947-955 (2016).

"Mechanistic Study of the Hydrothermal Reduction of Palladium on the Tobacco Mosaic Virus," O. Adigun, A. S. Freer, J. T. Miller, B. Kim, L. S Loescsh-Fries, and M. T. Harris, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 450, 1-6 (2015).

"A Novel Method to Determine the Resistance of Biotemplated Nanowires," A. Freer, C. Gilpin, L. Mueller and M. T. Harris, Chemical Engineering Communications, 202 (9), DOI: 10.1080/00986445.2014.912637 (2015).

"A Novel Microwave Sensor for Real-Time Online Monitoring of Roll Compacts of Pharmaceutical Powders Online – A Comparative Case Study with NIR," A. Gupta, J. S. Austin, S. Davis, M. Harris, and G. V. Reklaitis, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 104 (5), 1787-1794 (2015).

"Crystallization of Acetaminophen on Chitosan Films Blended with Different Acids," H. Hsu, O. Adigun, L. S. Taylor, S. Murad, and M. T. Harris, Chemical Engineering Science, 126, 1-9 (2015).

"Impact of Surface Protonation on Crystallization," H. Hsu, and M. T. Harris, Journal of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Research, 1(3), 147-153 (2014).

"A Novel Microwave Sensor to Determine Particulate Blend Composition On-line," J. S. Austin, A. Gupta, R. McDonnell, G. V. Reklaitis, and M. T. Harris, Analytica Chimica Acta, 819, 82-93 (2014) doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2014.02.016.

"Dropwise Additive Manufacturing of Pharmaceutical Products for Solvent-Based Dosage Forms," L. Hirshfield, A. Giridhar, L. S. Taylor, M. T. Harris, and G. V. Reklaitis, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 103(2), 496-506 (2014).