Dense suspensions of solid, micron-sized particles in fluid are found widely in industry and nature. In order to fully understand their bulk rheology, one must understand their particle-level physics. A recent flurry of progress in this area has challenged the long-maintained viewpoint that particle-particle interactions are mediated by hydrodynamics. Instead, we now understand that these interactions entail solid-solid contacts. In this talk I will give an overview of our current understanding and pose some newly opened questions that may interest IMT researchers.
Chris was born in Lochaber, an area famous for its mountainous surroundings, its status as Outdoor Capital of The UK and, indeed, its connection to several popular film and TV series (viz. Braveheart, Harry Potter, Outlander). He received his BA and MEng degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge in 2011 and his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2016. Immediately following his PhD he was appointed as the Maudslay-Butler Research Fellow at Pembroke College Cambridge. There his research was on dense suspensions, colloidal gels and polymer glasses. In particular, he published works on extensional flows, oscillation-mediated viscosity control and microstructural constitutive modelling. At Pembroke he convened a conference to celebrate the 200th birthday of GG Stokes, and later co-edited a two-volume Special Issue of Phil Trans R Soc A to commemorate the occasion. In October 2019 he was appointed a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow in the School of Engineering. He is a committee member of the RSC Formulation Group and of the EPSRC Early Career Forum in Engineering.