Texas Tech University

Gordon Christopher Earns Distinguished Young Rheologist Award

By: Amanda Bowman 


Gordon Christopher, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, has been selected as a recipient of the Distinguished Young Rheologist award. Christopher also will receive a new rheometer and several pieces of equipment that work with it worth $80,000 to $100,000 from TA Instruments.

The Distinguished Young Rheologist award program is designed to help accelerate the research of promising young researchers through grants for rheometer systems. Award recipients are nominated by an international panel of the most established and respected academic researchers from the Society of Rheology, including four Bingham Medal recipients.

“I'm touched that both TA Instruments and the panel decided I was worthy of this prize,” Christopher said. “I know a lot of good people who have previously won the award, and it's nice to be included in that group.”

Rheology is a branch of physics that deals with the deformation and flow of matter, especially the non-Newtonian flow of liquids and the plastic flow of solids. Christopher focuses on a highly specific area of rheology called interfacial rheology. Interfacial rheology is a patented system for measuring rheology and viscoelasticity of air-liquid and liquid-liquid interfaces, such as air and water or water and oil, respectively.

“A lot of my work looks at what happens when you put little particles on interfaces,” Christopher said. “When you have particles on interfaces, you can cause something called Pickering emulsion. Pickering emulsions are stable emulsions in all sorts of food and facial commercial products people use.”

Christopher was recognized for his achievement during the Society of Rheology's annual conference earlier in October in Denver, Colorado.

“Christopher's research in rheology provides an outstanding foundational anchor to energy-, nanotechnology- and medicine-related research that is ongoing in our mechanical engineering department,” said Michelle Pantoya, the department chair, J.W. Wright Regents Chair and professor in Mechanical Engineering. “Christopher's recognition inspires all of us.”