Daniels Nonlinear Lab [NCSU Banner]

Dept of Physics

Research Opportunities

Interested undergraduates, graduate students, or prospective postdocs may contact Karen Daniels about research opportunities. NC State students should consider applying for a Undergraduate Research Grant , and/or speak to me in person about other research opportunities during the school year. Prospective graduate students should visit the Graduate Programs webpage for information about how to apply to the PhD program in the NC State Physics Department.



Open Research Position

Project Summary: It is difficult to assess the stability of a granular material, or to determine whether failure is imminent. The ability to non-invasively characterize changes in the mechanical state of a granular material would aid our understanding of the transition to failure. In both ordinary atomic/molecular systems and idealized jammed systems, the density of states provides a wealth of information about the state of the system. Acoustic measurements are a promising route to a similar characterization for granular materials, due to their ability to transmit vibrational energy into the bulk of the material, and to gather information in return. We will develop such techniques in both static and sheared systems where internal stresses are visible, as well as in more realistic three-dimensional materials which are of natural and industrial importance. Objectives are: (1) Simulations and analytics predict that an increased abundance of low-frequency modes is associated with an impending loss of rigidity. Do real granular materials exhibit this feature as a universal hallmark of incipient failure, e.g. under shear? (2) Simulated jammed materials with different shapes (circles vs. ellipses vs. dimers) each have a characteristic density of states. Do real granular materials, for instance those with corners, exhibit similar shape-dependent features? (3) The properties of force and contact networks may depend on the dimensionality of the system. Results from shear experiments may improve our understanding of earthquake nucleation and rupture. Connections to geophysics are possible by analyzing results in light of current ideas about foreshocks, tremors, triggering, and monitoring fault damage.

This research position could be filled by either a graduate student or a postdoc. To apply as a graduate student, applications to the PhD program in the physics department proceed through a central office. More information about the graduate program and application process are available here. To apply as a postdoc, application materials should be uploaded to the NC State central job website. In both cases, applicants should also contact Karen Daniels directly.



Graduate Research Assistant Opening

[fluorescence
/laser image of spreading surfactant]

The Focused Research Group (FRG) on Thin Fluid Films has an opening for a graduate research assistant starting January 2011 in the Department of Physics at NCSU. The FRG, composed of both physicists and mathematicians at NCSU, Duke, and Harvey Mudd, studies free-surface flows using both experiments and mathematical models. Thin fluid flows commonly occur in a variety of industrial, biological, and medical settings: spin-coating during chip fabrication, microfluidics, tear layers in our eyes, and surfactant-replacement therapy in neonatal infants. The goal of the research program is to better-understand the dynamics of these highly nonlinear systems, ultimately allowing us to better control their behavior.

This RA position would fund work to build a new experiment on vibrated films, and conduct experiments on the stabilization of thin fluid layers under vibration and in the presence of surface-tension altering surface molecules (particularly lipids). The image at left provides an example of the types of techniques we use. We perform fluorescent visualization (green) of a molecular-scale lipid layer spreading on a fluid surface, and the red line is a profile of the underlying fluid surface.

Contact Dr. Karen Daniels, kdaniel {at} ncsu.edu, 258C Riddick



Graduate Research Assistant Opening

[schematic of a droplet deforming the surface of  a soft substrate]

The Daniels Lab has an opening for a graduate research assistant starting Fall 2016 (or January 2017).

This RA position would fund work to build a new experiment on vibrated films, and conduct experiments on the stabilization of thin fluid layers under vibration and in the presence of surface-tension altering surface molecules (particularly lipids). The image at left provides an example of the types of techniques we use. We perform fluorescent visualization (green) of a molecular-scale lipid layer spreading on a fluid surface, and the red line is a profile of the underlying fluid surface.

Contact Dr. Karen Daniels, kdaniel {at} ncsu.edu, 258C Riddick



Postdoctoral Research Opening

A postdoctoral position focusing on the statistical mechanics of granular materials is available in the Department of Physics at North Carolina State University. The research will involve performing experiments on the relevance of state variables in describing dense granular systems. In particular, we aim to directly address the degree to which temperature-like variables (compactivity/angoricity from Edwards entropy and effective temperature from the fluctuation-dissipation theorem) equilibrate between two subsystems and change under shear.

The initial appointment will be for one year (ideally beginning mid-2007), with extension upon mutual agreement. Candidates must have a doctoral degree in physics or a related field, as well as prior experimental experience. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, CV (including publication list), and contact information for three references to Karen Daniels.



Postdoctoral Position in Mathematics and Physics

The Focused Research Group on Thin Liquid Films at North Carolina State University invites applications for a postdoctoral position beginning Fall 2010 or soon thereafter. The research group studies free-surface flow problems with a combination of modeling, analysis and laboratory experiments. Current research topics include surfactant-driven flows, vibrated films, and dynamics of films for which inertia is significant.

We seek individuals whose research includes relevant mathematical and/or experimental experience. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in the mathematical or physical sciences, or engineering, and a commitment to teaching and mentoring.

To apply, visit http://jobs.ncsu.edu and search for position number 101623. You should upload a vita, and a description of research interests and accomplishments. Three letters of recommendation should be sent to Dr. Michael Shearer, Department of Mathematics, NC State University, Box 8205, Raleigh, NC 27695-8205. One of the letters can address teaching experience.

EOE/AA. In addition, NC State welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation. Review of applications will begin on August 1st, 2010.

Duties: The successful candidate will join the interdisciplinary research group headed by Dr. Michael Shearer (Mathematics) and Dr. Karen Daniels (Physics). The postdoc will be based in the Department of Mathematics, will conduct research related to the current projects within the FRG group, and will teach one course per year. The initial appointment is for two years, with the possibility of a one year renewal.



Postdoctoral Position

We invite applications for a postdoctoral position to conduct research on granular materials and solid foams, using the tools of network science. The aim of the project is to advance our understanding of disordered mechanical metamaterials: objects built out of smaller parts, so that the bulk material properties are tunable based on how the building blocks are assembled. We seek to understand how the network of connections between the components not only controls whether the material is stable, but also the flow of energy, fluids, or electricity. The project will involve performing experiments on granular materials (optical measurements provide the contact forces, as shown below) and/or 3D printed foams with the contact network known in advance. In concert with the experiments, we will develop network science tools as a framework for a quantitative understanding of the results. Dynamic properties such as fracture, transport, or signal propagation are also of interest, and the ideal candidate will bring their own ideas about what specific research directions to take.

The position is available for two years and would ideally start by the end of 2015. Raleigh is one of the vertices of the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, home to many major technology companies and a vibrant cultural scene. For more information on the research group, please browse this website.

To apply, please visit jobs.ncsu.edu/postings/57471 to upload your CV and a short cover letter. The cover letter should briefly describe your research interests and provide contact information for 2-3 references. Review of the applications will begin Sep 8, and continue until the position is filled.



Postdoctoral Position

We invite applications for a postdoctoral position to conduct research on granular materials and solid foams, using the tools of network science. The aim of the project is to advance our understanding of disordered mechanical metamaterials: objects built out of smaller parts, so that the bulk material properties are tunable based on how the building blocks are assembled. We seek to understand how the network of connections between the components not only controls whether the material is stable, but also the flow of energy, fluids, or electricity. The project will involve performing experiments on granular materials (optical measurements provide the contact forces, as shown below) and/or 3D printed foams with the contact network known in advance. In concert with the experiments, we will develop network science tools as a framework for a quantitative understanding of the results. Dynamic properties such as fracture, transport, or signal propagation are also of interest, and the ideal candidate will bring their own ideas about what specific research directions to take.

For more information, please contact Karen Daniels.



Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates participate in laboratory research through one of several possible channels: for credit as an independent study (PY499, necessary for Honors but also open to others), self-funded through a UGR grant, paid as a federal work-study job, or as paid research assistant through one of our lab's research grants.

Topics could be drawn from any of the research projects listed on our website. For more information, please contact Dr. Karen Daniels, kdaniel {at} ncsu.edu, 258C Riddick



Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates participate in laboratory research through one of several possible channels: for credit as an independent study (PY499, necessary for Honors but also open to others), via an Undergraduate Research Award, paid as a federal work-study job, or as paid research assistant through one of our lab's research grants. Topics could be drawn from any of the research projects listed on our website.

At the present time (Summer 2017), all available positions are filled.



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