Yechun Wang Appointed to North Dakota State Faculty

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Yechun Wang (Ph.D. '07) during her time in Dimitrakopoulos' Biofluid Dynamics Laboratory.

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) alumna Yechun Wang (Ph.D. '07) has been appointed an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at North Dakota State University starting January 2009.

While a student at the University of Maryland, Yechun was advised by ChBE associate professor Panos Dimitrakopoulos. Her dissertation, "Flow and interfacial dynamics in vascular vessels and microfluidics," focused on the study of the hemodynamic forces exerted on biological cells in blood vessels, and presented a numerical investigation of the motion of droplets in micron-sized channels. The research contributes to our understanding of the behavior of cells or droplets in confined spaces—such as a red blood cell moving through a capillary—and the results have the potential to guide the design and operations of microfluidic devices.

"During her M.S. and Ph.D. studies, Yechun conducted a strong and quite diverse research on both industrial and biological fluid dynamics," Dimitrakopoulos recalls. "She studied droplet motion in microfluidic channels, hemodynamics of the vascular endothelium including attached leukocytes and cancer cells, and developed a very accurate interfacial spectral algorithm. Our work on the hemodynamic forces exerted on the vascular endothelium was published in Physical Review Letters."

Before joining the NDSU faculty, Wang held a postdoctoral position in its Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials, working on transport phenomena in polymeric coatings. "It was an opportunity to broaden my horizons," she wrote in a recent e-mail, "working on something brand new to me but still being able to apply my knowledge in transport phenomena and interfacial dynamics."

Although Wang had several offers to work in industry, she wanted a career in academia. Achieving that goal at NSDU was especially rewarding because her husband, Chao You, is an assistant professor there in the Department of Electrical Engineering.

Wang loves the time she spent at the University of Maryland. "Besides knowledge and research experience, I literally 'grew up' [in ChBE]", she wrote. "Other than classes and research, I especially enjoyed the cultural activities in the area. Maryland has become my second hometown."

Learn More:

Wang, Yechun and Dimitrakopoulos, P., 2006. "Normal force exerted on vascular endothelial cells." Phys. Rev. Lett., 96, 028106. »

Published December 19, 2008