NSF funding for mechanical engineers

Professor Marc Hodes and Associate Professor Jeffrey Guasto are pursuing new research projects with the support of National Science Foundation funding.
Headshots of Professors Hodes and Guasto
Professor Marc Hodes, left, and Associate Professor Jeffrey S. Guasto, right.

In the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Professor Marc Hodes and Associate Professor Jeffrey Guasto are furthering their research endeavors with the support of National Science Foundation (NSF) funding.

The Hodes Group will collaborate with Aerogel Technologies, in particular PI Dr. Stephen Steiner and Hodes Group alumni Justin Griffin, E10 and EG13, and Ryan Nelson, E11 and EG14, on a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant entitled "Continuous Manufacturing of Mechanically-Robust, Superinsulating Aerogel Monoliths and Thin Films Via a New Ambient-Pressure Freeze Drying Technology" as per NSF Award No. 2014881. The Tufts team is the research institute partner on this STTR grant and will focus on the "fundamental mass transport phenomena of this process through an experimentally-informed development of a numerical model for production-scale manufacture,” said Hodes.  

The Hodes Group is also subcontracting Aerogel Technologies at present on an already active grant in excess of $1.5 million through the scalable nanomanufacturing program at NSF, which concerns supercritical drying (as opposed to freeze drying) of aerogels as per NSF Award No. 153063.

The Guasto Lab received an NSF award to combine experiments and modeling to establish state-of-the-art numerical models of bacterial flagellar elastohydrodynamics, developing a suite of methods to quantify patterns and mechanics for how bacteria swim using thin flagella. The researchers want to determine the physical mechanisms that cause motility patterns by quantifying and modeling the motility of a variety of bacteria. In collaboration with Associate Professor Henry Fu of the University of Utah, the team intends to explain the origins of motility patterns through the use of numerical and physical experiments.

The researchers seek to understand how flagellar arrangements result in the existing wide diversity of bacterial motility. This work is supported by National Science Foundation grant 2027410.