One of our past post graduates, Anson Ma has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Society of Rheology, Arthur Metzner Early Career award for his work in the field of rheology. Anson won a Hong Kong scholarship to study for a PhD at Cambridge and in 2006 came to work with the Polymer Fluids Group run by Professor Malcolm Mackley. He had previously worked in the field of Carbon Nanotubes with Prof Ping Gao (another CEB Post Graduate) at the University of Science and Technology, Clearwater Bay Hong Kong. Malcolm naively thought Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) were similar to polymers and so it seemed a sensible and at the time fashionable topic for Anson to work on. Also Anson had “Carbon Nanotubes written all the way across his forehead”. CNTs are challenging materials not least from a rheological point of view; however Anson, with his meticulous approach to science and rheology made sense of difficult experiments. Working with Prof Paco Chinesta, who at the time was a visiting Fellow in CEB and is now a senior Professor at Ecole Centrale des Nantes, Anson was the glue that made the link between experiment and some high level suspension rheological modelling. Anson was also the person who created wonderful videos and I encourage you all to view his remarkable CNT Helical Banding movie.
Whilst carrying out his PhD, Anson founded, with the help of others, a very successful Cambridge CNT Society which brought together CNT activity from a number of separate different Cambridge Departments including, Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Material Science, Physics and Chemistry. This was a significant achievement for a PhD student and resulted in the PhDs themselves organizing, on their own initiative, a very successful International Conference on CNTs held at Churchill College.
After obtaining his PhD in 2009, Anson went to work with Prof Matteo Pasquali at Houston University where he extended his CNT interests studying both CNT super acid solution spinning and dip coating. In 2011 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut and since then he has built up his own Group that applies rheology principles to a wide range of systems including enhanced colloidal stability of rod like particles, blood flow and the application of ink jet processing to bio cell application. Anson is also building on the legacy of rheology created by Monty Shaw at UConn in organizing rheology workshops and outreach programs on rheology topics together with developing a “rheological taste” for ice cream from collaborative projects with the UConn creamery.
It is very satisfying for the department to see past members of the department going to other Universities and doing so well. Anson is one of a number of our alumni who have very successfully made the transition to USA University life.
Malcolm Mackley. April 2015