Group Members

Dr. Kendra A. Erk (cv)

- B.S. Materials Science and Engineering with Highest Distinction, Purdue University, 2006
- Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, 2010

Phone: (765) 494-4118
Email: erk @ purdue . edu

 Prof. Erk, Baishakhi, Cole, Jessica, Jerome, and Ryan (11/2018).

Prof. Erk, Baishakhi, Cole, Jessica, Jerome, and Ryan (11/2018).

Current Graduate Students

  • Baishakhi Bose (PhD) - Polymeric admixtures for concrete materials

  • Eduard Caicedo-Casso (PhD) - Rheology and scalable manufacturing of polymer solutions

  • Cole Davis (PhD) - Stability of shipboard oil-in-water emulsions

  • Jerome Nash (PhD) - Interfacial rheology of lecithin-stabilized emulsions

  • Jessica Sargent (PhD) - Ionic interactions in aqueous polymer gels and solutions

  • Ryan Szeto (PhD) - Rheological behavior of biomass slurries and cellulosic solutions

Current Undergraduate Students

Click here for MSE499 requirements in the Erk group.

Interested in MSE499 research with Prof. Erk?  Send her an email and please include a 1-page resume (listing any past research experience). Get paid to do research in the summer!  Purdue Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) projects are also typically available each year. Click here for more info.


Former Graduate Students

  • Dr. Anna Walter (PhD, August 2018; Daikin America) - Polymer Solution Rheology and Polymer Synthesis for Enhanced Oil Recovery

  • Dr. Travis Thornell (PhD, May 2018; U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center) - Synthesis and Characterization of Model Acrylic-Based Polymer Gels

  • Mr. Jason Bice (MS, December 2017; ME graduate student at Northeastern University) - Using Ultrasonic Speckle Velocimetry to Detect Fluid Instabilities in a Surfactant Solution

  • Dr. Matthew Krafcik (PhD, August 2017; Sappi) - Informing the Design of Hydrogel-Based Internal Curing Agents for Mortar: Effects of Hydrogel Chemistry on Mortar Microstructure and Mechanics

  • Ms. Stacey Kelly (MS, August 2017; graduate student in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech) - Inverse Suspension Polymerization of Superabsorbent Polymer Hydrogels for Internally Cured Concrete

  • Dr. Lisa Murray (PhD, August 2015; Murray Rheology Consulting) - Rheology of Suspensions and Pastes for Processing Applications

  • Ms. Qian Zhu (MS, May 2014; General Cable) - Effect of Multivalent Ions on the Swelling and Mechanical Behavior of Superabsorbent Polymers (SAPs) for Mitigation of Mortar Autogenous Shrinkage

  • Mr. Abhishek Bawiskar (MS, May 2014; Sanveo, Inc.) - Shear Rheological Characterization of Gel Healing Response and Construction of Rheo-PIV System


Former Undergraduate Students

  • Zuha Adel (MSE, 2018) - Hydrogel swelling in salt solutions

  • Mayank Jain (MSE, 2017-2018) - Rheometry of soy lecithin based materials

  • Cole Davis (MSE, 2016-2017; grad student at Purdue) - SAP hydrogel size characterization

  • Nicholas Macke (MSE, 2016-2017; grad student at UChicago) - Effects of multivalent ions on SAP hydrogels

  • Matthew Parsons (MSE, 2015-2017) - SAP hydrogel swelling in ionic solutions

  • Ziyu Cai (MSE, 2015-2016) - rheometry of polymer-salt solutions

  • Austin Beggs (MSE, 2015-2016) - size and swelling rates of SAP hydrogels

  • Hannah Woods (MSE, 2015-2016; grad student at Georgia Tech) - processing-structure-property relationships of plastics

  • Krithika Subramaniam (ChemE, 2014-2016; 3M) - oscillation rheology of polymer gels and solutions

  • Natalie Burgos (MSE, 2015) - mechanics of hydrogels tested in compression

  • Yuhui An (MSE, Spring 2015) - viscosity of oil-water interfaces

  • Jenni Fifer (MSE, Spring 2015) - rate and temp dependent tensile properties of different plastic materials

  • Emily Soltys (MSE, 2014-2015; 3M) - rheology of MgO suspensions with excess PEO

  • Morgan Rhein (MSE, 2014-2015; Orbital ATK) - mechanical testing of oriented polymer films

  • Ben Helfrecht (MSE, 2014; grad student at Purdue) - rheology of thermoreversible chocolate and fracture of hydrogels

  • Sophie Ydstie (MSE, 2013-2014; ArcelorMittal) - mechanical testing of oriented polymer films

  • Andrea Love (MSE, 2014; FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) - preparation and properties of Carbopol microgels

  • Chris Barney (MSE, 2013-2014; grad student at UMass Amherst) - polymers in cementitious materials

  • Scott Mullen (Physics/Math/CS, 2013) - PIV analysis of shear rheometry data

  • Brooke Elliott (ChemE, 2012-2013; Proctor & Gamble) - rheology of alginate rafts

  • Kathleen Steckbeck (BME, 2012-2013) - formation and characterization of alginate rafts

  • Anthony Hill (MSE, 2012-2013, now at Honeywell Aerospace) and Ananth Raman (MSE, 2012-2013, now at Novelis) - design of polymeric materials for shoe tread

  • John Epling (MSE, 2012-2013) - molecular motions of polymers

  • Justin Cochran (MSE, 2012-2013; Steel Dynamics) - friction and mechanics of soft material thin films

  • MaryBeth Pavlick (MSE, 2012-2013; Owens Corning) - compression testing of soft materials

  • Nelyan Lopez-Perez (Physics, Univ. of Puerto Rico, 2012; grad student at Purdue) - microstructure mapping of polymer thin films, LSAMP Scholar

  • Rachel Stone (MSE, 2012; Ball Aerospace) - rheology of oil/water interfaces with ionic surfactant

  • Jessica Fox (MSE, 2012; ArcelorMittal) - compression testing of soft materials