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Contact Information

Email: Click to Mail

Phone: (805) 893-3372

Fax: (805) 893-4731

Office Location: 3337 Engineering II

Address: Assistant Professor Matthew E. Helgeson
Chemical Engineering Department
Mail Code 5080
Engineering 2 Bldg, Rm 3357
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5080 USA

Lab Phone: (805) 893-3983

Web Pages

Research Group Home Page

Course Pages

ChE 10 Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Education & Honors

BS: Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2004

PhD: Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, 2009

2014 National Science Foundation Early Career Award
2012 Distinguished Young Rheologist Award, TA Instruments
2011 Victor K. LaMer Award, ACS Division of Colloid & Surface Science
2009 Roy L. McCullough Scholars Award, Delaware Center for Composite Materials
2008 Neutron Scattering Society of America Prize for Outstanding Student Research
2007 University of Delaware Graduate Fellows Award
2007 Graduate Polymer Research Award, ACS POLY Division
2004 Robert L. Pigford Fellowship, University of Delaware


Our research is primarily focused on investigating the relationships between structure, thermodynamics, and rheology of soft materials, including self-assembling solutions, colloidal suspensions, and polymeric liquids. A particular focus is to better understand the engineering of fluids which integrate multiple molecular and colloidal components (surfactants, polymers, biomolecules, nanoparticles, emulsions, etc.) to achieve specific stability, rheology, and transport properties. These materials exhibit intimate coupling between structure, dynamics and flow across the molecular, colloidal, and macroscopic scales which is critical to their processing and performance. To study these phenomena, we are developing multi-scale experimental and theoretical tools in order to: (i) describe molecular and colloidal scale interactions; (ii) characterize mesoscale structure and dynamics, both at equilibrium and under flow; (iii) formulate predictive thermodynamic and rheological models; (iv) design novel materials and processes toward emerging technologies.
Current specific research interests include:
Self-assembling nanoemulsions for smart materials and pharmaceuticals
Mechanical and transport properties of hydrogels and nanocomposites
Rheological instabilities in surfactants and polymeric liquids
Stability of colloids and biomolecules in self-assembling media


Online Publication List

Y. Gao and M.E. Helgeson, "Texture analysis microscopy: quantifying structure in low-fidelity images of dense fluids", Optics Express, 2014, 22(8): 10046-10063.

M.E. Helgeson, Y. Gao, S.E. Moran, J. Lee, M. Godfrin, A. Tripathi, A. Bose, P.S. Doyle, "Homogeneous percolation versus arrested phase separation in attractively-driven nanoemulsion colloidal gels", Soft Matter, 2014, 10(17), 3122-3133.

J. Kim, Y. Gao, C. Hebebrand, E. Peirtsegaele, M.E. Helgeson, "Polymer-surfactant complexation as a generic route to responsive viscoelastic nanoemulsions", Soft Matter, 2013, 9(29): 6897-6910.

H.Z. An, M.E. Helgeson, P.S. Doyle, "Nanoemulsion Composite Microgels for Orthogonal Encapsulation and Release", Advanced Materials, 2012, 24(28): 3838-3844.

Y. Diao, M.E. Helgeson, A.S. Meyerson, T.A. Hatton, P.S. Doyle, B.L. Trout, "Controlled Nucleation from Solution Using Polymer Microgels", Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011, 133(11): 3756-3759.

M.E. Helgeson, S.C. Chapin, and P.S. Doyle, "Hydrogel microparticles from lithographic processes: novel materials for fundamental and applied colloid science", Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, 2011, 16:106-117.

M.A. O'Malley, M.E. Helgeson, N.J. Wagner, A.S. Robinson, "Morphology and composition of cholesterol-rich micellar nanostructures determine transmembrane protein (GPCR) activity", Biophysical Journal, 2011, 100(2): L11-L13.

M.E. Helgeson, L. Porcar, C. Lopez-Barron, and N.J. Wagner, "Direct observation of flow-concentration coupling in a shear banding fluid", Physical Review Letters, 2010, 105, 084501: 1-4.

M.E. Helgeson, T.K. Hodgdon, E.W. Kaler, and N.J. Wagner, "Formation and rheology of viscoelastic 'double networks' in wormlike micelle-nanoparticle mixtures", Langmuir, 2010, 26(11): 8049-8060.

M.E. Helgeson, M.D. Reichert, Y.T. Hu, and N.J. Wagner, "Relating shear banding, structure, and phase behavior in wormlike micellar solutions", Soft Matter, 2009, 5: 3858-3869.

M.E. Helgeson, K. N. Grammatikos, J. M. Deitzel, and N.J. Wagner, "Theory and kinematic measurements of the mechanics of stable electrospun polymer jets", Polymer, 2008, 49(12): 2924-2936.