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Foam research goes Bronze


Wiebke Drenckhan receives the "Bronze Medal" of the CNRS

Wiebke Drenckhan has been awarded the Bronze Medal of the CNRS, which rewards the first work of young researchers, recognizing them as specialists in their area of work.

 

After her studies in Physics and Mathematics in Germany and New Zealand, Wiebke carried out her PhD and a postdoc at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, were she worked on computer simulations and experimental approaches in the field of fluid foam physics. In 2006, Wiebke moved to the MSC (Université Paris-Diderot) on a Bourse de la Ville de Paris, before joining the “Liquid Interface Team” at the Laboratoire de Physique des Solides as a Chargé de Recherche in 2007.

 

With her move to France, Wiebke’s scientific interests shifted to the generation and investigation of solid foams with well-controlled structural and chemical properties. The particularity of her work is that she combines liquid and solid foam science via a millifluidic approach, which allows to integrate foam generation and flow chemistry within a single “Lab-on-a-Chip” in order to generate equal-bubble foams with crystalline bubble order.

 

In close collaboration with her colleagues from the LPS, from other French and German Universities and from Industry, Wiebke has been able to shed light on important questions concerning the properties of crystalline bubble packings. She has been able to build on this understanding in order to develop different types of model foams for the investigation of foam ageing effects and for their use as templates for the generation of a wide range of solid foams (hydrogel foams, elastomeric foams, ceramic green bodies…). First results show great promise that the availability of such well-controlled, cellular materials may not only help to improve our understanding of their structure/property relations – but also in the development of new mechanical and acoustic metamaterials.

Since 2012, Wiebke’s work is supported by an ERC Starting Grant. In 2013, she received the “Henkel Laundry Research Award” and the “Prix Irene-Joliot Curie”.