Anson W. K. Ma

Associate Professor


Ph.D., University of Cambridge (2009)

Current Research

  • Structure, rheology, and processing of complex fluids
  • Nanoparticle suspensions, foams, and emulsions
  • Nanocomposites, metamaterials, enhanced oil recovery, and drug delivery

Professional Activities

Chair, 22A Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes & Co-chair, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum, AIChE 2013 Annual Meeting
Editorial Board: Journal of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering
Editorial Board: Journal of Energy and Chemical Engineering
Honorary Advisory Board Member: Cambridge CNT Society (UK)
Member: American Chemical Society, AIChE, Materials Research Society, Society of Rheology, British Society of Rheology, Institute of Physics

Current Research Group

Postdoctoral Fellow Graduate Students Undergraduate Students
Dr. Anju Gupta
Dr. Brice Bognet
Erik Carboni
Yang Guo
Huseini Patanwala
Sahil Vora
David Golfin
Meaghan Sullivan
David Troiani
Leonora Yokubinas
Diva Evans
William McCarthy
Vinit Patel
Michael Ward
Charles Young

Research Statement

The common theme of Dr. Ma’s research group, Complex Fluids Laboratory, is to understand the complex flow behavior of complex fluids. Of particular interests are foams, emulsions, biological fluids, and fluids containing nanoparticles. The ultimate goal is to develop effective, scalable techniques for processing these materials into multifunctional, high performance articles (e.g., films, fibers, and polymer composites). Dr. Ma is particularly interested in the following areas:

  • Phase Behavior and Rheology of Fluids Containing Nanoparticles 

A key challenge in realizing the full potential of nanoparticles is the control of their spatial distribution during processing and application. To overcome this challenge, Dr. Ma’s group focuses on understanding:

  • Phase behavior of different types of nanoparticles and their mixtures
  • Interplay between different length scales, namely the length scale of the particles (nm), assembly of particles (nm – μm), and processing length scale (>μm)

Of particular interest are: 1) the effect of confinement on the assembly of nanoparticles, 2) flow through porous media (e.g. nanoparticle distribution during resin infusion), and 3) the creation of multifunctional metamaterials.

  • Nanoparticle-stabilized Foams and Emulsions for Enhanced Oil Recovery Applications

In oil recovery, stranded oil is oil that cannot be recovered by primary or secondary means. This type of oil is trapped by viscous, capillary, and interfacial forces within the pores in rock formation and accounts for about two-thirds of the original oil in place (~400 billion barrels in the US alone). Enhanced oil recovery (EOR), also known as tertiary recovery, focuses on modifying fluid flow to improve oil displacement in the reservoir. Dr. Ma’s vision is to develop next generation EOR technology using nanoparticle-stabilized foams and emulsions.

  • Polymer Nanocomposites for Aerospace and Energy Applications

Nanoparticles are often added to a polymer matrix as a conductive or mechanical reinforcement component, but many nanoparticles also possess piezoresistive or piezoelectric properties that can be further exploited as a sensing element. Dr Ma’s idea is to use nanoparticles as “smart sensors” for structural health monitoring in aerospace and energy applications.

Previous Positions

2009 – 2011 J. Evans Attwell-Welch fellowship, Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University (USA)
2008 – 2009 Technical Consultant, Paramata Ltd. (UK), Nanoholdings LLC (USA)
2003 Summer Intern, CLP Research Institute (Hong Kong)
2001 Summer Assistant, Air Products Asia Inc. (Hong Kong)


Awards & Honors

2013 NSF CAREER award
2012 NSF EAGER award
2012 Distinguished Young Rheologist, TA Instruments
2009 J. Evans Attwell-Welch fellowship, Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University (USA)
2007 Messel Travel Bursary, The Society of Chemical Industry (UK)
2006 Fellow, Cambridge Philosophical Society (UK)
2005 Croucher Foundation Scholarship (Hong Kong)
2005 Honorary Scholar, Cambridge Overseas Trust (UK)
2005 Fellow, Cambridge Overseas Society (UK)
2005 Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORSAS) Scholarship (UK)

Recent Publications

Book Chapter: Ma, A. W. K., F. Chinesta, Chapter 8 – Carbon nanotube composite reinforcements, in P. Boisse (ed.) Composite reinforcements for optimum performance: fundamentals, properties and modelling, Woodhead publishing, Cambridge, UK (2011). ISBN 1 84569 965 3; ISBN-13: 978 1 84569 965 9.

M. K. Hudait, Y. Zhu, D. Maurya, S. Priya, P. K. Patra, A. W. K. Ma, A. Aphale, I. Macwan. Structural and band alignment properties of Al2O3 on epitaxial Ge grown on (100), (110), and (111)A GaAs substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. J. Appl. Phys., 113, 134311 (2013).

Behabtu N., C. C. Young, D. E. Tsentalovich, O. Kleinerman, X. Wang, A. W. K. Ma, E. A. Bengio, R. F. ter Waarbeek, J. J. de Jong, R. E. Hoogerwerf, S. B. Fairchild, J. B. Ferguson, B. Maruyama, J. Kono, Y. Talmon, Y. Cohen, M. J. Otto, M. Pasquali. Strong, light, multi-functional fibers of carbon nanotubes with ultrahigh conductivity. Science, 339 (6116), 182-186. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228061(2013).

Mirri F., A. W. K. Ma, T. T. Hsu, N. Behabtu, S. L. Eichmann, C. C. Young, D. E. Tsentalovich, M. Pasquali. High-performance carbon nanotube transparent conductive films by scalable dip coating. ACS Nano, 6, 9737 – 9744 (2012).

Dan B., A. W. K. Ma, E. H. Haroz, J. Kono, M. Pasquali. Nematic-Like Alignment in SWNT Thin Films from Aqueous Colloidal Suspensions. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 51, 10232 – 10237 (2012).

Ma A. W. K., K. M. Yearsley, F. Chinesta, M. R. Mackley. A review of the microstructure and rheology of carbon nanotube suspensions. Proc. ImechE Part N: J. Nanoengineering and Nanosystems, 222, 71-94 (2009).

Ma A. W. K., F. Chinesta, M. R. Mackley. The rheology and modeling of chemically treated carbon nanotube suspensions. J. Rheol., 53, 547 – 573 (2009).

Ma W. K. A., F. Chinesta, A. Ammar, M. R. Mackley. Rheological modeling of carbon nanotube aggregate suspensions. J. Rheol., 52, 1311 – 1330 (2008).

Ma A. W. K., F. Chinesta, T. Tuladhar, M. R. Mackley. Filament stretching of carbon nanotube suspensions. Rheol. Acta, 47, 447 – 457 (2008).

Ma A. W. K., M. R. Mackley, S. S. Rahatekar. Experimental observation on the flow-induced assembly of carbon nanotube suspensions to form helical bands.Rheol. Acta 46, 979 – 987 (2007).

Ma A.. W. K, J. Lu, S. Yang, K. M. Ng. Quantitative non-covalent functionalization of carbon nanotubes. J. Cluster Sci. 17, 599 – 608 (2006).


Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-4630
Mailing Address97 North Eagleville Road, Unit 3136, Storrs, CT 06269-3136
Office LocationIMS-210