Unilever Award

2016 Unilever Award Winner

Matthew E. Helgeson, University of California at Santa Barbara

Unilever Award is given in recognition of fundamental work in colloid or surfactant science carried out in North America by researchers in the early stages of their careers. The 2016 Unilever Award winner is Prof. Matthew Helgeson from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Matthew E. Helgeson is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2004, he received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2009, he received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware, where he performed doctoral research with Norman Wagner and Eric Kaler. From 2009-2012, he performed postdoctoral research in the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of Patrick Doyle. Helgeson joined the faculty of UCSB in 2012, where he holds an appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering and is a faculty member of the Materials Research Laboratory.

Prof. Helgeson’s research is devoted to the design and processing of complex fluids and colloidal soft matter with well-specified mesostructure. A common interest in his research group is to use a combination of molecular self-assembly and flow to guide the interactions and assembly of colloidal species (nanoparticles, emulsions, proteins, etc.) into emergent structures. To complement this research, the Helgeson lab develops experimental tools using scattering and microscopy to monitor the multi-scale microstructure and dynamics of these fluids, ultimately to inform their molecular-level design. Current topics of interest include the engineering of colloidal particulates and gels for applications in biotechnology, advanced separations and energy conversion.

Since joining the faculty at UCSB, Prof. Helgeson’s research and teaching have been recognized with a number of awards including Early Career Awards from the National Science Foundation (2014) and the Department of Energy (2015), the inaugural Distinguished Young Rheologist Award from TA Instruments (2011), a Northrup Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award (2015), and the Victor K. LaMer Award from the ACS Division of Colloid & Surface Chemistry (2011).