Pawan Kumar

Research Profile:

My PhD research mainly focusses on developing a predictive wetting model for real surfaces which have a very random surface topology.

In nature and industries, the way a liquid interacts with a solid surface depends upon the roughness of the solid surface. A drop of liquid may spread on a surface or just simply roll off (like on a Lotus leaf) depending upon the surface roughness. The aim of this research is to develop a mathematical model to predict the equilibrium contact angle and the contact angle hysteresis on real surfaces with randomly distributed surface defects with different shapes and length scales.

The outcome of this research would be very helpful in the design of functionalized wetting surfaces which are being designed by either bio-mimicking or hit and trial methods. The findings would help the industries employed in the conventional fields such as mining, petroleum exploration etc., and the upcoming fields such as manufacturing of “printed electronic devices”.

Project Duration: 2018 – 2022


Student Profile:

I started my PhD at the University of Melbourne (Dep’t. Of chemical Engineering) in November 2018 under the Melbourne India Postgraduate Program (MIPP). I completed my masters in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 2018. During my Masters I investigated the effects of surface softness on the electrowetting performance of aqueous electrolyte and nanofluid droplets.

I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from G.B. Pant University of Agri. & Tech. in the year 2010, after which I worked with Indian Oil corporation limited for six years. During my tenure of the Indian Oil Corp. Ltd., I’ve worked in different capacities involving both technical and non- technical responsibilities.

Professionally, I aim to create a direct, sustainable and easy methodology to aid in the creation of functionalized wetting surfaces which would eventually replace  bio-mimicking and the method of hit and trial.

In my free time, I’m an avid reader, a music aficionado, an amateur guitarist and a decent drummer.